English conversational classes for migrant workers

English conversational classes for migrant workers

English conversational classes for migrant workers

We have been hosting free English classes for non nationals for almost a year and it has been a huge success and participants have found it a very positive and engaging environment to learn the basics or improve on what they already have.

Having a better grasp of the English language can improve their opportunities in work and in their communities.


ONE Galway has trained trade unionists from a range of areas including education, the community and retired workers, to tutor on a voluntary basis. One such volunteer Pruthuish Kumar, a student from NUIG, said “helping working people overcome the language barrier in order to better themselves is a joy and makes me quite proud”. Another NUIG student, Pauline stated “its inspiring to see non-Irish nationals of all ages attend every week and engage so positively”. 
“They are the new Irish and it is a great privilege to help them by providing the very basics in communication” said Padraic McKenna another trade union activist in education. 
The participating students come from around the world including Brazil, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Spain, Ukraine and Venezuela, such as Maria Zarzyckoi “I attend lunch-time classes every Wednesday and I really enjoy them. I learn the grammer and improve my writing. I socialise with other students and tutors which is great”. Her fellow student Luis Jimenez from Venezuela added “I have lived in Galway for 18 years and have very slowly learned the language, these classes give me the change to improve my English, whilst meeting people of other nationalities and sharing their experiences of living in Galway”. Brothers Arikodiusk and Marcin from Poland, attend the classes and said “it is free and very helpful but most importantly the friendly engagement from the tutors makes all the difference”.
So, whether it’s Luis from Venezuela, Marcin from Poland, Maria from Poland or Ana Luiza from Brazil, everyone has found this initiative from ONE Galway to be very beneficial to all involved, a sentiment echoed by all the tutors.
As Dr Deirdre Curran said, " You go along at 7pm on a Wednesday evening feeling somewhat drained from the daily grind and you come out at 9pm smiling and re-energised."
Classes ran from March right up till the the end of June, every Wednesday in SIPTU Forster Court, at lunch-time from 1pm to 2pm and in the evening from 7pm till 9pm and had very high attendance for both classes.

To wrap up our first year we had an awards night where every participant received a certificate of completion.

We want to congratulate all the students and Tutors on taking part in such a fantastic initiative.


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