English lessons are a piece of cake for former refugee

English lessons are a piece of cake for former refugee

Learning English through baking has turned up the temperature on a former refugee’s career.

Trafford College staff challenged Functional Skills English students to make a Victoria Sandwich cake as part of lessons on instructions linked to the English tradition of afternoon tea.

Despite never having made a dessert before, Kosovonian Enver Zejnullahi aced the task, logging in live from his kitchen during lockdown to bake what his 10-year-old son described as “the best cake I’ve ever eaten”.

The forklift truck driver said: “I love doing something different so I’ve been looking forward to this lesson for weeks. I’ve become a lot more positive during lockdown as I’ve got better at reading and writing English. I’m now more able to talk to my kids about their schoolwork, do the exams that are part of my job, and explore the other job options open to me.

“I never thought I’d be learning English by making a cake, but I’ve really enjoyed it. My tutors have been brilliant, they’re always talking me through the lesson and putting in that bit extra to help me. There’s nothing to be ashamed of seeking help with English if you need it. My tutors really deserve gold!”

Enver came to the UK in 1999 from the war in Kosovo, which cut his high school studies short. While here, his family was able to seek medical treatment for his brother, who was seriously injured with a gunshot wound.

Functional Skills English Tutor Sarah Roiditis said: “Enver had never made a cake before so it was a real confidence boost for him and I think the learners all enjoyed it. Over two lessons, we read the instructions for a Victoria Sandwich cake together, wrote our own instructions, completed a reading comprehension piece on the history of afternoon tea and finished with a practical baking session. As our lessons in the classroom are always very hands-on and interactive, I wanted some way to transfer this to our online lessons.”

English Functional Skills and maths courses are run at Trafford College’s Altrincham and Stretford campuses to prepare students for the likes of GCSE programmes, apprenticeships and university courses, with initial assessments designed to help find the right level to suit you. To arrange an assessment of your reading, writing and spelling, please contact adultme@tcg.ac.uk.