Caption: The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor David Congreve performs a digital ribbon cutting with guests at the launch of the new Learning English in Leeds website.
A new online service to help people learn English as they settle in to life in Leeds has been officially launched.
The Learning English in Leeds (LEL) website is designed to give providers and learners information about finding the right classes to help with key language skills.
The site also aims to help them integrate into their communities and gives those in established communities who want to improve their English more opportunities to learn.
The launch event, hosted by Leeds City Council at the Civic Hall, was attended by learners from the council, The University of Leeds, Leeds City College and Leeds Language College.
Those attending the launch saw a demonstration of the new site, took part in a quiz, and got the chance to talk to other learners about their experiences of learning English as a second language.
The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor David Congreve performed a digital ribbon cutting to officially launch the new site.
Councillor Ghulam Hussain, Leeds City Council’s lead member for communities, who also attended, said:
“This new site will be a massive boost for people who have come to live and work in Leeds and who want to access appropriate English classes.
“By giving people a modern, easy-to-use way of finding out how to pick up key language skills, we can empower them to find the support they need, help them to better integrate into their communities and boost their chances of gaining new employment and learning.”
The new site has been co-ordinated by the LEL Steering Group, which includes the council and local learning providers.
The website has been developed by a partnership which includes Leeds City Council, the University of Leeds, Refugee Education Training Advisory Services (RETAS), Leeds Asylum Support Seekers Network (LASSN), Leeds City College, Leeds Language College Ltd, and Learning Partnerships.
As well as helping people to improve their language skills, it will also help reduce the reliance on interpreting services and give a single point of contact for those wanting to take part.
Dr James Simpson from the University of Leeds, who chairs the partnership steering group, said:
“Coordination of English language provision for new arrivals across Leeds is crucial.
"Without it, there is no overall picture of what is available or how to find an appropriate English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class.
"The LEL site provides that single point of contact, for learners, those who advise them, and ESOL providers.”
To find out more about the site, visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/LearningEnglishInleeds/pages/default.aspx
For media enquiries, please contact:
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937