For her verbal presentation, Nadege talked through two Catholic festivals, Chandeleur and Mardi Gras, which both take place in February and are observed in France.

Nadege is French and has been in the UK for three years. She has been a regular attendee at our EAL zoom sessions since November 2020, prior to this she hadn’t joined any English classes.

View Nadege’s presentation by clicking the link below:

Today we share a presentation about one of Japan’s festivals, Setsubun. The presentation was created and delivered by two of our learners, Tomomi and Berrin who received a very enthusiastic response from our EAL Zoom group.

The final version of the presentation was achieved partly through group editing via the Zoom chatbox, and also through individual verbal contributions, just one of the ways we have adapted to virtual EAL learning.

Tomomi’s first language is Japanese and Berrin’s is Turkish so it is wonderful to see friendships blossoming from our activities.

Click the link below to view the presentation, we hope you enjoy learning about the Setsubun Festival:

Over the past few months, our learners have been sharing presentations on topics of their choice. Some have shared traditions from their cultures while others have offered helpful tips based on what they do for work.

Today’s presentation was created by Tonomi who lived in the UK for three years and attended our EAL groups until recently returning to Japan. A silver lining of shifting to Zoom lessons following the pandemic means she continues to be a most active member of our charity.

We hope you enjoy learning about Japanese New Year traditions, as told by Tonomi.

Last September, we were thrilled to resume some of our wellbeing activities and EAL lessons after months of restrictions. Like most, we had the added task of keeping safe and socially distanced. This also meant finding alternatives to classroom teaching.

Learning EAL with Zoom classes

Although we hope to return to full-time face-to-face learning one day soon, Zoom has helped us to continue offering EAL lessons and keep our students in touch, despite being physically apart.

Over the coming months, we will be introducing you to more of our students learning EAL through our activities and classes. Today we start with Berrin Güzel, a current student whose home language is Turkish.

Berrin shares her thoughts on EAL learning through online classes:

I prefer to attend face-to-face classes. Because I can write, listen and speak at the same time.

I love meeting new people and making new friends. Building a good face-to-face connection with new people is easy.

For me, the advantage of the online lesson is that I save extra time as I don’t waste my time on the road.

A photo of Berrin: a current EAL student whose first language is Turkish.

Although our celebrations may be different this year, Richmond EAL Friendship Group would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy Christmas.

Our area is currently under Tier 4 restrictions but we look forward to continuing to run our Covid-secure timetable in the New Year.

Best wishes,

Richmond EAL Friendship Group

Words by: Manju Satheesh

I wake up through the misty blanket

I don’t know people love or hate me

For ruin their lovely shining weather

But I am sure they like my magic of

changing colours of the leaves of trees.

Manju is a member of Richmond EAL Friendship Group and has been coming to our group activities since 2018.

Words by: Manju Satheesh

Why are you here little spiky tot?

What is your purpose of born?

You teach us new techniques and

new way of life and act as a motivator too…

Hey, Teeny-Weeny because of you

We retain the bond in our nest.

We retrieve our friendships and enjoy the chats

which cherished in our life forever.

But we still hate the monster in you and

the nasty game you play.

Poor little creature it’s your fate

Please, vanish before we banish you

But I promise, we remember you in our life

forever and ever.

Manju has been attending our EAL classes and group activities since 2018.

Words by: Fisun Zat

Today we share a short poem written by one of our students, Fisun Zat. Fisun has been coming along to Richmond EAL Friendship Group activities since 2018. It is wonderful to see our students getting inspired and creative with language.

Enjoy Fisun’s poem!

The autumn is coming, finally

All the trees and leaves coloured lovely

I could go out if it is not rainy

The view is beautiful and misty.

Words by: Margrit Halstead 

I started as a volunteer with Ruth 5 years ago and found it very enjoyable and rewarding right from the start. I helped out at different venues and when Ruth asked me in May 2016 if I wanted to start my own group, I was very excited and happy to do so! 

Lessons normally take place at the Cambrian Community Centre on Mondays from 10.30-12pm. Our room at the Cambrian is not very big and it was always going to be a small class, between 5 and 10 students.

The class is suitable for people who have a basic understanding of the language. The aim is to improve and to become more confident. Everybody has a chance to speak. I try and vary the lessons as much as possible.

Sometimes I read a short story or an article and we have a discussion. Some of the students love a spelling test! Other times we do a quiz or talk about certain grammar issues they might have. I am always open to suggestions.  And last, but not least – we laugh a lot!!

Unfortunately, things are a bit different at the moment. We meet in a very big room, socially distanced and with masks on. We look forward to the day when we’ll be able to return to ‘normality’.

I have asked the students to give me some feedback on what the group means to them which you can read below:

“”Small class gives me more chance (to speak)”.

Jianxin

“I spent two years with you and your lovely class. You always encouraged us to speak English confidently”.

Ceriye

“I felt your warm welcome. I am very pleased to come and study in your class”.

Olga

“I like how you explain rules. I am sure my English is better today thanks to you and Ruth”.

Oleg

“The atmosphere is very friendly and comfortable. You kept in touch with us during the epidemic which helped our mental health”.

Sabriye

“You built a great atmosphere for learning, like in a family”

Bihter

P.S. Since writing this, we are in the midst of the 2nd lockdown and are unable to meet. I cannot wait to see all of my friends again – as soon as we get the ‘green light’ we’ll be back at the Cambrian!