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As COVID-19 restrictions were introduced, TAFE Queensland quickly activated plans to shift to remote delivery of the Adult Migrant English Program.

Queensland’s newest migrants and refugees are turning to TAFE Queensland for critical online support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As COVID-19 restrictions were introduced, TAFE Queensland’s English Language and Literacy Services quickly activated plans to shift to remote delivery of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

"Students and educators across the program have all had to quickly adapt to this new teaching and learning environment," says Program Co-ordinator Deb Favier.

"While it’s been a big learning curve and adjustment for everyone, students are loving the opportunity to keep learning."

For new migrants and refugees participating in the Adult Migrant English Program, Ms Favier says, the impact of such abrupt changes can be stressful, and the program has been particularly helpful at this time.

"Imagine moving to a new country with an unfamiliar language," says Ms Favier.

"You don’t have a wide network of friends to lean on for help and support, and often little or no family close by. Now, suddenly, you need to isolate and respond to a whole range of new and unexpected guidelines."

"For many of the students in the program, the link to and communication with their AMEP teachers has been a lifeline for support and up-to-date information."

Each year, TAFE Queensland welcomes thousands of migrants and refugees into AMEP classrooms. For students like Ibrahim Khalif Hussein, who normally attends TAFE Queensland’s Inala campus, the Australian government-funded program is life-changing.

"Before moving to Australia, I was in a refugee camp in Kenya for fourteen years," says Ibrahim.

"When I arrived in Brisbane, everything seemed hard. I did not know how to buy things from the supermarket or catch the bus."

In order for students like Ibrahim to forge ahead with their language development, TAFE Queensland made the swift decision to adapt its delivery of the AMEP.

"Many of our students are hoping to find work in Australia, and the AMEP empowers them to do just that," says AMEP teacher Fiona Wilkinson.

"This program is invaluable to them, so it was a no-brainer – we had to adapt to keep lessons going."

Fiona describes the newly remote delivery as a mixture of online and workbook learning. After a careful evaluation, each student receives support in a format suitable to their language, literacy and numeracy levels.

"Many of our classes are now taking place online over the Zoom video conferencing platform," says Fiona with a smile.

"While it obviously is difficult for low level language students, most of whom have little to no technology skills, they have risen to the challenge with the support of their teachers, family members, and even their classmates."

"I’ve had an amazing response and I’m very proud of them, how much they’ve built on their English and technology skills, and what they continue to achieve."

For students like Ibrahim, online delivery provides the chance to develop critical technology skills for transitioning into work.

"I learned how to use Zoom to study with my teacher and classmates. I’m growing in my abilities and learning something new for me," Ibrahim says.

"It’s improved my English a lot."

The AMEP is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. In Queensland, the AMEP is delivered through TAFE Queensland.

 


LEARN MORE ABOUT AMEP

The AMEP is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. In Queensland, the AMEP is delivered through TAFE Queensland.

 
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