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"I couldn’t speak a word of English"

Imani is from the Republic Democratic of Congo and the spoken languages in his country are French and Swahili. When he came to Ireland he could not speak a word of English. Imani attended ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes in Cavan Adult Learning Centre.

I am from the Republic Democratic of Congo and the spoken languages in my country are French and Swahili. When I came to Ireland two years ago, I couldn’t speak a word of English. This made life very difficult for me because I couldn’t complete essential tasks such as going to the doctor or making an appointment on my own. I had no friends in Ireland and I couldn’t attend college because my English wasn’t good enough.

“I started learning English as a beginner”

I decided to do English classes in the Cavan Adult Learning Centre (CALC). Learning a new language was not easy and I put a lot of effort into it. I had a great tutor who gave me a lot of support and I will not forget him. I started learning English as a beginner (QQI Level 2), then I progressed to a QQI Level 3 course. To further improve my English, I decided to take some other modules such as IT, cookery classes, communications and maths. I am currently doing a QQI Level 4 Major award and I hope to complete this shortly.

“Learning English has given me confidence”

I have benefited a lot from learning English. I no longer need an interpreter to express my feelings and I can now give my own opinion or converse in English with a group of people. Learning English has given me the confidence to talk in front of people without feeling sorry for myself. I can also make my own appointments. I have made new friends and I really enjoy our conversations.

“Now I can go to college and progress my career”

Learning English has meant a lot to me because now I can go to college to progress my career. I have applied for a QQI Level 5 course IT in Cavan Institute and I hope to start the course in September.


If you have an inspiring learner story that you would like to share you can contact Leah Dowdall, Learner Advocacy Officer by email: ldowdall@aontas.com, call 01 406 8220 or you can fill out our short learner story survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LearnerStory.