English Classes

To have a look at an up-to-date timetable of classes and find out where they are and who to contact, please visit www.devongrapevine.ning.com

On Grapevine, you can look at information about our classes as a visitor but if you decide to sign-up as a member you will also be able to join our English Learners' group or our English Teachers' group.

We believe that English Language classes provide participants with much more than an opportunity to learn English.


Certainly, good language skills are very important in:


• helping people to access local services;
• enabling better participation and integration;
• improving job and career prospects;
• opening up access to further educational opportunities.


However, we recognise that English language classes – particularly community-based classes – are equally important for other reasons. English classes can be:


• A first step out of isolation and into the local community.
• A good place to meet people and to make new friends.
• A comfortable and safe place to ask questions and share concerns and worries.
• A place to learn not just language but about living in the UK: about the UK education and health systems, about how local government works and the UK legal system; about the local environment and local culture and about good places to visit and good things to do.


ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) sits alongside Numeracy and Literacy within the governments Skills for Life strategy and subsidised (often free for those on benefits) classes are available through local providers such as Exeter College and Adult and Community Learning. Olive Tree is not in competition with any of these classes but we try to offer a complementary service that fills in some of the gaps. We recognise that:


• Even when the fees are subsidised, some people can’t afford them. So, our classes are always free.
• Sometimes there is no college or ACL class nearby or the available classes are at the wrong times
• Some colleges can’t offer crèche facilities. Parents with young children are welcome to bring them along to our classes where volunteers and participants take turns looking after the children.


Our classes are taught and supported by volunteers but this doesn’t mean that all of our teachers lack expertise or experience. Some people without a teaching background volunteer with us to gain experience and they usually start out helping as classroom assistants; but many of our teachers – whether retired or between jobs - are very highly qualified and experienced. We also have, on our committee and among our paid staff, three people with more than 40 years English language teaching between them as well as a full range of qualifications including CELTA’s, DELTA’s, BA’s in English, Specialist Level 5 ESOL qualifications, PGCE’s and two Masters in Language Teaching.


Our classes are deliberately as informal as possible and everyone is welcome (there is no eligibility test to get through) and the volunteer teachers who take the classes are encouraged to develop their own curriculums based on the level and the interest of the students and their own preferences. Olive Tree provides materials and support as needed.

 

DARTMOOR PHOTOS
Setting Off to Dartmoor
Setting off to Dartmoor
 
Lunch
Lunch
 
Uphill
Uphill
 
Group photo
Group photo

 

 

 

MIGRANT WORKERS TRIP TO BATH
Waiting to get in
Waiting to get in
 
Inside the Roman Baths
Inside the Roman Baths
 
Ladislav reads up on Roman History
Ladislav reads up on Roman History
 
The Baths
The Baths