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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

TAFE NSW Teaches English To Local Migrants So They Can Live Their Best Lives

New Australian residents who migrated to the Ulladulla region are accessing a TAFE NSW course to learn English, find employment, and adapt to their new lifestyle.

TAFE NSW delivers the adult English classes to migrants to assist with their transition to Australian life.

Ulladulla resident Neha Nain enrolled in a course this year and has gone from anxious, isolated and housebound to an employed and active member of the community she now calls home.

Mrs Nain arrived in Australia in 2020 and like the more than 200,000 new Australians who have migrated to Australia since 2016, leaning English has been a lifeline.

She was anxious about leaving the house, and her lack of English compounded her lack of confidence.

“For quite a while after arriving here I was too scared to leave the house, my confidence was low because of my lack of English. My husband encouraged me to learn English and look for a job, so I enrolled in the Certificate II in Spoken and Written English course at TAFE NSW Ulladulla this year and already my vocabulary has grown more than I could have imagined, I have friends and a job.

“Some of the main reasons I wanted to improve my English was to become a part of this community, find a job and to communicate with other people and to explain about my country’s culture.

“When I applied for a waitress job at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club, I told them I was working on improving my language skills and they gave me a chance. In fact, talking to people at work helps with my English too.”

TAFE NSW Teacher Sara Eastway said the students learn a mix of spoken and written English along with other skills to help with employment and general life tasks.

“Through this course, which is subsidised for eligible students, we work on many skills including their digital literacy skills. This is important so they can improve their opportunities for finding work and also for keeping in touch with family overseas. All the students in this class migrated from overseas, so keeping that connection is important for them.

“Often these students can be quite isolated when they first move here. So, for this group TAFE NSW is about learning but also socialising.

Last year two of the students used the time to write a resume and both are now working in the region, one in hospitality and the other in aged care – both those areas are experiencing high demand for employees.

“Many of us take English skills for granted but the benefits go beyond having conversations. English skills mean these students can open a bank account, access healthcare, find work and further study and improve their listening, reading, and writing skills, as well as learning about Australian society and culture. These are just some of the everyday skills students learn.

“Neha is the perfect example of how the English speaking and writing is helping to change the lives of many people by providing students with access to the skills to be job-ready.


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