Lifting the language barrier

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A lack of English-language skills is one of the most common and biggest barriers facing the families we work with in West Auckland. But Monte is working to support families to learn English and gain the skills and confidence they need to achieve their goals.

Not being able to speak English is a real barrier for families trying to participate and engage in their communities across many aspects of their lives.

Our West Auckland Social Worker identified this when working with families to establish their goals, and hearing the impact of having limited or no English language skills has on their lives.  We also identified that they did not have a NZ drivers licence because of their language difficulties - with one recently failing her test specifically because of her lack of English. The times and location of the English classes offered to the families was also identified as another issue, because these families were unable to attend.

Using the established networks Monte Cecilia has in the community, we were able to make space in our Community House available and partner with Literacy Waitakere to deliver weekly English lessons at a time and place that suits the families.

The classes are now in their third week of running, and families are attending regularly with the  goal of starting the process to gain a NZ drivers licence. We have already seen the impact of building skills and confidence in speaking English on other areas of the families’ lives, with one family being able to enrol their child in early education.

Because of this support, these families no longer have to struggle with every-day interactions and can instead focus on working towards the goals they have for their family’s future.