Creative English Featured Member: Inspirational Training Institute

This week, we’re excited to catch up with some of the team from the Inspirational Training Institute (ITI) in Bradford, one of our new hubs delivering Creative English with funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. I had the opportunity to speak with Shama, who has been a teacher at the Institute for the last two years, and Mohammed, who is its Director. They came along to our recent Discovery Day in Bradford, after finding out about it from EASA, a partner organisation of theirs that runs Creative English with us already.

ITI provides courses in both hard skills (like English and computing skills) and soft skills (such as confidence and employability) to the local community. Mohammed says that they are particularly concerned with reaching out to vulnerable groups, who may be from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities or from under-privileged backgrounds, to upskill them and help prepare them for work.

With experience in providing other English courses, Mohammed and Shama are excited about running Creative English, as they see it as something different and refreshing. They are pleased that it focuses on talking as a group and taking part in role-play; they say have already seen quick results in their group of learners where other learning focused on grammar and vocabulary hasn’t seemed to be as effective. Shama says:

“With other courses, you think … oh gosh, I’m here to help, you but this is the criteria I’ve got to follow and I wish I could do something. And with Creative English, it’s amazing because all those wishes have come true for me.

Shama was amazed at how quickly the learners grasped the language, and attributes it to the use of repetition and amount of fun involved in the classes. Both Mohammed and Shama are convinced that the impact on their community is immediately evident, as their learners are able to take these very practical scenarios straight from the classes out into their day-to-day lives and have the confidence to put what they have learnt into practice.

Although Shama has been teaching for many years, she says that the speed at which the learners have grasped what she is teaching has greatly improved her own confidence in her ability to educate and help others. Mohammed says that the Creative English classes are an immeasurable boost – both for learners, in terms of confidence and self-belief, and also in terms of the reward for the tutors.

We look forward to continuing to work with Shama and Mohammed and the rest of their volunteers, and we expect to hear some fantastic stories about their learners – watch this space!


Limited funding to run a Creative English class is still available! Get in touch with tambi.matowanyika@faithaction.net to find out more.

Heather Ratnarajah

About Heather Ratnarajah

Heather Ratnarajah is Team Coordinator for the whole team at FaithAction. She ensures good communication and understanding amongst the various sub-teams regarding current workload and availability. She acts as administrative support for all ongoing projects, with particular focus on the Creative English programme. She also acts as support and a point of connection for the numerous Creative English hubs across the UK, ensuring they have everything they require to run classes effectively. She is part of the team acting as Secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society and enjoys the work they do organising important meetings and events at Westminster.