Councillor Tony Downing presented certificates to around 140 students who have completed the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course.
The certificate presentation ceremony, for students aged 19-plus, was held at the College’s Eyre Street campus, Matilda Street, Sheffield city centre, on May 24th.
Anita Straffon, Deputy Chief Executive for Curriculum, Quality and Assessment, The Sheffield College, said: “We are delighted that the Lord Mayor Councillor Tony Downing celebrated this significant milestone with our students.”
She added: “ESOL courses enable our students to progress onto the next level qualification and gain the skills to go further in education and employment, and also contribute to social cohesion and supporting local communities.”
The College is the largest ESOL provider in the city. The qualification is aimed at students who have moved to the country and whose first language is not English.
ESOL assesses the four skills of speaking, writing, listening and reading. The topics and tasks covered relate to everyday work, study, community and social situations. An ESOL employability course is also offered by the College in partnership with Jobcentre Plus.
Sheffield’s Lord Mayor Councillor Downing said: “It was a great pleasure to present the certificates to the hardworking students. ESOL courses are so important in enabling people to feel included in society, giving them a voice and most importantly enabling them to progress, whether it be in further education or employment.”
ESOL students originate from more than 30 countries. They include Afghanistan, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, China, Sudan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Turkey, Burma, Sierra Leone and Bhutan as well as European countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Greece, Czech Republic, Poland, Georgia, Italy, France and Spain.
Feriomena Mekonen, 21, moved to Sheffield from Eritrea three years-ago leaving her family behind. She said: “I came to the city alone, which was very difficult. But I really wanted to help myself here. This course has changed my life. I have improved my English and made some more friends.”
Feriomena added: “I want to continue learning so I can get a job. I used to work in a beauty salon in Eritrea. I would really like to do another college course so I can work in a beauty salon here.”
For more information on ESOL courses, click here or call 0114 2602600.