Published on 14 May 2024
Written by Safina Arif, 9th May 2024

Out and About: Celebrating Diversity- Sharing the Joy of Exploration and Belonging

Amidst the lively ambiance of the Festival of Community Languages at Welcome House, organised by the University of Hull, Mary and I were invited to share our Exploring & Belonging course with an eager audience. This course has been running in Hull for the last 10 weeks, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The festival was a melting pot of cultures and languages, uniting TESOL students and learners in a shared journey of language acquisition and cultural exploration.

Our session unveiled our new reading resources, created in collaboration with learners who suggested places in Hull which gave them a sense of belonging, sparking excitement and anticipation among participants. (Watch this space – resources coming soon!)

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As learners delved into the pages of the booklet titled ‘Welcome House – a place that makes us feel at home,’ the room buzzed with the energy of discovery and connection.

TESOL students from the University of Hull took on the role of facilitators, crafting engaging learning activities that brought the content to life. The culmination of our collaborative efforts was a session led by one of the students, showcasing their creativity and dedication to fostering language proficiency and cultural understanding. It was a moment of pride for all involved as we witnessed the fruits of our labour manifest in the shared learning experiences of our diverse group.

Against the backdrop of the festival’s celebratory atmosphere, marked by laughter, music, and camaraderie, learners were honoured with certificates, symbolising their commitment to language learning and their journey towards linguistic fluency.

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It was a fitting conclusion to a day filled with exploration, collaboration, and the celebration of unity in diversity. As we reflect on our time at the Festival of Community Language, I am reminded once again of the power of education to transcend boundaries and build bridges between individuals and communities. Through our Ex Be course and the collective efforts of all involved, we have not only enriched the language skills of our participants but have also fostered a sense of belonging and mutual respect that will endure long after the festival's conclusion.

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