11-year-old Nazia started Jacari lessons when she arrived in the UK in 2021. She grew up in Bangladesh and moved to the UK with her family during the Covid-19 pandemic. She received online tuition from Jacari tutors during school closures to help her build confidence at school and continue to learn English. Since October 2022, Nazia and her Jacari tutor, Adrienne, have been meeting in person for Jacari lessons on a Tuesday afternoon at Nazia’s school.
Nazia told us that she was nervous when she first started at school in the UK and didn’t talk to people that much. She recalled that, ‘I already knew some English but I couldn’t speak it because of the accent and pronunciation. It was difficult to speak.’ Nazia loves drawing, and so a highlight for her has been using comic books and storyboards in Jacari lessons to build vocabulary. She said: ‘Jacari made me feel more free and I had someone to talk to.’
Nazia loves playing games with Adrienne, such as pictionary and charades which help her with language acquisition. During the Jacari session at school, Nazia and Adrienne sometimes join other pupils and their tutors for group activities. It is wonderful to see Nazia supporting other Jacari pupils during games such as Splat and Simon Says!
Adrienne told us that she has been focusing on reading and writing skills with Nazia. She has helped Nazia prepare vocabulary lists and practise spelling and comprehension in preparation for her SATs exams this year. A highlight for Adrienne has been realising that she is a trusted mentor for Nazia. She recalled how fun it was to join Nazia for our trip to the Story Museum and see her in a relaxed environment.
Nazia’s school teacher told us that she has made amazing progress this year. She says the key has been having the chance to read aloud which has helped build her fluency. But more importantly is the enjoyment she gets from the sessions - Nazia is often the first Jacari pupil to arrive in the hallway before Jacari lessons and excitedly greets Adrienne every time. Her school teacher told us that: ‘She’s the one who always reminds me on a Tuesday, “Don’t forget it’s Jacari this afternoon!”’
*all names of pupils in our Jacari Stories have been changed