Community project helps boost citizenship skills
Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) is working in partnership with the New Vic Theatre's Borderlines team to provide people who are learning English as a second language with a unique opportunity to improve their skills.
Students from the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses at NULC will be performing an interpretation of the Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol at the New Vic Theatre on Thursday 13 December.
Seema Kazmi, ESOL lecturer at the College, said: "Our students were given the opportunity to get involved with the theatre as part of the Citizenship element of the course and use English in a more natural and proactive manner."
She added: "Learning the script, along with rehearsing and performing has helped them to improve their English reading, speaking and listening skills as well as giving them a confidence boost."
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The students taking part in the performance are all ESOL students and range in age from 16 to 50.The students are of mixed nationalities including Colombian, Thai, Iranian, Polish, Slovak, Latvian and Portuguese.
ESOL courses at NULC are designed to prepare learners across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire to become part of British society. The College prepares students for Entry 1, Entry 2 and Entry 3 Speaking and Listening examinations with Trinity College London, as well as also teaching Citizenship to help with understanding living in the UK.
New Vic Borderlines is the award-winning New Vic Theatre initiative which uses theatre to work with people at risk of being socially marginalised due to position, status, class, or culture.
Established in 1999, it has undertaken work of international significance and is acknowledged as a national beacon for the ways theatre can be used to work within the community.
Filiz Ozcan, Theatre Practitioner and Young People's Theatre Company Director at the New Vic Theatre, said: "New Vic Borderlines is very excited to be presenting ESOL's interpretation of A Christmas Carol."
"The project, which has been funded through Staffordshire County Council's Adult and Community Learning Fund, has really allowed us to explore communication and its importance in our day to day lives."
The New Vic Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol, adapted and directed by New Vic Artistic Director, Theresa Heskins, is currently running at the theatre-in-the-round and continues until Saturday19 January, with tickets priced from £14.