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CHANGING LIVES: TAFE NSW student Rungthip Chantharangsri with TAFE NSW Cootamundra ESOL teacher Fiona Braybrooks.
A THAI woman who arrived in Cootamundra 12 months ago and spoke barely a word of English has praised TAFE NSW for helping her build her language, and confidence, to the point where she now has two jobs.
Rungthip Chantharangsri moved to Cootamundra for love in late 2018 after living in the bustling metropolis of Bangkok for the previous two decades and it wasn’t just the more sedate pace of life that Ms Chantharangsri had to adjust to.
With little English or knowledge of Australian culture to draw upon, Ms Chantharangsri enrolled in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at TAFE NSW Cootamundra, a course funded by the Federal Government that provides up to 510 hours of free English lessons to eligible migrants.
The results were astounding, with Ms Chantharangsri’s English improving so rapidly, she was able to secure two jobs within her first 12 months in Australia – in the kitchen of a local nursing home and as a house cleaner.
“Before I came here I could not speak a word of English,” she said.
“But the teachers here have been so good; they’ve taught me to read, write and speak in English and learn about the Australian culture.
“I can now speak to customers and follow instructions from my managers and that would not have been possible without TAFE NSW.”
Ms Chantharangsri, who has almost completed her Certificate I in Spoken and Written English, hopes to continue her integration journey and eventually realise her dream of opening her own Thai restaurant in Cootamundra.
TAFE NSW Cootamundra ESOL teacher Fiona Braybrooks said AMEP students learn a range of skills for everyday living, work and further study, including speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, as well as a crash course in Australian society and culture.
“It’s daunting enough coming to a new country let alone not having the confidence to speak the language,” Ms Braybrooks said.
“It’s great that students can come to country areas like Cootamundra and still get the educational opportunities to be able to improve their language and become part of the community.
“To think that Rungthip was equipped with the practical skills and experience that she needed to confidently secure a job so soon after arriving in Australia, really is testament to the power of the AMEP.
To find out more about studying an AMEP course at TAFE NSW, phone 1800 114 707 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au/adult-migrant-english-program-amep.
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications – Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.