V is a 30-years+ learner, recently emigrated from Pakistan. V is married and lives with in-laws in Newham. V was keen to begin work but lacked the confidence to find a job.

V was initially very quiet when we began classes. She was reluctant to speak, although her listening skills are very good and she understands classroom instructions. Her reading comprehension and writing skills are excellent.

I encouraged V to focus on her speaking skills. As her reading skills were good, I chose her to read out loud quite often to focus on her pronunciation, become used to the sound of her voice in English, and also to boost her confidence. She took to this well and very quickly spoke with more confidence and was heard and understood well.

I also asked V to take a leadership role in the class while I was reading with the non-literate learners. I would set up the learners with a reading comprehension task and put them in groups of three. Learners would work together to complete the task, and V would be asked to assist and guide the other learners if they encountered any difficulties.  She was happy to take on this role and the other learners benefitted from her help.

I believe that these confidence boosting activities were good for V and by January, she had found a job.  I spoke to V last week and she is still working and is very happy. She is keen to come back to classes if we return in September.