Buli, aged 18, is a sixth form student at Cathays High School, who moved to the UK seven months ago.
He attended SkillsCymru with his classmates in the school’s “New Arrivals: English for Speakers of Other Languages” group.
Buli wrote an article for his ESOL class after the event. He said:
“Our class went to the Skills Event at the Motorpoint Arena to learn about future opportunities.
When we arrived there, we started talking with people from Cardiff University and asked them about qualifications we might need.
They were so helpful and gave us interesting information. Then we tried some virtual reality headsets which we enjoyed.
Afterwards we talked to local colleges about apprenticeships and they told us about different careers.
They made me feel more relaxed about my future.
Finally we tried on a fireman suit, and they explained how they work and I felt that I could help people with this kind of job. Then we drove a virtual truck, which was fun.
It was a very good day. We enjoyed it a lot and we finished with more information for our future.”
Dewi Stamenkovic is a Year 12 Form Tutor and Sixth Form English as an Additional Language (EAL) Teacher at Cathays High School in Cardiff.
“I attended the event as part of our school’s Sixth Form department. Our Sixth Formers have been attending SkillsCymru for a number of years.
We used the resources available from your organisation across our tutorials. I particularly found them helpful for our “New Arrival” groups. I was able to use the various resources to discuss the event, explain what they could expect, teach key words and phrases, reflect on their own interests, skills and aspirations and practice how to express and communicate what they wanted at the event.
I thought it was a fantastic experience for our pupils. From the EAL perspective, it gave them an opportunity to integrate in a ‘mainstream’ setting. These pupils were put in a position where they had to express and communicate in English to various professionals, which is valuable experience for their English learning and confidence.
From my observations, all the staff were very friendly, informative and patient with our pupils. The interactive element was especially a highlight as they could participate without the literacy or language pressures.
In my opinion, our pupils were able to build their overall confidence by attending this event. Also, they are given a feeling of agency over their future through gaining information and exploring the different opportunities independently.”