Morgan Sindall Property Services (MSPS) has been sponsoring English speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes delivered by the Bromley by Bow Centre (BBBC) which targeted EastendHomes residents. We had 11 residents take part in this programme. Sizi Sibanda, Social Value Business Partner at MSPS, has been volunteering with this ESOL group for one hour every Monday since the end of March.
The 12-month month programme was developed to help the residents gain the skills they need to participate in everyday life. This can help feel part of a community while improving social interactions, to confidently communicate with others, also gaining a ESOL qualification demonstrates to employers you have good speaking, writing, listening and reading skills.
During the course the residents covered key vocabulary around the subject of housing i.e. rooms, furniture, white goods, fixtures and fittings to prepare them for their mock call session in May, and exam at the end of June.
For the ESOL group mock call session the learners practiced calling in to log a repair(s) with our contact centre. As it is a mixed ability ESOL group, both the learners and Ansar, the staff volunteer, were given a multiple-choice script to work from. This meant that our volunteers could steer the conversation and prompt learners where necessary. As part of the call each learner had to give their full name and address, choose a time slot and remember the details of their appointment.
All calls were recorded so the tutor could evaluate with the learners and give individual feedback. In addition, Sizi completed an evaluation form for each of the learners assessing how well they could understand and if they were able to recall the details of their appointment at the end of the call.
We are delighted to report that seven candidates who were selected for exams all passed. All seven candidates undertook the Entry 1 speaking and listening exam, two tackled the Entry 1 reading exam and three took Entry 1 writing exam. The remaining five, did not take the exam as they had already passed it or were not ready for the follow up exam.
The 11 learners from this cohort will now progress into further learning, and if at the relevant level can be offered work experience with us.
Sizi Sibanda, Social Value Business Partner, said “I really enjoyed volunteering with the ESOL group, it was lovely to see the learners progress and grow in confidence with their English. We built up a lovely rapport and I wish them all the best with their future studies.”