RaPAL

Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

Ming Zheng

Ming Zheng, Glenroy Neighbourhood Learning Centre

My story. My name is Ming. I came from China in 1998 with my husband and my son. My family all came here. First life in Australia was very difficult, so the first thing was to make a living.

Previously in my country, I was a maths teacher. But coming to Australia, my English was not good. So previous experience… I couldn’t do it. So I had to do physical labour.

My son finished university. I can learn English now. I am retired. I learn English in the Glenroy Neighbourhood Learning Centre. If I am like the deaf and the blind and the dumb, my life is very inconvenient, so I am determined to learn English. My teacher is Manjit. Manjit taught us very well, so I have been in the English conversation class. Now I have been learning nearly three years. Now I can go to shopping, I can ask the price, where something is – I can ask. Sometimes I go to hospital. I can have a conversation with the doctor – simple. For example, I lost my filling. I can speak – simple. Then I can go out, by tram, by bus, and now I can see my friends, greeting to everyone.

I usually learn English by learning grammar in the home by myself, but in the class I practise speaking, listening. I think I’ve improved. Now Manjit, if he says something, I understand. I feel very happy. Stronger than before. The first time, I was very sad, very worried. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t listen. Now I am strong. Now I am very happy.

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