The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) has won a Silver Award in the Reading Ahead challenge for the third year running, with over 100 students successfully completing the challenge. College Principal Andy Forbes presented students, who took part in the scheme with their certificates and prizes at a special awards ceremony in the Centenary Learning Resource Centre this week (21 June, 2017).
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Literacy students, as well as those wanting to improve their reading skills took part in the scheme.
The Reading Ahead challenge is administered by the Learning Resources team here at the College and is part of a national scheme run by The Reading Agency. Students are asked to read six books and they are provided with diaries to record, review and rate each title they read.
Each of the students who met the challenge was presented with a certificate of achievement with six also receiving £15 gift vouchers in a local prize draw arranged by the Learning Resources team. The students are also entered into a National prize draw to win e-readers or a trip.
Some of the books read by the students included Shakespeare plays, ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘Crime and Punishment’, ‘Into the Wild’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.
ESOL Level 1 student Alexis Velez, 22, arrived in the UK from Colombia in October last year.
“I‘ve always liked reading but had never read anything in English until I did this challenge,” he said.
“It was difficult at first, and I spent a lot of time highlighting words that I did not understand and translating them into Spanish so I could learn what they were in English.”
Nazma Akhter, 42, moved to London from Bangladesh in 2014 and is also studying an ESOL Level 1 course.
She said: “When I first came to this country I couldn’t understand anything. Doing this challenge really helped me and my English is much better now.
“I have learnt so much and it’s given me a lot more confidence, and I’m still reading!”
Event organiser, Nicky Evans, said: “Being able to read and understand English is extremely important, which is why we put on the Reading Ahead Challenge each year and I am so pleased we achieved Silver once again.
“Many of the students who take part do not speak English as their first language and they have done exceptionally well. I would like to congratulate all of them on their achievement.”
Reading Ahead is a national initiative run by the Reading Agency, which aims to encourage adults and young people to read a variety of literature and takes place from September to June each year. The Silver Award is presented to educational organisations where more than 100 students complete the challenge of reading six books and writing a short essay on each one.
Click here for more information on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).
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