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Combined cooking and English program a recipe for success

Combined cooking and English program a recipe for success

Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) students at TAFE NSW Orange have combined language and baking skills as a way to take their English language skills out of the classroom and into a practical employment setting.

The 2021 Australian Census revealed that over 22% of people living in Australia use a language at home other than English, indicating just how diverse our population is.

TAFE NSW AMEP Project Lead, Lisa Walker, said combining English language skills with a practical skill provides students with the chance to practice communication within a specific context.

“Not only do the students get to read and understand recipes, but they also need to listen to and communicate with their teacher to ensure they have the right technique,” Ms Walker said.

“Our TAFE NSW Orange class is very diverse and includes students who have migrated from Egypt, Colombia, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Afghanistan.

“The students will graduate with a Statement of Attainment in Basic Bakery, which gives them foundational skills in baking and experience in communicating in a commercial kitchen.

“It’s a great pathway for students to improve their English, it introduces them to TAFE NSW, and will hopefully lead to further study or employment opportunities in our local community.

“It’s also a great way to meet people, something that can be challenging when you move to a new country and there is a language barrier.”

Colombian couple, Ivan and Luisa, have been in Orange for eight years and own a local cleaning business but are always looking for ways to improve their English.

“I studied English at TAFE NSW when I first moved to Orange, before going on to study Beauty Therapy,” Luisa said.

“This course has been great because we don’t do a lot of baking, so we have learnt a lot of new skills.

“Last year I started an English course that included Civil Construction skills, but I couldn’t finish it due to a back injury,” Ivan said.

“I have loved the baking course, especially learning how to bake the lemon cake which is my favourite.

“I am considering doing more courses in the future, I would really like to study a Certificate IV in Barbering.”

Students will graduate from the short course on Monday 8 April 2024, celebrating with a small ceremony at TAFE NSW Orange, March St campus, where they will bake refreshments for those attending.

The AMEP is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.