ESOL Students Become Teacher Assistants

Ruth Peterson | November 3, 2020

A unique work placement opportunity gave English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students the chance to become teachers.

ESOL students have received recognition in completing a six-month period of work experience at the college, in which they were teacher assistants supporting their teachers and fellow students in class. 

The students have been awarded certificates to highlight their hard work, support and dedication in working as a teacher assistant within the ESOL department.

Breaking down barriers

Vanessa Phillimore, Curriculum Area Manager for ESOL, said: “Working as a teacher assistant helped students to realise and appreciate how hard teachers work and overcome students’ problems to break down the language barriers and provide a high standard of education for all learners.

“The experience also enabled them to recognise the importance of support within lessons and how it helps learners to develop confidence and achieve.”

Helping hands

Students were offered positions as volunteers by ESOL lecturer Seima Mahmood, who coordinated timetables for them to be available after their own classes. This made it possible for them to work in ESOL classes and help students who needed additional support in learning. 

Classes ranging from Pre-Entry to Entry 3 were all supported and benefited by having an extra pair of helping hands from their peers. Duties entailed:

  • Assisting teachers in lessons
  • Translating language for the less able students
  • Setting up classroom and equipment for learning
  • Using professional cameras in the studio to assist teachers with the recording of students’ discussions and dialogues. 

Among the receivers of this award were students from Entry 3 and Level 1. The students were given certificates by Vanessa in a brief ceremony following social distancing guidelines after a previously planned event to celebrate their success was cancelled due to Covid-19.

The following students were excited to receive their certificates: 

  • Waad Mohamed
  • Shahad Mohamed
  • Samia Ibrahim
  • Siham Ibrahim
  • Adian Dahlaki
  • David Ridaj
  • Randa Eyob
  • Umama Khan
  • Latifa Rahimullah
  • Iman Jrouf
  • Danial Mohammad
  • Nasim Aden
  • Maha Abubakar
  • Shadia Ahmed
  • Ahlam Abdi
  • Eman Musa.  

Their ESOL lecturers were proud of their achievement.  Shaheena Skinner said: “Work experience has been such a valuable opportunity for the students. It gives them a taste of the world of work as well as offering them the chance to learn new skills. Most importantly, it also gives them insights into the future they wish to carve out for themselves”.  

A great opportunity to learn

Esther Wilkey, who is also an ESOL lecturer at the college, added: “I was pleased that our students were given this great opportunity to use all the knowledge and skills learnt in their classroom and help other students improve their language learning experience.” 

Paul Edwards was also proud of his students and commented: “The work experience which students have achieved can be marked as the first stepping stone to something better in life.”

ESOL students will be given more opportunities in future to work, both for the college and external organisations. this will enable them to gain numerous skills and prepare them for real life employment.

About our work placement opportunities

Bradford College offers a wide variety of opportunities to take part in work placements while studying. Doing a work placement provides a hands-on experience you can’t get in the classroom.

It gets you ready for work, lets you apply your skills – and gives you the chance to make a good impression on employers.

Find out more about our opportunities at

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