After a success pilot programme last year, Aidha launched its ‘Improving Your English’ Programme that aims to help students enhance their English language proficiency. The four first sessions, comprising a total of 80 students, were held on 17 April 2016.
Written By: Nelly Navarro
Beginnings are always exciting and the first three-hour session of the “Improving Your English” Programme was no exception for both mentors and students who were actively engaged in grammar, vocabulary, conversation and reading exercises.
For many student, like Vetharatinam Buvaneswari, English is a second language used only to communicate with employers. Vetharatinam says, “I’m happy to be here! My native language is Tamil and sometimes I don’t understand my employer. I also want to improve my spelling and be able to write better in English.”
Students in session practising conversing with each other
Lack of confidence, fear of making mistakes and issues with proper usage of grammar are the main challenges the students face. Chona Detoya, another student says, “I’m very shy and I hope these classes will help me gain confidence and express myself better.”
To meet these specific needs, the programme – which is spread over twelve sessions – is highly interactive with plenty of opportunities to practice. Volunteers Meaghan Bright, who developed the content for the programme in collaboration with Caroline Panousis, explains, “Each lesson is based around a theme or topic which most people can relate to, such as family, meeting people, employment, etc. It is meant to engage students and allow them to share their own experiences, while introducing a range of vocabulary and skills which are relevant in day-to-day conversations.”
Mentor, Chanchul Sakhrani (Niky) explaining the finer points of grammar to students
Students and mentors will meet every two weeks. Chanchul Sakhrani (Niky), one of the mentors in the programme, is already looking forward to the next session. “Our Aidha students have the most important ingredient to success — the attitude to learn and improve, regardless of the challenging English language! That is why we love teaching them and they are an inspiration to us all!”