Sydney principal Arety Dassaklis helps new migrants return to school

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For many students new to Australia, learning English can be quite the challenge, as many young people find their experience of trying to make conversation with native speakers overwhelming.

At Central Sydney Intensive English High School (CSIEHS), they offer a program that targets learning difficulties by providing an intensive English language class that helps students from non-English speaking backgrounds feel more confident and learn English through a variety of subjects on offer.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the program asks new students to complete an English competency assessment, which determines how many terms they will need to spend at the CSIEHS. Depending on their progress, students can stay between one term or a full school year in the program.

As well as undertaking intensive English classes, students also get the opportunity to learn maths, science, PDHPE and visual arts, all in English.

Central Sydney Intensive English High School (CSIEHS)
Central Sydney Intensive English High School (CSIEHS) is in Alexandria, Sydney. photo: Department of Education NSW.

CSIEHS has 30 teachers and student learning support officers who can assist in some of the school’s most popular languages, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish and Mongolian.

Principal Arety Dassaklis said the school would receive about 220 students when classes commence this year, with fifty attending school in English for the first time.

“These students have so much to offer [but] the language is the barrier,” Ms Dassaklis said.

“So if we can get them at a point where they can really thrive in their new school, then we’ve all done our jobs well.”

More than 2,270 students who have recently arrived in NSW are studying in the Department of Education’s 16 intensive English centres this term, which will then lead to their journey into a mainstream high school.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.

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