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TAFE NSW St Leonards


TAFE NSW is at the forefront of helping migrants transition to life in Australia by helping them brush up on their English and set them up for career success.

A 2017 Australian Institute of Family Studies research summary concluded that English language proficiency is a key determinant for positive social and economic outcomes for humanitarian migrants and is highly important for gaining employment.

Cronulla local Luciana Menezes Santos is a migrant from Brazil who arrived in Australia  and began working part-time as a retail assistant and babysitting on the side to help make ends meet.

“After trying for quite some time to gain full-time employment, I knew that I needed to try something different. I decided to study at TAFE NSW to improve my English language and interview skills and gain increased confidence,” Luciana said.

Luciana enrolled in the Certificate III in Spoken and Written English through the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at TAFE NSW where she gained the skills and confidence to create an excellent resume and leave her part-time role at a retail clothing store. 

The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) provides free classes to help eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants with low English levels to improve their English language skills and settle into Australia. It is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. 

TAFE NSW Foundational Studies teacher Vivien Clark said the job-seeking component of the Certificate III in Spoken and Written English course sets students up with a solid foundation to pursue further education or gain employment.

“Students in the course gain more confidence when using English, improve their communication skills to open up additional career pathways, and achieve a sense of ease in social and formal situations,” Ms Clark said. 

“All students regularly receive feedback on grammar and pronunciation during the lessons and there is always discussion about settlement issues and cultural difficulties as they arise.” 

After completing the course, Luciana applied for and gained a demanding and practical customer service and sales position with an international vehicle company where she is required to use a high level of English language proficiency and undertake regular training. She is alone here without family and said that having someone believe in her and an organisation like TAFE NSW to support her was vital to her progress.

To learn more about the AMEP at TAFE NSW, call 1800 114 707 or email

The Certificates in Spoken and Written English are offered at 42 locations across NSW. To enrol or enquire about these or any other courses on offer at TAFE NSW, visit or call 131 601.

Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, mobile 0402 528 210.