English language students from around the world celebrated the completion of a successful term at Stratford-upon-Avon College by holding an international food festival on campus.

Learners from the College’s ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) course each prepared classic dishes from their respective countries and brought them into College, inviting members of College staff to join them to sample culinary delights from around the world.

ESOL students study the four linguistic skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing with an aim to help them engage in life in the community and progress into employment, professional development or further study.

ESOL students (left to right) Laila Aboughazalia, Aurelia Iona Gheaburcu, Daniel De Nicolo, Miroslava Mihaylova and Andrea Chaver Renno

Manon Richer from France prepared saucisson, a cured pork sausage similar to salami, which is extremely popular in France. She has been studying on the ESOL course since she moved to the UK in September 2018 and has found it invaluable in her work as an au pair looking after a young child. “This was complicated at first because obviously we both had limited vocabulary, but I’ve learnt so much in just three months because I speak to the other ESOL students in English all the time.”

Miroslava Mihaylova from Bulgaria is equally grateful to Stratford’s ESOL programme for improving her life in the UK. She admits she had difficulty at first getting to grips with English grammar and with an alphabet that is unlike Bulgarian, but “studying ESOL has helped me with everything from speaking to friends to eating out to work. The ESOL class has made me much better at my job – I’ve become more confident speaking to people and I’m able to chat to customers now.”

After just a few months on the course, Manon, who worked as a social worker in France, is already planning her next move. “I’ve fallen in love with London so I hope to move there after I finish the course in Stratford. I have a lot of experience helping people with disabilities so I hope to continue this work in the UK.”

Good luck to Manon and Miroslava, and to all the other ESOL students, in their future careers in the UK.

Stratford-upon-Avon College's ESOL class with lecturer Lynn Nuttall (front row far right)