There are many pressures associated with being a migrant. These include some social pressures, which lead to migrants worrying about where they will fit in their new surroundings. For parents the concern can be considerably greater. How will the children cope? One of the initial difficulties for children as they enter school can be language barriers. In Australia the outcomes of being unable to understand or speak English in school can lead to situations where your child feels left behind, not only academically but socially as well. As a migrant myself, I can only sympathise with the difficult decision-making that parents have to make. My parents told me they had a lot of weighing up to do.
Dropping out and falling behind
The first thing you need to do as a parent is to try your best to ensure the transition from one school to the next is as smooth as possible. You could try to start at the beginning of a new school year when moving is most simple. Circumstances might mean you don’t have the liberty to leave when you want; if so seek support for your child through the school enrolled. Most schools provide support by way of school counselors, mentors and teachers with the
qualifications to ensure your child is fitting into their new environment.
The language barriers
Now that your child is in the school of your choice, the problems of a language barrier are highlighted. In most schools in Australia, ESL (English as a Second Language) is offered to students. Parents should not be disheartened when their children are enrolled in ESL because your child will be taught the basic structure and foundation of the English language. Many children flourish in this environment as they are surrounded by children that are not only at a
similar level but might even have the same background. To encourage your child, you might consider the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP). The government’s official immigration website states that “The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) provides free English language courses to eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants.”
Self Confidence and Self-Esteem
Children need a lot of support especially in their school years. A child that has moved from another country has a lot to face in a short period of time. They might deal with culture shock, anxiety and even in some serious cases depression. On the other hand with the right amount of nurturing your child could flourish in their new environment. Your child will need to re-establish themselves in a new place. Encouragement can go a long way. Encourage your child to try new things at their school. This might be a team sport or any sort of recreational activity. In this way your child will make new friends and become increasingly comfortable in their new environment. Utilise all the school’s resources in terms of support for your child. Teachers are a great source of information and they can observe how your children interact with their peers.
Last but not least, progress takes time. Parents often worry when it comes to their children but they need to make room for a period of adjustment. There can be many positive outcomes from a big change.
Support can come from outside the school as well. My Academy is one such place. We provide ESL services and can cater to any level of English you might need, as well as other subjects that require some support.
Phone: 9284 4408
Address: Suite 9/1 Leura Avenue
Claremont WA 6010