Break­ing down lan­guage bar­rier

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Streetwatch -

UN­DER­STAND­ING unique Aus­tralian ex­pres­sions like ‘piece of cake’ or ‘bring a plate’ is a chal­lenge for Ned­lands lo­cals who speak English as a sec­ond lan­guage.

Cather­ine Ryan has vol­un­teered at the Ned­lands Li­brary Women’s English Con­ver­sa­tion group for the past eight months.

Ms Ryan said she used her back­ground in ed­u­ca­tion to ex­plain id­ioms and con­ver­sa­tional quirks to the women so they felt they could join in on Aus­tralian life.

The group mem­bers are from di­verse coun­tries such as Brazil, China, Italy, France, Italy and Kaza­khstan. Ms Ryan said the women reg­u­larly met to prac­tise their English, ask ques­tions, and make new friends over tea and bis­cuits.

The Ned­lands Vol­un­teer Re­source Cen­tre cel­e­brated its vol­un­teers as part of In­ter­na­tional Vol­un­teer Day on De­cem­ber 5.

Find out more about vol­un­teer­ing by con­tact­ing 9273 3640 or vol­un­teer­ing@ned­lands.wa.gov.au.

Vol­un­teer Cather­ine Ryan (right) with the Ned­lands Li­brary Women’s English Con­ver­sa­tion group.

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