Luke Link - Adult Case Study

ESOL – Luke

6 March 2024

Luke Link, Education and Childcare Services learner, has made leaps and bounds in his career since starting his educational journey with us at Rotherham College. Luke first started with us in 2021 and in the last couple of years has improved his English and maths, and his digital skills, and is now part of the RNN Group Learner Support team after volunteering within the ESOL department.

We caught up with Luke to find out more about his experience.

What has your experience been like at Rotherham College?

My experience at the College has been a good one. Even though I was nervous at first and found it a bit tough going, who doesn’t to begin with? However, the more I studied, the more I relaxed and things came to me quite easy.

On the whole, as I look back on my journey with ESOL, I’m so glad I spent it with them over the past 2 years and the journey we have been on. Whether it was in ESOL or with the Childcare department, I always found the tutors were always friendly and approachable at all times. In the case of the ESOL Department it has felt more like a family of friends as we have all helped each other. Plus I have enjoyed meeting a wide range of people since coming back to College, people I never thought I would get on with, I was surprised I got on with so well, some who I now consider good friends.

What made you want to pursue a career in the industry?

I chose to go into the Learner Support/Teaching career as I have always been caring, supportive and helpful. Whether it’s helping non-speaking English students understand English in a way that’s clearer for them, helping them get around maths and all that comes with that subject, or helping them get their heads around using a computer and building up their confidence on a computer then I’m happy and that’s where I strive the best.

At first I wasn’t sure I was doing the right role for me, however the more I grew into it, the more I found I enjoyed it and that I was making a difference and helping people. As long as I’ve helped at least one person understand things better then I feel proud. Seeing students reach their full potential and get to their dream goals, I knew it was a job for me.

“Remember the biggest barrier stopping you achieving what you want is you.  So be brave and be who you are and don’t worry about making mistakes considering we all make them, don’t we?”

Luke Link, Adult Learner

How has the RNN Group supported you during your time?

I always found the staff helpful and always with words of encouragement for myself, and I received lots of support when it came to maths and English.

When I started my role as Learner Support on a voluntary basis, that’s when I found that doors opened for me and I was suddenly getting support from all over. The ESOL tutors we have at Rotherham College gave me the courage to believe in myself as I grew into the role by giving me advice on how to go forward.

The childcare team, Gaynor and Nikki, were always helpful and pointed things out when I did my Level 2 Support Worker/Teaching Assistant course. Plus having classmates from this course helped me understand areas of the Teaching Assistant role I wasn’t sure of.

But my biggest support through my whole time in doing this has got to be Sam and Mandy who from day one always believed in me, and now two years on we have a great friendship and I know I can go to all mentioned when I want opinions on my next steps.

A huge thank you to Mel Smith, Katie Curtis and Sam Walker for all the helpful chats and advice you have provided along the way. 

What have you enjoyed most about your course?

What I have enjoyed most about my course so far is the amazing people I have met along the way. Ranging from under 19s to adults, it has opened my eyes to lots of different cultures and backgrounds, which in the classroom feels like being in a wonderful, amazing multicultural world.

Plus I have enjoyed the events that the College provides to give students a little taster of what it’s like for people that are different from me.

What advice would you give to someone considering this career?

My biggest piece of advice I would give someone considering becoming a Support Worker/Teaching Assistant/Learner support is to have huge belief in yourself. Even if you’re unsure at first, give it time and it will bring you much happiness. I’d also say learn to be open minded because if you go into it this way then you will find the doors open for you.

And remember the biggest barrier stopping you achieving what you want is you. So be brave and be who you are and don’t worry about making mistakes considering we all make them, don’t we?

Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

Hopefully in five years I see myself in a teaching role. Helping people get to grips with English or maths. My ideal job would be teaching the students that really struggle with simple things such as reading, or even forming a good sentence.

Find out more about our ESOL and Childcare courses.