ESOL students complete Six Book Challenge in partnership with Camden Libraries
08 February 2012
An enthusiastic group of ESOL students at Westminster Kingsway College in central London have completed the Six Book Challenge, a national scheme led by the Reading Agency. The Challenge encourages people who wouldn’t normally read or emergent readers to read six books and record their reading in a diary.
A special certificate presentation was held at the College’s King’s Cross Centre bringing together students who had completed the Six Book Challenge, staff from the College and local Camden Libraries as well as special guests, Councillor Tulip Siddiq, Cabinet Member for Culture and Libraries at Camden Council and Di Gowland, Vice Principal Adult and Employment Pathways at Westminster Kingsway College.
The adult students are all studying entry level English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses. The project has been running at the College in a partnership between the Learning Centre at the King’s Cross Centre and Camden Libraries in the local borough to encourage students to engage with their local libraries and find out about the resources that they can provide.
Library staff from Camden have been able to attend the weekly Six Book Challenge sessions with the students at the College to provide feedback and encouragement in their reading challenges. A writing competition for the students taking part in the challenge was also held for ESOL students to write about the books that they had read.
Stephen Wickens, Learning Centre Manager (King’s Cross) at Westminster Kingsway College said: “We have been running the Six Book Challenge with ESOL students at the King’s Cross Centre since early last term and have been very pleased with the level of participation and enthusiasm that the students have sustained throughout.
About 25 students have completed the challenge so far and collectively have read around 150 books between them. We are also delighted with the successful partnership between Camden and the Westminster Kingsway College libraries which we can continue to build. As a result of this partnership there have been around 35 new members of Camden Libraries drawn from our ESOL students.”
ESOL student Magdalena Uchar couldn’t speak, read or write in English when she first came to London and enrolled at the College. “I study to improve my English and I really enjoy the book club. I have learned lots of new words and how to pronounce them. When I learn a new topic in class, I like to take books from the Learning Centre to help me to learn. Learning a language takes time but I know that I am not alone in this and the College has really supported me.”
Abraham Gimaye wrote about the book ‘The Lost World’ as part of the writing competition and was thrilled to win the first prize as judged by staff from the Learning Centre and Camden Libraries. “I like reading and sharing ideas about the books that you read. It has helped me with my English and I am very happy to win the first prize.”
Fellow ESOL student, Pinar Erkmen said: “Reading makes me happy. I like dramatic stories and romance and the audio CDs help you to listen as well as read. It has helped with my spelling and to correct mistakes in my English. I really like studying at Westminster Kingsway College. The teachers are really helpful and this has introduced me to the libraries. I am now looking for English Language books as well as books in my own language!”
The students were presented with their Six Book Challenge certificates by Councillor Tulip Siddiq, Cabinet Member for Culture and Libraries from Camden Council who said: “We are very proud of the working partnership between Westminster Kingsway College and Camden Libraries; I hope that students will continue to read in their local libraries and cont
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