South West Elders Taken To Far Off Places by New Citizens

on the Friday, November 24, 2017

An innovative new program is bringing local new citizens together with Lyndoch Living residents to share cultural experiences, practice their English and expand their social and emotional connection with the local community.

The collaboration between Lyndoch Living and South West TAFE’s English Second Language program has been enthusiastically embraced by both students and residents alike.

“The aim of this program is to promote multi-faceted community engagement, and the fact that these students are predominantly migrants who live in our local community makes it all the more exciting and rewarding for our residents,” Lyndoch CEO Doreen Power said.

“Many of our residents, through generational, circumstantial or socio-economic reasons, have had very limited exposure and experience of international travel. These students are creating a sense of armchair travel by sharing stories and photos of their homelands, cultural activities and even cooking traditional food for the residents to sample.

“On the flip side, the opportunities presented through this program for the students to practice their English are compounded by the local knowledge, history and culture that our residents share through their stories,” she said.

Ms Power said the interactions are helping to break down the barriers created by language, cultural and confidence issues.

“It really is a fantastic thing to witness the sharing of stories, there are tears, hugs and a lot of laughter,” Ms Power said.

The students involved hail from all over the world, including Indonesia, China, Korea, Japan, India, France, Russia, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines and Africa.

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