Adult learners receive support beyond the classroom

A mother who recently participated in an Adult English as an Additional Language (EAL) class at Doveton also received support to achieve her goal of becoming employed.

Adult EAL Classes at Doveton

For many years, the community have had access to accredited adult EAL classes at Doveton College. Although the classes’ primary goal is to equip students with the skills to speak, read, and understand English, the dedication of the class teachers and the Our Place Community Facilitators helps students achieve much more.

Many students who attend EAL classes have experienced or are experiencing various degrees of hardship. Many are new to the local area, some are newly arrived in the country and are navigating their lives in unfamiliar systems and communities. The experienced EAL teachers have taught at Doveton for many years and always ensure that students feel welcomed and supported in all aspects of their learning. They also ensure that students remain engaged and can continue to attend classes by helping them access support beyond the classroom when required.

Support beyond the classroom

At Doveton, when an Adult Learning student seeks or requires assistance that is not directly related to their classroom learning, the teacher will make a warm referral to the Community Facilitators. A Community Facilitator will then meet with the student (usually not for the first time, as Community Facilitators regularly engage with on-site adult education students) to discuss and explore the situation further. Depending on the situation, the Community Facilitator will either provide direct support or assist the student in connecting with an organisation or person who can help.

Sometimes, a combination of direct support and connecting with other services is required. A recent example of this relates to a mother of 8 children who is also a foster carer to additional children. This mother had a strong desire to further her education and secure employment and began this journey by returning to education and commencing EAL level 3 classes at Doveton. After attending this class for some time, the mother then shared that she wanted to pursue a career in Education Support.

To support her in achieving her goal, the EAL teacher spoke with the Community Facilitator, who then met with and assisted the mother in understanding pathways that could lead to this goal, including undertaking further study to become qualified. Afterwards, this motivated and driven mother decided to commence an Education Support qualification whilst concurrently completing the EAL course as she was feeling well equipped for additional study due to her improved English language skills. To support her in commencing additional study, the Community Facilitator helped the mother to locate, enquire about, and enrol into an appropriate qualification, which she went on to complete in early 2022.

In May 2022, the mother phoned the EAL teacher to inform her that she had successfully gained a full-time education support role at a local school. The mother also sincerely expressed her gratitude for the extra support, guidance, and encouragement she received during her time at Doveton College.

Aligning with the Our Place Approach

This is one example of the Our Place evidence-based element of Adult Engagement, Volunteering, Learning and Employment. To learn more about this element and our other evidence-based elements Click Here