Ten weeks of online lessons were available to up to 75 people in three classes at beginner and intermediate levels, in association with Somerset Supports Ukraine. Teachers from the University’s Skills Centre delivered the classes, and if successful the trial may be extended.
The University decided to offer the classes after hearing of a need for English lessons from Somerset Supports Ukraine trustees. After surveying some of the Ukrainians that the group works with, the University designed a short curriculum to help best meet their needs. David Busby, Head of Digital and Academic Skills, said: “We want to focus on giving the attendees a sense of community and some additional confidence with communication. Hopefully, this will help them to express themselves and build relationships with other people in the community and in the workplace”
Clare Ronay, a Trustee at Somerset Supports Ukraine, said: “Somerset Supports Ukraine is delighted to be working with the University of Bath to offer English lessons. Speaking the language helps people find work and accommodation and become part of the community, but research showed that over three-quarters of Ukrainian refugees arriving in Somerset speak little or no English.
Rohan Surana, Director of Operations at the University’s School of Management, initially brought the idea to the University. He added: “I’m really pleased that the University has been able to put on these lessons. Everyone has been helpful and enthusiastic about making it happen.