English at Home: an evaluation of 2013 – 2016

In April 2016, Catherine Tonge completed an evaluation of English at Home, drawing on the experiences of learners, volunteers, and partner agencies.

The difference English at Home makes

The number of clients and volunteers have increased year on year, and the project has now reached capacity: the Volunteers Manager cannot support more than 70 matches at any one time, on 30 hours a week.

To clients

Over the last three years 215 asylum seekers and refugees who were excluded from other English classes have improved their English through contact with English at Home. They have learned at their own pace in a safe environment. They have learned the English that they want to learn. They have improved their level of English, increased in confidence and been able to use English outside the home to manage their everyday lives. Over 40 have moved on to English classes.

To volunteers

Over 200 volunteers have been well trained and supported to teach informal English lessons. They have found the experience rewarding and enjoyed forming relationships with people they would otherwise never have met. They have helped and assisted clients with more than the learning of English – they have provided them with knowledge and understanding of British culture and life in Leeds. Many have made lasting friendships.

To referrers

Over 40 organisations have been able to refer clients who could not access English lessons in any other way. They understand the enormous value of learning English to their clients and are clear about what the service offers.

You can read the full report here

Many thanks to everyone involved for helping to make this project such a success, and the for the enormous difference you have made to the lives of asylum seekers and refugees living in Leeds.

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