On Saturday September 7th, English Language Partners Christchurch celebrated Adult Learning Week with a hugely successful festival, put on in collaboration with Phillipstown Hub. This was a great opportunity for the learners to showcase a range of their fabulous skills and talents as part of the nationwide celebration.
English Language Partners Christchurch runs a range of ESOL classes at Phillipstown Hub, so teachers Wendy from the Intensive class and Gabrielle from the Writing class, worked closely together to help prepare the learners to write and talk about their particular talent. In advance of the festival, Gabrielle arranged for the upper intermediate level learners to interview the elementary learners from the Intensive class. These learners were then tasked with writing up a blurb about each attendee, which provided them with excellent speaking, listening and writing practice.
Such was the excitement on the morning of the festival, that by 10.15am the cooking room was abuzz with activity as learners set up their stations. Labeebah, from Iraq, decided to start the morning by making some pistachio biscuits. As attendees arrived over the next hour, they were greeted with a plate of freshly baked delicious biscuits straight from the oven. As more people arrived, the learners were very excited to answer a range of questions about what they were making. Excellent listening and speaking practice for them!
In addition to Labeebah’s Fatayer Bil Jiben bread from Iraq, Alma, who had studied in our English for Employees class last year, started making a Hungarian delicacy – Lángos. Not for the faint-hearted, this bread is deep-fried, then slathered with garlic, sour cream and topped with cheese! The queues for this delicious bread grew very quickly as everyone was keen to have a taste! Usha then delighted the festival goers with her Fijian roti bread. Straight off the hot-plate, they disappeared quickly into the mouths of those waiting. Traditionally roti is eaten with curry in Fiji, so Usha had generously made a delicious egg and vegetable curry to accompany the bread so the second batch of roti disappeared as quickly as the first.
In another room, Irina from Russia, gave a fascinating demonstration about weaving with recycled newspaper. Self-taught from the internet, Irina talked through process of preparing the paper and then about the different weaving styles she used. She’d displayed a range of baskets and decorations in the workshop, so attendees were very hopeful that she will start her own business soon so that her amazing creations can be purchased.
Manal from Egypt then gave a workshop on Egyptian quilting. She had prepared packs of fabric and materials needed for each attendant to have make their own small square quilt. There was a lot of interest in this craft, especially using the quilts in a baby’s cot. After Manal finished, Oxana then ran her workshop teaching some Rosen massage techniques. Originally from Russia, Oxana has trained as a Rosen practitioner and helped the attendees to work in pairs learning some of the tools of gentle touch, breath and relaxation.
Sireli serenaded us with some Fijian tunes on his guitar. Sireli used to play to tourists in a hotel band in Fiji so was only too happy to strum away on the balcony providing some entertainment over the lunch break. Viviana and Maryanne from Phillipstown Hub had kindly made up a delicious large pot of hot soup for lunch, which was thoroughly enjoyed with the range of breads on offer. The final performance from English Language Partners was from Harka, who played some soulful Bhutanese flute music. He demonstrated his skills on 3 different flutes, however unfortunately couldn’t give a performance on his nose flute as he had a cold on the day. He will definitely be invited to another ELP function though.
It was wonderful to have the support of a wide range of family, volunteers and staff in attendance at the Festival. Massive thanks to Phillipstown Hub for the promotion and organization of thoroughly enjoyable day!
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