Mona - a student that took a long journey from Sudan

Mona Khalid Taha immigrated to the U.K. in 2008 from Sudan. She originally came to visit her parents but as her elderly father broke his hip in an accident, she decided to stay and look after her ageing parents.

She qualified as a civil engineer in Sudan, but was not allowed to work or study in the U.K. until 2012 because of her status in U.K. law.

Mona had only studied a little English at school but decided to teach herself until such time as she was allowed to have lessons. In 2012 she came to the Manchester Chinese Centre and enrolled on a WEA ESOL course. At that time she was the only non-Chinese student, but this did not put her off especially as the other students were very welcoming to her. A few months after Mona joined we started to get Spanish, Greek, Turkish and Polish students. The diversity really benefitted the class and resulted in many conversations about each other’s culture.

Mona, through hard work and determination, managed to pass her Entry 3 ESOL exams and then went on to study English at level 1 with another WEA tutor. Mona successfully completed Level 2 Community Interpreting and is now looking to progress to Level 3 in the New Year. Mona has been included in the plans to create a community interpreting service at St. John’s Centre in Old Trafford. This service will be there to benefit all those in the community who struggle because of English language issues.

Mona hopes to gain enough confidence to sit her PHD and eventually go back to her career of civil engineering