A THAI woman who arrived in Cootamundra 12 months ago and spoke barely a word of English has praised TAFE NSW for helping her build her language, and confidence, to the point where she now has two jobs.
Rungthip Chantharangsri moved to Cootamundra for love in late 2018 after living in Bangkok for the previous two decades - and it wasn't just the more sedate pace of life she had to adjust to.
With little English or knowledge of Australian culture, she enrolled in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at TAFE NSW Cootamundra, a federally-funded course providing up to 510 hours of free English lessons to eligible migrants.
The results were astounding, with her English improving so quickly she was able to get two jobs within her first 12 months in Australia - in the kitchen of a local nursing home and as a house cleaner.
"Before I came here I could not speak a word of English," she said.
"But the teachers here have been so good; they've taught me to read, write and speak in English and learn about the Australian culture."
Ms Chantharangsr has almost completed her certificate I in English.
TAFE NSW Cootamundra ESOL teacher Fiona Braybrooks said it was great that students can come to country areas like this and still get the educational opportunities to be able to improve their language and become part of the community.
For more on AMEP, phone 1800 114 707 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au/adult-migrant-english-program-amep.