Ruth, Ruth and Rosalie

Over the years, North Devon College (now known as Petroc) has built up a really strong ESOL department, with well-qualified and experienced practitioners, teaching students from all over the world.

Classes range from Beginner to Level 2 (roughly equivalent to grade A-C at GCSE).

In the time that I was there, I taught adult students from France, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, UAE, Tunisia, Cameroon, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Thailand, China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and lots more!

I was also responsible for the Level 4 tutor training programme.

Students come to the UK for a variety of reasons: to work, to escape persecution, to marry or to experience another culture. Some are complete beginners, with no knowledge of the language at all. Often their own writing systems are different, too. Others have good English but want to improve still further. Some have studied English at school, but have little experience of speaking it. Others have picked it up while working or travelling. Many are well qualified but come here to do more menial work because of difficult circumstances in their own countries.