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Syrian Refugees Achieving Great Outcomes

Syrian Refugees Achieving Great Outcomes

This year, Macquarie Community College has had the pleasure of collaborating with the Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) to provide services to a targeted population of Armenian speakers.

Our talented teaching team have been working since July with 2 groups of 30 students to develop their English speaking and their digital literacy.

Conflict in Armenia in the early 20th Century led to the establishment of a large Armenian community in Syria. Generations later, many found themselves fleeing once again as the Syrian War ongoing since 2011 has made it impossible for them to stay.

Arriving in Australia in the past few years as part of the special Syrian Refugees intake, many have been separated from their family members as there were a limited number of countries offering settlement places and they could not all move together.

Personalised training for the community

The majority of the students have limited English speaking abilities and limited exposure to digital technologies. The College was asked to see if we could meet these dual needs by crafting a “personalised” training course for this community.

Over 21 weeks, our teachers led the students through several units to develop their English language and basic computer skills.

  • CSO202073 Develop basic computer skills
  • CSO202074 Develop basic email skills
  • CSO202075 Develop skills for basic online forms
  • VU22375 Apply basic computer skills to language learning
  • VU22376 Access the internet for language learning
  • FSKDIG01 Use technology for basic workplace tasks

Over this time, the students have learnt several key skills, including:

  • how to use a computer, mouse, trackpad and to recognise basic icons;
  • developing confidence to access the internet and learning to navigate menus and links;
  • accessing and completing online forms;
  • gaining the skill of writing and replying to emails as well as sending attachments; and
  • developing English reading, writing, listening and conversation skills around digital technology.

By the end of the course, our cohort of students vastly improved their skills and confidence in using a computer and communicating using English.These precious skills have allowed them to communicate more easily using email with their family members who are often spread all over the world. It has also enabled them to access emails and use the internet and digital technology for daily living purposes.

A graduation ceremony was held recently at a local restaurant to celebrate their achievements. Congratulations to all!

The students and teachers have thoroughly enjoyed the course and are very keen to continue in 2021. We look forward to seeing where our collaboration with CMRC goes in the future!