|Carole and Huong after conversation group on Wednesday.|
1) Who is it all for and 2) what did we learn?
1) It is for those in our community who have found a new home in our town of Hillston,who do not yet speak English. By learning English people are able to find employment more suitable to their talents and previous education and also are able to make friends in town. People like Huong, above, who helped by local tutor, Carole, is learning English fast.
Huong is eligible for the AMES program set up by the NSW government which entail 510 hours of free lessons but while Huong was waiting for her spouse visa to be approved, Carole stepped in to get her started in her new language.Now Huong has distance education lessons, with one hour of skype lessons, each week and also attends a conversation group each week on a Wednesday. You see her with Carole after the group last week. A friendship has been forged and thanks to Carole, Huong is well on the way to learning English and making friends in Hillston. Carole and Huong attend the Catholic Church and Huong can now join in conversations after Mass as well as after class.
|Now conversation is possible after class.|
Mostly we hesitate talking with people who do not speak English well because we are not sure how we should listen and how we should speak to be best understood.
Alanna gave us advice on this to give us confidence.
A few tips we were given for speaking with a non-native speaker are-
· Speak clearly and pronounce words correctly
· Speak slowly
· Turning up the volume does NOT create instant understanding
· Don’t cover your mouth
· Avoid running words together(How-r-ya-goin) and avoid idioms
· Choose simple words
· When repeating, repeat it as you said it the first time
· Be explicit
· Listen and try not to form your response while the other person is talking
· Draw pictures/mime
· Be patient and smile –a smile conveys a lot in any language.
The program is run in Hillston by Sue, as Uniting Church Rural Chaplain Support person, with training provided by Alanna Townsend from Griffith TAFE with funding by Unitingcare Aging West.