Learning English and securing the dream

When Milton Kodchakorn, also known as Nam arrived in Darwin from the North of Thailand four years ago, English was not her strong point.

Nam acquired a job as a cleaner in a local hotel however her dreams of being a hairdresser and owning her own business in Australia were too powerful to be ignored.

This is the story of how Nam pushed through her challenges of arriving in a new country with no family, no friends and not being able to speak the language.

“When I first came to Darwin, I was a cleaner in the hotel,” Nam said.

“My husband is from Australia. I married and moved here with my husband. When I came to Australia, I felt scared and I couldn’t talk to people which made me worried about how I would communicate.”

Living in Palmerston in Australia’s top end, Nam discovered the STEPS AMEP program and in doing so, began her journey to realising her dream.

“When I came to STEPS and started to study (English), I have more confidence and I am less scared to talk with people.”

“I’m not as shy and I feel more comfortable. The teachers are really friendly, and they help me a lot. I learn a bit slowly and they really help me. I didn’t speak a lot of English when I first came to study, so they really helped me.

“I have been studying at STEPS for one and a half years now and the time is flying.”

“It’s helped me to talk with people, my communication and it’s also helped improve myself as well. It’s made me more confident. Now I have friends from many countries, and we start to share our culture and we know the people better and I feel more confident to talk with people.”

Nam credits learning English with STEPS AMEP as a defining factor in securing her dream job as a hairdresser.

“When I came here, I didn’t know how to find a job, I didn’t feel confident to talk to other people. I don’t have family here and I don’t have my friends. Studying at STEPS has made me more confident and able to get a job.”

“I have gotten my dream job. In Thailand I worked as a hairdresser and then when I moved here, I did work experience and then after that she invited me to work with her. It’s so awesome!”

“My goal is to have my own hairdressing business, that’s my goal.”

“I want to say thank you to STEPS and thank you to the teachers. Thank you to Yvonne who helped me get a job.”

Nam offers some great advice for others who want to make the journey to Australia to live.

“My favourite part is the friendly people and I like the winter! The weather is very much like Thailand.”

“If my friend or someone comes here and doesn’t speak English then I would refer them to go to STEPS. It’s excellent. You can learn and study and talk to people from another country.”

If you or someone you know is interested in learning English language skills, STEPS AMEP can help. We have classes in Alice Springs, Palmerston and Casuarina. Call 08 8950 7600 to find out more about classes in Alice Springs and 1300 585 868 for classes in Palmerston and Casuarina.

The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs

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