Community Engagement: FREE Thursday English Class

The unsung heroes: meet our FREE Thursday English Class Volunteer Teachers: Musnarti Dickinson and Tan Le. Thank you for tirelessly coming – week after week – to teach any drop-in students.

Inala Community House welcomes everyone to join our FREE English Class every Thursday 10am-12pm at Inala Community House Business Centre (38 Sittella Street, Inala, Queensland). Come join us today!

This FREE service has been running over a few years with growing success. Both teachers and students are on 100% voluntary basis. Our main focus is newly-arrived migrants to learn basic English skills which can further help secure employment and day-to-day living processes in a brand new country.

At the same time, we also welcome long-term migrants or anyone else to improve your English skills hence your quality of life in Australia.

“The worrying reality is that it’s possible for many migrants to live in Australia for many years without ever speaking a word of English. Age and gender are two common determining factors: the older you are, the lesser inclination in learning new things like English language that ideally requires at least three years of intensive learning. We also find that female migrants especially housewives are our most disadvantaged group as compared to their husbands, brothers or male counterparts who would go out for work which empowers them in learning English more quickly.

As a result, we see these female migrants who would mostly stay home, do house chores and care for their children and husbands who would go out for school or work. These women usually come from countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and African countries via refugee, family sponsorship or visitor visas.

For example, Inala has a large Ethiopian community. Many would exclusively visit, eat and interact among themselves without assimilating with others. If they need help, they can simply turn to services like ICH’s Community Settlement Service (CSS) to help fill out forms etc. Perhaps migrants should be encouraged to spread and mix more evenly across Australia to avoid sticking only to their own groups.

Students would drop in and out every week. We have one Vietnamese woman called Fu in mid-thirties who would usually walk to our English Class from her Inala home. I have two other regular students – one Ethopian woman in late thirties and one Nepalese woman in late fifties. They are completely illiterate and are just starting to learn alphabets and basic words. I adjust my teaching according to every individual student’s level,” said our English Class volunteer teacher Musnarti.

Musnarti has been a teacher for all of her life since she graduated in 1964. Now in her seventies, her admirable passion continues in teaching, volunteering and helping others. Musnarti also enthusiastically creates and prints out her own teaching materials for our English Class students.

Linda who helps to look after her nephew Thomas while her family members are attending our English Class. We welcome students to bring your little ones as well and feel comfortable!

As compared to Musnarti, Tan Le specialises in teaching to a larger congregated group of adult Vietnamese students. Kudos to this particular group who has been faithfully attending our weekly classes for over a year! These students had discovered our services via positive word-of-mouth recommendations within Inala community.

“I usually get them to practise reading, writing and speaking through group exercises. It’s also easier because I can help translate between English and Vietnamese to help my students understand. It is rewarding to watch our students gradually improve over time,” said our volunteer teacher Tan Le.

Our final English Class will be 30th November 2017, and will reopen on 1st February 2018. To become a student or volunteer teacher/tutor at our FREE Thursday English Class, please contact info@ich.org.au or call (07) 3372 1711 today!