AYRSHIRE College has been celebrating the achievements of its foreign students, who have been learning to speak English.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses have been delivered through community and college classes in North, East and South Ayrshire.

ESOL courses help speakers whose first language is not English to learn through everyday topics of family, daily routine, accommodation, social and cultural awareness.

For the first time, groups from all three local authority areas came together to celebrate their progress at a ceremony held at the college’s Kilmarnock Campus.

Students from Syria, Poland, Russia, Portugal, France, Brazil, Spain, Iraq and Thailand were awarded with a certificate for their efforts.

Ayrshire College’s Head of Learning for Essential Skills, Greg Cassidy, welcomed the students and their families to the event before each group was called up to receive their certificates.

ESOL student Aisha Altoron, from Syria, then spoke passionately to the audience about her time on the course and how she was helped by college and council staff to adapt and settle into the Ayrshire community.

Greg Cassidy said: “The evening was a terrific success and it was clear that the learners were delighted to celebrate their progress over the year with other learners and their families.”

Orsi Dunn, ESOL lecturer said: “I am immensely proud of the achievements of our learners in the community and the college. The commitment and drive that my students have shown in order to improve their skills despite the difficulties that they face has been truly inspiring.”