The students are on the Lexis programme at Derby College's Roundhouse campus which is designed for 16 to 19-year-old learners whose first language is not English – enabling them to gain qualifications and progress into further education or employment. Organisers of this June's Derby Book Festival invited the learners to recount their experiences and feelings about leaving their home countries and relocating to the UK with their families.
Their words have been illustrated for the book by Art & Design students from the College. ESOL adult learners based on the Derby College course at the city's St James' Centre are also producing a separate book 'Fantastic Flavours From Afar' - featuring their favourite family recipes which will also be published as part of the Festival (June 3-11 2016).
Lexis programme lecturer Andrew Parfitt said: "This has been a very empowering project for these learners – many of whom have experienced severe hardships and struggles in their young lives. "We are all very excited about seeing the published book and it has given them a real sense of purpose and camaraderie to voice their experiences and feelings."
The book will be published and available to buy for the first time at a Derby Book Festival event to be hosted by Derby College on Monday June 6 at the Joseph Wright Campus.