Hundreds of people whose first language is not English completed government-funded language courses in the East End during the pandemic, alongside “get together” socials to overcome their isolation.
A graduation garden party was held at the Bromley by Bow community centre where English language certificates were handed out.
The courses – run by the community centre, East London Advanced Technology Training and the Workers Educational Association – were organised by Tower Hamlets Council, which was one of only 30 UK local authorities to get government “integration funding” grants.
– Credit: Rehan Jamil
“We had almost 300 people completing the programme despite the challenges of the pandemic,” deputy mayor Sirajul Islam said. “The social mixing activities gave their language skills a boost and helped reduced isolation.”
Cllr Islam handed out certificates to the 290 who completed the scheme, which included 1,600 hours of “social mixing” to practice speaking English in groups for self-confidence and to meet other people in the community.
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The idea is to integrate those who speak little or no English by improving their language ability and getting them more involved in the community.