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Free English lessons for Freeset staff!

May 28, 2014

21 staff having thrice-weekly lessons with arrival of English teachers at Freeset

English lessons are now being offered three times a week to over 20 of the Freeset staff, from both production and management positions. Teachers Mike and Vanese Dougherty have joined us for a six-month period. They are helping some beginners to take their first steps into the language, and others to gain the confidence they need to better use what they already know, and to augment their vocabulary.

Staff have been unanimous in their enjoyment of the lessons, which are given on a one-to-one basis. “The English teachers are very good”, one commented; “I am enjoying the lessons very much, their technique is very good”. The twelve men and seven women are beginning from a range of different stages, some having almost no English to begin with, whilst others are at a much more advanced stage. Their goals are therefore understandably different, but none are suffering from a lack of enthusiasm.

“We are really pleased with their progress. They are very faithful in coming to class. They have great enthusiasm, great attendance, and a very positive attitude towards learning”, the Doughertys say. “They have a real desire to see Freeset succeed, and they see improving their English as a way to enable them to do their jobs better”. The couple are in transition, having spent the last seven years in Mongolia (again teaching English), and are returning to their native USA in the summer to settle their daughter in school. They had six months free between leaving Mongolia and needing to be back in the US, and had not heard of Freeset only a month and a half before they came, making it a bit of a whirlwind adjustment from cold and rural Mongolia to the heat and busyness of Kolkata.

“We feel very privileged”, Vanese says. “I get to work with a handful of women three days a week, and I get to know them and they get to know me. In another role at Freeset, without Bengali, there’s a limit to how much you can do, and how much interaction you can have with the women. We get an in-depth connection from the beginning, and we get to learn and to teach culture.”