Migrant English Program Report

Each year, the U3A Manningham Migrant English Program holds 2 meetings for tutors to catch up and exchange ideas. The first meeting was held on Wednesday, 1 February, with the second meeting being scheduled for week 6 of Term 3 (17 August) to coincide with the final day of our Tutor Training Course. 

Tutors Who Attended the Meeting

Seated (L to R): Sylvia Panayis, Seok Ch’ng, Sim Ng, Joan Creber, Bridget Halge (Program Founder), Lorraine Gill, Mary Kwei, Foong Sim Chin (Coordinator)
Standing (L to R): Kong Yep, Pam Watson, Marg McCrohan, Hilda Frazzetto, Carol Down, Lyn Frankish, Karen Ng, Ken Coleman (Assistant Coordinator), Patricia Liew, Jenny Madeley, Liew Staras, Bernie Lam, Allin Han, Dorothy Di Battista, Daniela Cursio, Helen Hinz

Coordinators of the Migrant English Program

PeriodCoordinatorAssistant Coordinator
2000 – 2001Bridget Halge
2002 – 2003Pat Smith
2004 – 2016Joan Creber
2016 – 2020Jeanette BadgeKen Coleman (from 2017)
2021 – presentFoong Sim ChinKen Coleman
L to R: Ken Coleman, Foong Sim Chin, Bridget Halge, Joan Creber, Jeanette Badge

2022 Statistics

2022 saw many of our tutors returning to face-to-face tutoring after the disruptive years of 2020 – 2021 during which time a number of tutors made use of technology, including Zoom, WhatsApp, and  phone calls to maintain contact with their learners. With the easing of Covid restrictions last year, it was pleasing to see a significant increase in the total number of tutoring hours provided by our tutors, with most of these being in face-to-face sessions.

Presentation of Certificates of Appreciation by David McNamara, President U3A Manningham

Many of our tutors have been teaching English to migrants for many years, and to thank them and recognise their service to the community, Certificates of Appreciation were awarded for the first time in 2022 to six tutors for 10+ years, and 19 tutors for 5+ years of service. This year, David McNamara very kindly attended the meeting to make a further presentation of certificates to three more tutors who have provided 5+ years, Lyn Frankish, Carol Down and Alexander (Sandy) Robb  (who unfortunately was unable to attend the meeting).

In presenting the certificates, David thanked all tutors and congratulated them on the wonderful and important service they provide to those wishing to improve their English, and especially in the valuable role they play representing U3A in the wider community. 


Marg McCrohan and Kong Yep each gave extremely interesting presentations on tutoring strategies and resources they have developed to assist their respective learners who have very different English learning needs and opportunities for participating in tutoring sessions.

Tutoring Strategies and Resources by Marg McCrohan

Marg spoke about how her learner, a Chinese businessman, is extremely keen to learn everyday English and is most interested in learning about the ‘Australian way of life.’ In her weekly tutoring sessions, Marg uses material from her growing collection of a vast array of everyday resources, such as restaurant menus, catalogues, newspaper articles and photographs that she continually gathers and finds helpful to assist her learner improve his English language skills. Once, when  expressing interest in learning about different types of foods, her learner asked what an omelette was and Marg created a short video showing herself making one.  As her learner has developed a keen interest in photography, Marg is encouraging him to keep a photo album and write brief descriptions of his photos.

Tutoring Strategies and Resources by Kong Yep

One of Kong’s learners is also from China, married with young children and leads a very busy day-to-day life combining work and caring for her family.  Consequently, it has not been possible for them to meet regularly for face-to-face tutoring sessions.  As Kong’s learner relies heavily on her mobile phone, Kong has cleverly used the internet and technology as a resource to assist his learner improve her English skills, especially her spoken language. Kong researches and adapts simple tasks, including short videos for pronunciation practice and brief vocabulary quizzes, and sends these to his learner’s phone for her to complete and practice when she has a few minutes to spare.  As each task is designed to take only a few minutes, she is eager to complete these and is an engaged learner.  Kong and his learner attend the same gymnasium and Kong invites his learner to join groups of fellow gym members for coffee after their gym sessions to encourage her to practise and develop more confidence with her spoken English.

Seeking Tutors

The Migrant English Program is now in its 23rd year as a significant outreach program offered by U3A Manningham. Over the years our volunteer tutors have assisted a great many members of our community from non-English speaking backgrounds to improve their English language skills. We are continually receiving requests for tutors and presently have 10 potential learners on a waiting list. Being a Migrant English tutor is a very rewarding experience and we would like to encourage any interested U3AM members to consider joining the Program.  The only requirement is to enrol in the training course, Workshop for Migrant English Tutor Training, listed under Courses Information, Special Projects, on our U3AM website. The course is conducted on Thursday afternoons (1:30-4:20PM) over the first six weeks in Term 3, from 13 July to 17 August, and is open to all U3AM members, there being no formal pre-requisites for enrolment. You can enrol now!

Enquiries can be emailed to the Migrant English Program mailbox at manunipines@gmail.com or by contacting one of:

Foong Sim Chin (Ms)                                          
Mobile: 0419 385 972                                         
Ken Coleman
Assistant Coordinator             
Mobile: 0400 044 451  

Written by Ken Coleman