Alison Stewart - Coleg Gwent

“Teaching English is the joy of my life. My only aim is to give, to pour out what life has processed in me into the lives of others, so that they too will have gained enough language, inspiration, encouragement, and sense of belonging to give them the mindset to jump over every hurdle, with ‘I am, and I can’. Over my 17-year career as an ESOL tutor, I have had the privilege of witnessing hundreds of people achieving the qualifications they need to progress. Watching them become empowered to move on is hugely rewarding.”

Alison Stewart-15

Alison Stewart’s journey to becoming an ESOL teacher was sparked by a powerful realisation: in the right environment, with encouragement, genuine support, and positive role models, anyone can reach their full potential. This resonated deeply with her, as she felt a strong connection to asylum seekers and refugees. Growing up in the care system, she shared their experience of leaving home and family to start anew in a lonely place. Like many of her learners, she relied on the kindness and support of dedicated professionals to overcome challenges.

This firsthand experience with stigma, isolation, and the need to overcome obstacles shaped Alison’s career path. Witnessing the impact of positive intervention in her own life ignited a passion to help others in similar situations.

Alison believes that education is the key to unlocking opportunity. She utilises real-world topics in her classes, helping students to learn English and solve everyday problems. Beyond language skills, Alison works tirelessly to connect her students with influential people in the community, opening doors to new possibilities. She instils in them the belief that through hard work and dedication, they can achieve their goals. Her approach emphasises reframing past experiences as a source of strength, not limitations.  This, she believes, is the most valuable lesson she can transfer to her students.

Thank you to our partners

  • Welsh Government
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