English classes give mums social connections
English classes for vulnerable women with young children have begun at AMES Sunshine in an innovative program trying to reach people who might not otherwise be able to attend language lessons.
An AMES staff member is on hand to look after the children as their mothers attend class.
The classes, which began at the end of January, run for an hour each Friday with another half hour of general conversation focused on beginners or pre-beginners.
AMES ASAS Case Manager Mary Toma said the class was initially running for a small group of up to six women. It focused on simple concepts and the early feedback was positive.
“The first week we concentrated on three topics; colours, clothing and vegetables,” Mary said.
“This week we’ll look at money, animals and computers. We have established the referral process and we’re taking things slowly to see how it goes,” she said.
AMES Team Leader Irena Baric said Mary was doing a great job teaching the mothers while colleague Ellen Dixon has been teaching English to the children while engaging them in activities.
She said the aim of the initiative was to:
- provide social inclusion and help the women build friendships;
- empower them by teaching them how to manage money;
- build a pathway to independence and self-esteem; and
- teach English.
For more information on this story, contact Irena Baric on: (03) 9302 6300.