Just over twenty five years ago Jennie Johnson, 53, from Colchester was an English teacher with a love of Italy; each summer she’d take a group of students over to Florence and together they’d spend their days studying Italian. Jennie became really good at the language but as the years went by her recall of the language slipped, keen to get back up to speed, she signed up to ACL Essex in Colchester for an Italian speaking course.
She says: ”I’m really enjoying the classes, they’re very structured and are great at helping me pick-up what I knew, as well as learning new words too. My aim is to get up to the next level in Italian and be able to travel to Italy and converse fluently. Italy is my favourite country, I love the language, culture and food!”
Jennie is also enjoying the social and wellbeing benefits of studying on the course. She explains: “Pre Covid-19 I ran a health and beauty business in the town centre, but due to the pandemic and rental rates I decided to close. This decision meant I had more free time and I was determined to do something with it. I had signed-up to sewing and cookery courses with ACL Essex in the past, but these courses were always in the evening. I’m now studying during the day, and it’s helped me have a focus, given me a reason to get out of the house and meet other people.”
She continued: “I really enjoy the lessons it’s not like being at school the classrooms are relaxed, everyone has chosen to be here. ACL tutors offer good support and if you have a learning disability, they are always on hand to give extra help. The courses are also very reasonably priced and allow people to follow an interest outside work. I’d definitely recommend ACL Essex and my advice to others would simply be just do it – learn something new!”