Farhana Bilkis is a determined 18 year old who arrived in the UK from Bangladesh a mere two years ago. Although she knew a few basic words when she arrived, she did not have enough of a grasp on the English Language to be able to take her GCSEs. 1 year on since she enrolled with the e3 project and she has now found the confidence to enrol in some classes to prepare to take her GCSEs.
She first heard of the e3 project whilst speaking to one of our Outreach Officers, Shirina Ali and was interested once she heard the innovative approach the e3 project had adopted in using tablets as the primary teaching mechanism. We spoke to her to ask about her experience with the e3 project and what she hopes to achieve in the future. This is what she had to say:
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m 18 years old. I left Bangladesh when I was in year 9. I like the environment, people, community and the job opportunities in London. My childhood dream was to be a pilot but now I want to become a Police Officer.
What do you enjoy doing?
I love gardening and working with other people.
What do you hope to achieve through the e3 project?
Learn more vocabulary and more confidence in speaking English.
How has the project helped you so far?
The course was amazing! It covered the basics and initially I made mistakes and I had to improve. I repeated and repeated the episodes until I got it all. It has also taught me how to use technology such as the tablets, Gmail and Facebook. I have also been able to practise my English and work with others.
Tell us of your proudest achievement
Being able to visit the doctors or teachers by myself and not needing my sister to translate for me.
Which character(s) did you like best whilst watching the videos?
In the beginning, I liked Mrs Begum and Asma best because they were like me and couldn’t speak English. At the end, I liked Ayesha because she could speak English more fluidly and although I wasn’t at the same level yet, I could relate to her more.
If you could introduce a new character, who would it be?
I would introduce a teacher character who teaches the ladies how to speak English like the e3 project.
Are there any improvements you would like to see made to the e3 project? If so, what are they?
Yes, I would like more videos including greater vocabulary and videos to help with English in the professional world.
What would you like to do upon completion?
I would like to do some volunteering to get experience and then work in an entry level admin job to start with.
On a lighter note, if you could travel to any country you wished for a holiday, where would you go?
Saudi Arabia to perform my pilgrimage or Canada to visit family and see lots of snow for the first time!