Sabeen


English skills give Sabeen new independence

A young mum from Pakistan has learnt English for the first time – having lived in Birmingham for six years. Her course – partly delivered online – has helped her gain new confidence and independence.

Subeen (not her real name) is 31, and until recently had only a few words of English. She was happy to let her husband – who was brought up in the UK – and Mother-in-law do most of the talking as she adjusted to life in a new country and started a family.

But when her children started school, they began to speak more English than Urdu at home. Sabeen became frustrated she couldn’t understand what they were saying, and that’s when she found out about the English My Way programme. With online videos to watch and modules in practical skills like going shopping and going to the Doctor, Sabeen quickly picked up new English skills. Now she’s delighted with how far she’s come and how fast.

She says: “I did not speak English for a long time. This is not good, but life was very busy. Then my children speak English and I cannot understand. So I learn more. I am very pleased with this course. I feel it is very good. The teacher is very good and brilliant – she explains everything to us so we understand.

“I am proud because now I am speaking just with English. Before, I was always afraid to talk. But now I am understanding everything.

“Before my Mother-in-law, she takes me to the doctor, GP and everywhere. Now I go myself. It is quicker. I can say, ‘I want to make an appointment, please’ and everything. I can give my name, my address, my postcode. I can answer all the questions the receptionist asks. I am not afraid to try, now.”

Sabeen’s confidence has improved so much her friends and family have started to notice the difference in her. “My husband is happy now,” she says. “I say, ‘See, I go myself everywhere.’ My children are happy. My daughter sometimes give me little bits or words. She is helping me all the time – teaching me. We speak English at home now, and I can speak too – not just husband and children.

“She is very clever, my daughter. The teacher tells me she is very clever girl. Now I can go to school and attend meetings, it is much easier. Before I was stuck – now I am good I speak everything to the teacher myself. It feels very good. That is thank you to English My Way.”

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