Being a student and volunteer at Sutton College

20 March 2018

Sutton College volunteer and student Jwan Ali

Sutton College volunteer and student Jwan Ali

At Sutton College we are very fortunate to have a number of talented and dedicated volunteers who help in some of our classes.

One such volunteer is Jwan Ali, one of our more advanced ESOL students. Jwan, who was a teacher in Kurdistan, gives up some of her free time to help other ESOL students achieve to their goals on their classes at Sutton College.

Recently, Jwan wrote us a letter (below) explaining just how much she has enjoyed both her learning and volunteering and told us of the positive impact on her life.

I remember my first week when I came to the UK. I knew a bit of English and I thought that it would be enough! But when I went out to walk around and do shopping, I noticed that it wasn’t as easy as I thought. I was struggling to cope my life especially when I listened to people because I couldn’t understand a lot of the things they were saying.

I have always believed that being able to speak the language is crucial when you live in a foreign country, otherwise it is not possible to feel part of the community where you live. After a while, I realised that there was a college in my area called SCOLA – Sutton College of Learning for Adults. Its name has changed to Sutton College. This meant that I could study and learn English. After attending an assessment, I enrolled in an ESOL English language course and I started my journey as a learner at level 1 at the Wallington Centre. My colleagues were from different countries and they had different religions, and ethics. I was very happy with them and we had a fantastic teacher, who was always available to teach and support us to be more confident. In addition, the learners’ energy and enthusiasm for learning English inspired me to achieve my goal.

I can say that my hard work paid off. I have now moved up to level 2. It’s my third week in my new class with my new colleagues and my new lovely teacher. I know I have a long way to go but I am delighted to learn more.

When I finished level one, I wanted to do something I could be proud of. I also wanted to improve my own skills as well as apply my previous teaching experience which I gained whilst working as a teacher in my country (Kurdistan). I wanted to support others in their own path. That is what led me to become a volunteer.  I decided to check whether there were any voluntary positions available on the Sutton college website.

Yes, there was a vacancy! There was an opportunity to become a volunteer in an ESOL class! You can imagine how I felt – excited but stressed at the same time!

To be honest, being an ESOL volunteer at  Sutton College while I am studying English is the most important decision I have ever made  because I know that I have to take both roles seriously. I feel grateful and optimistic.

Every morning when I see the learners and I help them out with their studies, especially those who need extra support, I believe in myself. I am sure that I am doing something meaningful, because I understand how they feel and how learning English is necessary to make their lives easier and better in the UK.

Furthermore, the overwhelming trust from extremely supportive staff has given me enormous happiness and comfort. The tutor who I am volunteering with and all the other members of staff at Sutton College are very friendly and approachable.

For the reasons above, I would encourage people to learn and to get a volunteering role in any field at Sutton College.

To sum up, we can serve our community by becoming a volunteer and sharing our valuable skills and free time. By helping others to live better, you may end up bettering yourself in ways you have never imagined.

Jwan Ali, ESOL student/volunteer

Volunteers offer great inspiration and support to other students and we are incredibly grateful to all those who donate their time to the College Volunteers like Jwan help to make Sutton College are real community college and a great place to learn. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Sutton College volunteer, please see our Volunteer Page

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