Learning English in the kitchen – migrants develop English and employment skills at Coffs Harbour TAFE

Sarah Shwe (L) from Myanmar and Amira Nayef from Iraq practising English while they learn commercial cooking. Photo: AMEP.


FOURTEEN people from Iraq, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Syria, El Salvador, Cambodia and Afghanistan have enthusiastically begun the ‘Feeding Language’ Program at Coffs Harbour TAFE.

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The program is funded by the Department of Home Affairs and is implemented by the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

Coffs Harbour is one of three regions in NSW to receive funding for the program.

The Feeding Language Program provides an opportunity for AMEP students to further develop their English language in a TAFE NSW commercial kitchen environment.

Students study English in the morning and then study two units from the TAFE Hospitality Course in the afternoons.

“This is an opportunity for students to practise their English in context and have fun doing it,” said Kylie Warner, the Regional Coordinator for AMEP for TAFE NSW.

“We also have two teachers at all times – one hospitality teacher and one English teacher, and two volunteers assisting in both the classroom and the kitchen”.

The program was originally planned for Term 2, but COVID-19 forced a postponement, so the 9-week course began last Wednesday.

The main focus of the program is on developing English language and numeracy skills for the hospitality industry and to provide employment and/or training opportunities for TAFE NSW AMEP students.

“This is a great opportunity for students to learn English and build their skills outside the traditional classroom,” said Kylie.

The opportunity to complete accredited units of study not only helps residents who have migrated to Australia and settled in Coffs Harbour to find employment, but helps to improve their English language and enable them to more quickly become part of the community.


By Andrew VIVIAN

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