IF Inverness

May 2007
IF Inverness Cawdor TripOver the past couple of years Inverness has received a steady flow of foreign nationals from the new EU member nations. Many of these have limited English. I knew that there were suitably qualified people within local Inverness churches who could teach English to non English speaking people, and saw an opportunity for churches to join together in this task. So one year ago International Friends Inverness was born.
IF Inverness is a group made up of Christians from different churches that run a weekly English Class for beginners and regular social events for foreign nationals in Inverness.

The vision was launched in August 2006 with a ceilidh (sponsored by a combination of local churches and companies) and off the back of this we advertised the English Class which meets above Mojos on Baron Taylor’s Street each Wednesday at 7pm.
Both our tutors are TEFL qualified and they have a team of volunteers who work with them to help students with group work activities. We have deliberately sought to keep the numbers in the class below 15 in order to facilitate the best possible learning experience for the students.
The students are mainly Polish, but we also have other nationalities including Vietnamese, Bangladeshi, and Columbian.

We began to realise that many of our students worked very hard, didn’t have their own transport and so rarely got out of Inverness. So we decided to start running day trips. These have been a big success.
On Saturday 12th May we took a group of 40 Internationals and some local people to Cawdor Castle. It was wonderful to see members from local churches meeting together and mixing with internationals.
We had a great day, although the weather let us down a little when we came to attempt a picnic as the rain began to fall! One of our hosts apologised to one our Polish international guests for the weather and he shrugged his shoulders and said, "This is okay", and looking up to the sky said, "It is Scottish normal!"

WATCH THIS SPACE! – We are in the process of planning a cross cultural training day to help resource local churches in and around Inverness. This course is planned for Saturday 29th September.
Dr Jamie Grant (HTC), who worked for 7 years in Poland with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, and Sandra MacDonald of OMF will be leading the sessions.

More information will be sent out in due course.


Ed footnote: Listen to an interview with Catriona MacPherson who - along with others - is teaching English to immigrant workers.

Ian Ross, 18/05/2007

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