Despite speaking several languages, and being in full-time employment, CB was not confident speaking English and was unable to read or write. After seeing a poster advertising Read Easy Cambridge at a local community centre, his wife got in touch and arranged for CB to join the Read Easy programme.
He has been working through ReadEasy resources with his Volunteer Reading Coach Ruth for almost three years now. They began with Turning Pages book 1, learning phonics and meeting twice a week at their local community centre.
CB says “I didn’t know the sounds in English or how to put them together. Then I learned, with practice, the sight words. I remember learning ‘the’, ‘who’ and ‘you’. Some things are difficult for me. My coach brings different things all the time to try to plant them in my brain. She brings letters to move around and words on cards to match and creates homework specially for me. When the words have slipped out of my brain, sometimes she shuts the book and shakes it. When she opens it again it’s brand new and the words come back to me.”
Lessons have continued in lockdown, but by phone. “It takes a bit more ingenuity,” says Ruth, “but having built the foundations and being flexible with the curriculum we are now half-way through Turning Pages book 3. We also have access to several reading schemes specifically designed for adults which are all excellent resources.”
CB is delighted with the improvement in his skills. “There are big changes for me. Now I can read the reading books by myself and read to my family. I work on a big site, and I can read the signs at work – signs for safety, directions and instructions. I also have an extra job as a delivery driver, and since learning to read I can now operate the app, allowing me to read the place names and select the responses.
At home, I can look for things to buy on Gumtree and read the details, I can also read the emails about my children that the school sends.”
“I want to say about my coach – she is patient when I forget what I learned the previous week, and has good skills, which have helped me learn a lot.”
Ruth says “I want to celebrate CB’s determination, commitment and good humour, which are key to his progress. We have a lot of fun while we are learning. We both thank Stevie, our local ReadEasy Coordinator, for matching us so well. Teaching CB to read is one of the most rewarding things I do.”
"I work on a big site, and I can read the signs at work – signs for safety, directions and instructions. I also have an extra job as a delivery driver, and since learning to read I can now operate the app, allowing me to read the place names and select the responses."CB - Reader, Read Easy Cambridge