VicHealth and AMES

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a3 partnered with AMES to deliver a VicHealth funded performing arts programme with the ‘English for Youth’ students at AMES in Noble Park.

AMES is the largest provider of English language and settlement services in Victoria and the youth program offers recently arrived migrants aged eighteen to twenty-five the opportunity to improve their English and assist them with settling into their new life in Australia.

While a3, AMES and VicHealth all have different platforms they share the same aims and were able to join together to use the performing arts as a vehicle to engage these students by providing sessions that were inclusive, challenging, fun and used a curriculum that aimed to increase English language skills and encourage self esteem, confidence, artistic expression, communication and understanding of team work.

The project saw a3 run a two hour session each week with the students which covered content such as singing, dancing, body percussion, drama and team building activities. The programme culminated in a performance for other staff and students at AMES Noble Park as well as friends and family.

At the conclusion of the term the staff at AMES reported that they had seen the students benefit enormously from the programme.

“The students have had the opportunity to practice following instructions, to work on their pronunciation through learning song lyrics, interact with both students and trainers and even improve coordination”. Lyn Rebello and Anne Selhorst - AMES Noble Park

They also reported that when they reflected on the program in class many students spoke of how much they loved it and how it had “touched their hearts” and given them confidence in front of a crowd. The teachers also commented on how this group had come together cohesively in a way that groups who had not participated in the program had not and that they had been more relaxed and open to language instruction after the sessions.

100% of the students reported to us that after participating in the class they:

  • Felt more confident
  • Felt part of a community
  • Had made new friends
  • Had improved their English language skills through listening to instructions, learning song lyrics both written and aural, practicing pronunciation, learning new words and their meanings and speaking in English with the other students and Instructors.