Begun in 2015, TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) was set up to benefit people learning English as a second language in Barnsley.

All lessons are delivered for free to asylum seekers and £2 is asked of those who are on a steady income.

The recent funding of £1,500 from the Stanley Race Community Fund has enabled the classes to continue.
The one and a half hour lessons take place three times a week and are attended by asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers. Students come from all over the world, including countries such as Syria, Sudan, Romania, Portugal and Poland.

Chair of TESOL UK, Jeff Platts said:
“We have delivered English language classes for the past nine months. There have been 1,179 attendances – 647 of these since the funding from SYCF was granted. Initially, there were about ten to twelve students attending each class. However, since receiving the funding from SYCF the classes have had to move to bigger premises due to the increase of students attending.

“Due to the popularity of the classes and based on student feedback, TESOL UK will start delivering Functional Skills English Entry Level Qualifications. Students have told us that they need the
qualifications not only as recognition of their achievements but also to be able to prove their English language proficiency level, to further education institutes or prospective employers.”

In addition to the English Language classes, TESOL has supported four students in interviews. Three students have been referred to employment agencies. All of their students have also said that they now feel more confident speaking English and dealing with day to day situations.

Student Andreea Vintur said:
“I have found the English lessons very helpful because they imitate everyday life. I like this English class because it is about ‘speaking, speaking and more speaking’. I have gained confidence, feel more positive about my English skills and have met many new people.”