Adult Education Wolverhampton would like to congratulate Hala Akhras on her learning achievements and is proud to announce that she has been been Highly Commended for this year's English Language Learning Award.
The Festival of Learning is the biggest celebration of lifelong learning in England. The mission is to highlight the benefits of learning, celebrate achievements of adults who have used learning to transform their lives, and to encourage everyone to embrace lifelong learning.
"To begin I have started studying English in 2015 at Adult Education Wolverhampton. Firstly I did entry level 3 ESOL, I then moved onto level 1 speaking and listening then reading and writing. I wanted to continue to Level 2 but this was as high as I could go with English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
Therefore I decided to move on to a higher level and enrolled on and IELTS course to prepare myself of the IELTS qualification. The reason I wanted to do this is because in my country of origin I am a qualified dental technician and this course would enable me to pursue my career in the UK. It was harder than I had expected and I found the reading especially difficult. Consequently I decided to delay doing the exam until I had developed my confidence and English language skills further.
In spite of all the difficulties which I had faces I refused to stop learning and I insisted on continuing my studies at Adult Education. I believe that studying at home alone would have had negative effect on my language skills. I started to think about different options which would lead to a possible career and I decided to pursue childcare. I enrolled on a Childcare course at Adult Education whilst continuing my functional skills in maths and English. My Tutor discussed all my learning options so once I have completed my Childcare level 1, I would like to progress to the Teaching Assistant course in the hope that this will increase my job prospects for the future.
I am from Syria, I left my country because of the war and came to the UK in 2013, which meant I had to adapt to a new country, culture, traditions and the language. Accordingly I faced many difficulties because of the language. My first language is Arabic, I did study English in my country as a subject but I never got the opportunity to use it in my daily life.
When I arrived in England I was a stranger in a strange country and always hesitated to communicate because I was afraid of making mistakes. Additionally this prevented me from engaging with the community which made me very depressed and pessimistic about my future. I believed that it would be impossible to find a job unless I spoke English fluently like a native English speaker. Therefore I decided to overcome all of these barriers and started by learning English and developing my speaking skills.
Finally I hope to achieve my main target which is to speak English fluently like a native English speaker and to integrate more with society.
After three years of learning English I think I have achieved a great deal, which reflects in my confidence and self-esteem. I have much more courage and am now happy to communicate with the people around me. I am no longer isolated. This growing confidence has had a very positive effect on my whole family and I now believe that I will get a job in the future and that my family and I will have a much better quality of life.
My progress has made me more sociable and interested in participating in different activities like volunteering in the community, something that will have a positive effect on my life and the life of the people I can help.
Finally I would like to say how very grateful I am to all the teachers for their continued efforts and support and for helping me to get back the opportunity to grow and prosper. "