An invitation to speak

The WEA has worked in partnership with the Scottish Refugee Council for many years, supporting their mission to integrate refugees into Scottish life. Parisa is an Iranian refugee in Glasgow who attends WEA’s ‘Survival English’ courses, which are designed to give refugees the language skills to communicate in their adopted homeland. The standard of her English after such a short time reflects her hard work and the skills of her tutors.  

I arrived in Glasgow three years ago, with only a few words of English. Iran is very hot and dry, while Scotland is often cold and wet. But I have quickly grown to love the rain. People here are very welcoming and I have made some good friends. 

To start with, however, I found it hard to access an ESOL course. I expected to find a college course, but after a year, I had nothing. Then, I received an invitation from a charity called the WEA. I was so happy to join their class. My tutor Emma was incredibly patient. English is completely different from Farsi, my mother tongue. I learned so much about grammar and vocabulary. I think my knowledge of English has improved a lot, because of Emma. 

Then lockdown happened, and my studies stopped. But within three weeks, I received another invitation from the WEA asking if I wanted to join an online course that was designed to help ESOL students find work. Of course I did! My dream now is to advance my English enough that I can go to university, where I can study healthcare or nursing.  

I was worried about coming to Glasgow with my family, but now I have no regrets. My daughter has settled into Scottish life – and her English is much better than my own!

I am very grateful to the WEA for giving me the opportunity to learn.


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