Two Highly Commended in Festival of Learning Awards


Tulay Cenik Akfirat, a former WEA student and Michelle Lindsay-Baharie, a WEA tutor won Highly Commended Awards at the Festival of Learning 2018 awards.

Tulay was awarded English Language Learning Highly Commended Individual and Michelle Highly Commended Tutor for their exceptional achievements in adult learning. 

Tulay moved to England from Turkey with her husband and young family. She looked for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes but was frequently turned away due to her immigration status.  Tulay then came across The WEA, where she was able to take part in Big Lottery-funded New Links classes and learnt English through a variety of short courses.



Tulay soon became confident enough to carry out all her work and family responsibilities without help.  Now, she teaches Turkish Language and Literature lessons online and works as a language advisor to OFQUAL and an examiner at the International Baccalaureate. 

Michelle took evening classes while working as an actress to become a qualified teacher. Newly qualified, she was approached by Sunderland Council to write and direct for a group of adults in the community. This experience changed her life.

Michelle currently teaches drama to 60 adults through The WEA. Her primary motivation is to build the confidence of her students and empower them to make creative and technical decisions, encouraging them to develop and challenge themselves.

Congratulations to both Tulay and Michelle on their exceptional achievements.  Their recognition is thoroughly deserved.

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