Shirine Sleiman only had a limited grasp of English when she emigrated to Australia in 2007.
But the educated Lebanese woman was inspired to gain the qualifications to teach English to those who followed her to a new country.
Although armed with a teaching degree in psychology from Lebanon, Ms Sleiman quickly realised she would need to improve her language skills to increase her employment opportunities.
Fast-forward 12 years and she is a successful English teacher at TAFE NSW Wollongong and Shellharbour.
“When I came to Australia I felt like a fish out of water, as I imagine any migrant who has recently arrived in the country would be feeling,” Ms Sleiman said.
“I am in a unique position because I understand and relate to what they are going through.”
Ms Sleiman encourages her students to believe in themselves. She works hard to increase their confidence, skills and motivation.
“I try to help my students feel they are valuable and have a sense of belonging,” she said.
When I came to Australia I felt like a fish out of water, as I imagine any migrant who has recently arrived in the country would be feeling.Shirine Sleiman
Ms Sleiman decided she wanted to become an English teacher after graduating from the Certificate II English for Speakers of Other Languages at TAFE NSW Wollongong.
She then successfully graduated from the Certificate IV in English for Academic Purposes.
“I worked through it step by step and completed my Graduate Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at university,” Ms Sleiman said.
She also took part in practical work placement at the Wollongong and Shellharbour TAFE campuses while she was studying her diploma in teaching.
“I was offered a position to work at TAFE NSW, and now I’m teaching,” Ms Sleiman said.
“I started teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESoL) in February 2017 and I love teaching it.
“I enjoy working with young people from different cultures. I like to help people gain the skills they need to get the job they want.
“Everyone’s career goals are different and I hope I’m able to inspire others the way my teachers inspired me.”
Visit www.tafensw.com.au for semester 2 course details.