Friday, 6 April 2018


‘I Can’t Write!’

Working with refugees and other learners with low levels of English is challenging for ESOL practitioners.  Many of these learners may have had little or no education in their first language.  Changing mind sets from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’ is something we are doing.  In partnership with Ayrshire College, we offer SQA accreditation at ‘ESOL:  Preparation for Literacies’ level. 

ESOL lecturer Orsyla Dunn from Ayrshire College and Susan Wilson, Adult Learning, presented a workshop at the recent Community Learning and Development Standards Council Conference in Dundee, to showcase this best practice model. 

The 4 Learning Outcomes for the Preparation for Literacy assessment are:
  • ·        Understand basic classroom language in English
  • ·        Identify and form basic numbers in English
  • ·        Identify and form letters of the English alphabet
  • ·        Identify and name the sounds and letters of the English alphabet. 

The audience was invited to evaluate the assessment and consider its effectiveness in measuring success.  

Receiving accreditation for their learning is highly motivating for ESOL literacy learners.  It is a move away from deficit centered thinking and can provide hope and opportunities for progression.  

The workshop will be presented nationally, at the NATECLA (National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults) Conference in Birmingham in July.

Susan Wilson

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

ESOL Chat Cafe

Our first ESOL Chat Cafe has opened!

On the 24th of March at Riverside Church Hall we served tea, coffee and cake to ESOL learners and local members of the community.

The Chat Cafe is open on Saturdays from 10am to 12pm.  Come along and enjoy meeting new friends.

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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Computing Learning Opportunities

At Adult Learning we provide a variety of Basic IT learning opportunities in various locations across South Ayrshire.

Our Ayr classes include:

Monday 9.30 - 10.30 Basic IT at Lochside Learning Centre
Tuesday 2 - 3.30 IT for Job Search (with literacies) at Lochside Learning Centre

For Lochside classes:
Give your name to Sammy or Gail or call 0800 3898 320

Monday 1.30 - 2.30 Basic IT at John Pollock Centre (Adult Learning Room)
Wednesday 10 - 11 Basic IT at John Pollock Centre (Adult Learning Room)
Friday 9.30 - 11 and 11.30 - 1pm Basic IT for speakers of other languages at JPC (ALR)

For John Pollock Centre classes:
Give your name to the Adult Learning Room reception or call 0800 3898 320

In Girvan we have:

Wednesday 11.45 - 12.45 Basic IT at Carrick Opportunities Centre, Girvan
Thursday 11.30 - 12.30 Basic IT at Carrick Opportunities Centre, Girvan

For Girvan classes:
Give your name to Carrick Opportunities reception or call 01465 716600

And in Maybole:

Tuesday 12 - 1 and 1 - 2 Basic IT at the CLD Room, Maybole Library

For Maybole classes:
Give your name to CLD reception in Maybole Library or call 01655 882105

Friday, 18 August 2017

Nailed it @ Newton

In January 2017, the Nail Bar project started in Newton Primary.  The aim of the project was to provide ten young mums, with children attending either Newton Nursery or Primary School, with an opportunity to develop new skills and gain a recognised qualification.  The course was delivered by a lecturer from Ayrshire College and  literacy support was provided by Lesley Shepherd from the Adult Leaning Team. Ten learners now have a SCQF Credit Level 4  Creative Nail Finishes to Hand & Foot.  Considering that some of these mums have experienced various barriers to education throughout their lives, and therefore have no previous qualifications, nor any experience of this subject area, this is a fantastic achievement. Not only that but six of the mums have applied to progress on to the next level of this course, or will be starting a  different college course in August.  It was undoubtedly this opportunity and the positive learning experience of participating in this project which fuelled their desire to continue their learning.
At the beginning I banned the phrase “ I can’t do this” and encouraged them to think “ how am I going to do this”.  They were a great group of learners to work with throughout and ‘gelled’ as a group very quickly. When asked for their comments on how this experience had been for them, they stated that:
“I discovered that if I put my mind to something, I can achieve it”
“ (I) gained more confidence working with others”
“...the other students.  We kept each other going and we’ve been a great group”
And when asked what they were going to do now, they replied:
“I want to learn more. Take this further”
“ I want to go to college”

“ I want to keep building on my skills”
Lesley Shepherd

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Another successful learner!

English as my third Language.

I am a 37year old Latvian lady who wanted help with writing and reading English.

I walked into the John Pollock Centre and requested an appointment. I was introduced to Ann who was able to arrange for me tutor.
A plan of my learning was discussed and a day for me to see my tutor. I have been working now for 5 months and I feel that my spoken and written English has greatly improved.


“I am now very much more confident and I am able to converse with people from many different walks of life.
This has also helped my family.”

Friday, 7 July 2017

Another Adult Learning success!

The team at Adult Learning don't just support single learners, we can provide group support too.
The recent Let’s Get Started course at Lochside Learning Centre was delivered in collaboration between Scott from CLD and Gail from Adult Learning. It was predicted that students attending this group may be in need of literacy support, however the approach in the group was initially one of co-delivery, with our different roles emerging later as the participants got to know us.

One learner requested scribing help early on, though this was mainly due to lack of confidence, so the learner was helped and encouraged to write on her own at various times within the course.

Although other learners didn’t require literacy support in order to complete this course, five of the seven participants did request separate literacy support in a range of subjects including reading, writing, numeracy and IT.

The collaborative approach trialled with this group allowed the literacy team to become known to another group of potential learners, building a rapport with them and developing the links between Adult Learning and CLD at Lochside.
If you would like to know more about future plans for Adult Learning groups or Community Learning at Lochside, call us on 0800 3898 320.

Friday, 30 June 2017

One Adult Learner's success story

The following was written by one of our learners in Maybole

"I live in Maybole and am in my mid-fifties. I have health problems which prevent me from working.

I initially made contact with CLD for Basic IT classes run by Adult Learning. I was anxious about my ability to learn and about being with other people in a group. However with encouragement and reassurance from staff I went along. Over time I became more comfortable, and was invited to a new Let’s Get Started group – a programme for confidence building, identifying skills and looking ahead. Again, I needed some persuasion but I agreed to go. I was quiet initially, and very anxious, however the staff and other participants helped me to settle and I completed the course.

I feel a big change. I am eating more healthily, getting out more and have my sense of humour back..  I felt confident enough to approach Adult Learning to ask for help with my reading and writing. I had never had the courage to admit to this before. I have now started literacy support with a  tutor and am making good progress. I have also started the Stress Busting course and enjoy  the routine, the company and learning.

I feel so much better about myself and have made new friends. I look forward to coming to the groups, it gives me routine and I have a laugh."