Our tutors at RMC are highly skilled and very creative. When teaching a diverse group, sometimes of varying English levels, they work hard to ensure everyone is catered for. As part of this, they often look wider than just the usual classroom teaching. Here are just a few examples of our alternative teaching at RMC.
Getting out of the classroom environment can get people thinking and provide an opportunity to practice English in a real-world setting.
A chance to visit a local exhibition in Wolverhampton, by The Good Shepherd gave students a chance to engage with the exhibition and complete some ESOL tasks along the way.
We were all inspired to see how pain and hardship touch the deepest cores of humans’ hearts, but also to see what struggles can result with. Many of us can relate to these fascinating art pieces in so many ways. However, the highlight of the day was the symbolism of elephant: “wisdom and the removal of obstacles”, as stated by Anna Smith, one of the artists, that some of our learners were deeply moved by.Dzenana – RMC ESOL tutor
Along with a series of ESOL resources and tasks to complete as they toured the exhibition, students were asked to find certain artworks as well as describe their own favorites.
This gave students a chance to explore, practice their reading and writing skills.
The final task was part of a workshop at the exhibition which tied into people’s mental health.
We were asked to draw around our left hand and fill it in with things from the past we are still holding onto, like regrets, past traumas, negative events, relationships, etc. Then we drew around our right hand and fill it in with any ambitions, dreams, hopes, what we liked about ourselves, people we love, places we want to visit, favourite memories, etc. We then ripped up our past/left hand into small pieces and threw it in a box. The ripped-up pieces were used to create a unique piece of art in light of Mental Health Day 2021.
As the world goes digital, people can be left behind and quickly become excluded. With job applications, passport forms, even English classes, and social events all going online, it is more important than ever to build digital skills.
Our ESOL team run digital skills classes, as well as a tablet loan scheme to allow people to learn in class, and also practice at home. The loan scheme provides a device with data for someone unable to otherwise get online, to access classes, employment opportunities and much more.
When lockdown first hit, all our ESOL classes had to come to a sudden halt. This didn’t last long, as our team were out delivering ESOL packs to families, and started setting up online zoom bases classes.
Some tutors went even further and began recording and posting sessions to YouTube and the RMC website, which are still available. With over 50 classes now uploaded, people can still learn in their own time, from wherever they are.
ESOL and Employability
For many, English is a barrier to them getting into work. Our tutors support learners to overcome this with English for Work sessions. Tailored classes focused on employment skills, the language used in jobs, and CV skills.
For some, this is the push people need to want to learn English, for others it is another form of vocabulary they wish to improve and for all, it helps them become more employable and open up further job prospects.
Having seen a need for literacy-specific classes, our tutor Naeem tailor-made three levels of class, focused on what was needed for bilingual speakers, opposed to native speakers. This has been something requested by the students, as they had tried more mainstream literacy classes, but found this inaccessible.
These classes work with the students to develop their literacy, no matter what their starting level and support them to develop.