Reading Ahead is the new name for the Six Book Challenge.
When Yasmin Sharif first came to the UK from Somalia three and a half years ago, she s
spoke no English. Now 19, here she tells us how completing the 2014 Six Book Challenge at Bolton College as part of her ESOL course has been an important milestone in her learning journey.
Going to school was scary
When I came to this country I didn't even know how to say my own name in English. It was quite scary, going to school. I did get some qualifications but I didn't get maths or English.
Then I enrolled full-time at Bolton College to do ESOL classes. It has been great, I've had really nice teachers who have helped me a lot.
It was my tutor who first told me about the Six Book Challenge. At first I thought I would never get time to read six whole books as well as doing all my studying, but I found that I really enjoyed it. I would read after college at home in the evenings, and when I had free time in the mornings before classes.
Finding out about English culture
Reading has really helped me to learn new words and to understand how the English language works - I've improved a lot. But I also enjoyed reading books that helped me find out more about English culture and the different people who live here.
When I finished the Six Book Challenge it was really great to get my certificate. I would like to say 'thank you' to everyone who has made it possible for me to do the Six Book Challenge. I think reading has also made me more confident, and it has helped me to work towards getting the qualifications I need. I would eventually like to go to university and study nursing, and I've been able to apply for an access course in health and social work.
Find out more about Reading Ahead
Order materials to run Reading Ahead at your organisation.