Dorjana Llukani from Sutton College has been announced as winner of the Festival of Learning English Language Learning Award 2018 for her exceptional achievements in adult learning. This award celebrates adults who have transformed their own lives and the lives of their families, friends, their communities, and the places they work through learning.
Dorjana, moved from Albania to the UK with her family in 2014, leaving behind her career as a maths teacher and finding herself in a world that was not her own.
When Dorjana first moved to the UK she knew very little English and felt both afraid and frustrated, struggling with everyday tasks such as completing the forms for her daughter’s nursery. Realising that she needed to learn English for the sake of her two young children, Dorjana began ESOL classes at Sutton College and made rapid progress from Entry Level 1 to Level 2 in three years.
Dorjana’s dedication to learning has inspired everyone around her. Through self-study she is tackling the classics of English literature and reading widely on topics from technology to horticulture, all while raising her children. Dorjana has uncovered new passions and areas of interest and plans to return to her career as a maths teacher here in the UK. Dorjana commented on her learning journey: “I love seeing myself as a plant grows, slowly and confidently. Soon I will be a mature plant and ready to produce flowers – my career as a teacher.”
Dorjana’s ESOL tutor, Oliver Woodroof at Sutton College, said: “Dorjana really is like a plant: quiet and unassuming, yet with deep roots and an indomitable will to grow.”
Dipa Ganguli, Sutton College Principal said : “We are delighted that a truly deserving Sutton College student has won this national award. It is fantastic to see that the hard work and dedication of one of our students has been recognised. Dorjana epitomises the ethos we have here at Sutton College and we are very proud to have supported her on her learning journey”
Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at Learning and Work Institute, said: ”Dorjana’s story highlights how crucial the availability of ESOL classes are to help those like her get on in life. We are sure her dedication to learning despite the challenges of everyday life will be inspirational to others.”
“Festival of Learning is all about inspirational stories of people like Dorjana who show that anyone can benefit from learning. Lifelong learning is vital for all of us as jobs and society change around us. We encourage everyone to give learning a try, particularly in June when hundreds of free activities can be found on our Have a Go Month calendar. Further information on learning opportunities and support with the costs of courses is available through the National Careers Service, colleges and community learning providers.”
The Festival of Learning has been recognising the achievements of individuals, tutors, projects and employers across England for more than 25 years. Dorjana joins 34 other highly commended nominees and winners with inspiring stories to tell of their learning journeys for the 2018 Festival of Learning Awards. These winners and highly commended nominees have been selected for different awards including, individual learners, learning for work, tutors, employers and innovative projects.