A former language school owner who escaped from the war in Ukraine is helping students to learn English at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC). Tutor Anna Herasymenko discovered that the college was about to launch a programme teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) when she attended a session offering fresh opportunities to Ukrainian people. Anna’s skills and experience led her to joining the college’s workforce where she is now heading up the new programme which is available at all the college’s main campuses and in the workplace.


Karen Bailey, Learning and Skills Manager for Maths and English at NWSLC said, “It was amazing to meet Anna, who ran her own language school for over 17 years in Ukraine. Her credentials and qualifications made her a perfect match for our new programme, set to help those whose first language is not English.


“We find that language skills often hold people back even if they are skilled in their specialist areas, and our training can open doors for individuals in the workplace. Being able to communicate fully in English helps people to play an active role in their community.


“We’re really looking forward to rolling out this provision to as many people as possible, and to businesses too. For individuals, the course consists of two 90-minute sessions per week for up to 15 weeks. For businesses, we can tailor the teaching to meet the requirements of a group.


Anna moved to the UK from Rivne in Ukraine at the start of the war and had made the decision to stay and build a new life for herself. She said, “My previous career means that I am in an ideal position to help the college deliver this new programme. For many years I have been working to help individuals from companies of all sizes around the world to scale the employment ladder and gain promotion opportunities by improving their English. I welcome this opportunity to start working with students at NWSLC, setting them on the path to better life chances as well as exciting career roles.”  


The ESOL programme at the college enables individuals to access free training in reading, writing, and speaking English, and leads to a single accredited qualification. In the workplace, English tuition can be combined with maths skills as part of the government backed ‘Multiply’ programme.


Karen added, “We often hear from businesses that their employees struggle with maths at work because they don’t understand the terminology. Our mission is to improve their knowledge so that they can successfully engage with work tasks where numeracy is key, from weights and measures to timekeeping and health and safety. The skills they gain will also help them in everyday life, to assist their children with homework and do their household budgeting.”


Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “We’re delighted to be launching our college wide ESOL programme and are very pleased to welcome Anna to our college community. We have already enjoyed significant success with the Multiply programme working with business across Warwickshire and Leicestershire and look forward to enrolling many more students.” 


Individuals* who are interested in applying for the ESOL programme are invited to complete an online enquiry form. Business should get in touch via [email protected].


*To be eligible for free training adults must be aged over 19 and meet UK residency requirements. Please contact us for more details via [email protected]