A new chapter for book lover

Posted: May 6, 2021

Adult learner, Leila Farajijoorabi, had the desire to teach others from a young age. 

After taking a break for two years to raise her children, Leila decided to embark on a new chapter with a teaching assistant course at Leeds City College.

A keen reader, Leila used the college’s iLearn Reading Challenge as a chance to advance her English skills. Set with the challenge of reading 15 books in four months, she won the challenge and received a Kindle Paperwhite to continue her reading.

Turning the page

Leila had always dreamed of working in an academic environment, inspired by the thought of supporting people in their learning journey. 

Returning to education at the age of 36, Leila was determined to improve her English speaking and writing skills.

“In my first college session, I completely broke down as I thought my English skills would be a barrier to me finishing the course. I felt overwhelmed; struggling to understand my tutor, legislation and strategies. 

“I was committed to understanding the course clearly, so I spent extra time reading additional resources, which allowed me to prepare before class and finish my homework. A year of hard work and support from my tutors meant that I finished my Level 2 and 3 qualifications successfully.”

Enhancing skills

As part of her course, Leila learnt how to support children and young people with learning difficulties.

“During my studies, I volunteered as a teaching assistant at a local primary school, which involved me supporting students in English, maths and art classes. This not only helped with my English speaking skills, but allowed me to play an important role in supporting the pupils’ progression. 

“Although it’s been challenging to juggle being a mum and studying, the college has always ensured I have all the support I need and always make the course more enjoyable by arranging trips and sport activities.”

Taking up the challenge

With her sights set on the iLearn Reading Challenge, Leila took the opportunity to develop her English skills.

“I’m a real book lover – I often read books in my native language, Farsi. In a bid to brush up on my English skills, I joined the reading challenge and set myself the target of 15 books in 4 months. I read many different resources; from story books to educational books on understanding autism.

“I was extremely happy to win the challenge, it gave me confidence to continue reading English books as a hobby. I want to show how with hard work and determination, learning a new language is possible and should never act as a barrier to your learning.

“Once I’ve completed my course, I hope to attend university to study psychology.”

Lifelong learning

To celebrate adult learning, Leeds City College will be participating in the Festival of Learning; a year-long recognition of mature learners and their achievements. 

“The Festival of Learning is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate to adults that it’s never too late to learn. The campaign will be great for informing adult learners about the available support and flexible study options at college. 

“Being an adult learner was an excellent experience for me. It gave me the ability to apply for a job which I’d always been passionate about, and enabled me to learn new skills and develop my knowledge which has really built my confidence.”

Discover more about our adult offering here.  

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