Charlotte's story

The staff at AEW gave me opportunities and support at a difficult time in my life and helped me to find my sense of purpose and confidence again

by Charlotte Davies

I first came to Adult Education Wolverhampton (AEW) to study CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from October 2015 to March 2016. After completing the course, I went on to an Erasmus Plus project, starting 7 weeks of Italian lessons in March 2016 and going out to work in Brescia, Italy for 5 weeks in May 2016.

I chose to study CELTA because I was at a crossroads in my life.I had recently recovered from a long and serious illness and I didn't want to go back to work in Public Relations (which I'd worked in previously for 8 year).I had always been interested in languages and travelling, and I wanted to do a job which would help people.CELTA seemed like the perfect qualification to help me along a new career path.When the opportunity to study Italian and work in Italy, I jumped at the chance. I had always wanted to go, so this seemed like a dream come true.It was an amazing few weeks.I worked as an English Teaching Assistant at a private language school, I ate some delicious food and ice cream and visited lots of different places including Milan, Verona and Venice.

I chose to study at AEW because it offered CELTA as a part time course and I live nearby.It meant that I could continue to work part time while I studied.A part time course was preferable to intensive courses offered elsewhere because it meant that the workload was more manageable and suited my style of learning.

AEW has played a very important part in my life and has a very positive impact.

The staff at AEW gave me opportunities and support at a difficult time in my life and helped me to find my sense of purpose and confidence again. It has given me the opportunity to work and live in Italy and Spain, make friends from lots of different backgrounds and even found love (I'm in the process of moving in with my boyfriend who I met in Italy for Erasmus Plus).

Throughout the CELTA training, I had to get up in front of classrooms of students to speak. Beforehand, public speaking filled me with dread. However, as the weeks progressed, speaking to groups became more and more normal.I was able to implement these skills when I taught classes to Spanish teenagers in Andalucia.While I chose not to progress with teaching (for the moment at least), being able to speak confidently in public has helped me endlessly.In my current role I have to give talks to a variety of groups, but I can do so without fear thanks to AEW.

It has also broadened my outlook and my world view. For example, in Summer 2017, the Grand Theatre hosted some Talk English poetry sessions, which were attended by AEW ESOL students. Students shared their own poetry, which included a Syrian man's story of his escape from the war-torn country. It was a very humbling experience and I felt privileged to be part of the sessions.

I am now working as the Development Manager at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. This means I am responsible for corporate promotion of the theatre, organising events and corporate hospitality for local businesses and fundraising, as the theatre is a charity.

For the foreseeable future, I am happy working at the Grand Theatre, developing my skills and building my experience in my current role. I like to keep my plans flexible though, because you never know what fantastic opportunities are going to arise.

Would I recommend AEW? Yes, absolutely! 

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Were you once a student at Adult Education Wolverhampton, or perhaps still studying with us? We would love to hear your learning story about how you have progressed and how learning has helped to change your life for the better.