Lucy Darling, 39, met Diogo Marquez, 35, from Rio, in the north of Brazil 5 years ago. They fell in love, in spite of having no common language. At first they communicated solely through Google Translate. They married three years ago. He now speaks fluent English and wants to help other people improve their language skills. Diogo hasn’t been able to work as a plasterer since the beginning of lockdown, but he has had more time to spend on his Instagram feed. ‘It’s about my life in the UK. I encourage Brazilian people improve their lives and give them advice on how to learn English.”
Lucy is an English teacher at a secondary school. She continues to work, with learning now taking place online. She says the younger students are more engaged, with around 50% logging on for lessons. The numbers are far lower in the older age groups - and particularly amongst those in year 11 - who are struggling to feel motivated.
“They don’t have exams and they don’t need to study. They’re in limbo. It’s tough for them.”
Lucy says she’s enjoyed working during lockdown and is full of gratitude for the life she has. “For me, there are lots of things to miss, but too many things to feel fortunate about. I’m very lucky. I’ve got a job that I love, I don’t know anyone who’s ill and I’m in a good relationship.” Words by Daisy O'Clee.