After fleeing Iraq in 2013 and then having to uproot his family again from Turkey where they had hoped to settle, Hasan arrived in the UK in January 2018 speaking no English and relying on Google translate to communicate. Since then, he’s dedicated himself to studying English to help him to get a job, pass his driving test, and feel like a part of his community.
When I first came to the UK, I couldn’t understand anything around me, and I wanted to learn English because it’s important for me to be able to communicate. I used to be a nurse and my dream is to study at college and pass my exams so that I can do that job again.
Since starting English classes with the local authority in Colburn, I’ve been able to use English more and more in my everyday life. Now I can read my children’s school books, talk to neighbours and my children’s friends, and I don’t feel so isolated.
Learning English also enabled me to pass my driving test and I found part time work as a delivery driver. Speaking English was very important for my job as I had to take phone calls, understand complicated directions and navigate online learning modules in food hygiene and company policies.
Lockdown has been hard because I can no longer improve my English through volunteering in the way that I used to, but I’ve been using the extra time to study for more exams and I can see myself making progress. With each new level I feel more confident and settled, and a step closer towards the job that I love.
Recently I have been taken on full time by a building firm so I am working to take my qualifications which will allow me to work as a tiler, a profession I followed in Turkey.
Catherine Monaghan, Hasan’s teacher, said: “Hasan’s commitment to studying has been unquestionable and unwavering, and his progress is the result of hours of focus and hard work. Hasan inspires others through the example he sets, and as new refugees arrive in the area, I feel certain that he will take on a new role as mentor and advocate for the value of learning English in order to integrate into a new country, culture and society.”
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