Reflections from our EAL students

Thank you to Patricia Incerti for this week’s post about the KPS English as an Additional Language (EAL) program.

Each year there are many new students starting at KPS. Some of our students come from other countries and arrive in Australia with little or no English. They find themselves having to adjust to a new place, new home as well as a new school. I asked some of our EAL students their reflection on coming to Australia and being at Kew Primary School.

Question: Can you tell me how you felt when you first came to Australia and how you feel now?

When I came to Australia I felt happy and excited because it was my first time in a different environment but I felt nervous because I couldn’t communicate well with other people. The first time I came to Kew PS I felt very nervous because I had no friends and I was a little bit worried about my English but later I knew everyone was friendly and so I started to make friends. And because I made friends my English got better. I feel I have improved so much after I came to KPS. Song-yin

In China I was scared of people who looked different to me and when I came here all the people were different. I was very scared to say any words because my English was not very good. Then my English got way better because we were all talking English even though I still had Chinese friends and this helped me a lot. The teachers at Kew PS are very nice. My first teacher here was Diamanto and she is very nice. She helped me to learn English. I really like this school. I told my friend in China about how school is here and she was very surprised because she has to work till 11.30 pm everyday because you are set a lot of homework in China. She said, ‘I really want to come to Australia!’ I am very glad that my parents brought me to Australia. Cynthia

When I first came to KPS I was a little bit scared because I worried that I wouldn’t make friends. I only knew how to say, ‘Hello, how are you?’. I felt so worried about myself and my English. When a girl in my class said, ‘Hello, what’s your name?’ I just couldn’t understand her. I thought I was a little bit weird because everyone could speak English except for me. I wondered why I couldn’t understand what my friends were saying even though I really tried to understand. As I learnt to read I got better and if I didn’t know a word like ‘little’ I would go translate it.

Now I feel happy because I know a lot more English and I understand what my friends are saying. I like KPS. Everyone is so friendly, and my teacher, Dave, is so nice and if ever I am upset he says, ‘Are you all right? Do you want a drink?’ And if you miss a word he says, ‘Don’t blame yourself. You did a good job.’ Sophia

I actually have been to Australia before coming to KPS. My first time was when I was six or seven for about two weeks. I think it was in Sydney. When I came to KPS last year I was half nervous and half excited. I was half nervous because it was a different city and a different state. I was excited because I hadn’t been to an Australian school. I was actually really confused cause my English level was actually Yr2 but I still got to go in Yr5. It doesn’t matter about your English level. It’s how tall and big you are. Courtney helped me a lot. She tried to help me communicate with others and if I got into trouble I could just ask her. I actually tried to make friends and tried to communicate but I only knew a few words and my pronunciation was really bad. I also got extra help and it is really worth it. Ryan

I felt excited to meet the kids here at KPS. Everybody sat around me and were asking me questions. I couldn’t speak English so I didn’t really answer. It was hard to explain myself. I felt nervous because I was very shy and slowly I got used to the people and I started to speak English to them. I feel comfortable now because I realise I’m not as bad as I think. My English is getting better and better and I understand most of the time. Talking to friends and playing outside with people I don’t know has helped me learn English. Lucia

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