Future teachers lend a hand to new arrivals

05 Nov 2008

By therecord

seated.jpgNotre Dame students make learning fun when English isn’t first language
Education students from The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus have been spending time at Beaconsfield Primary School to assist students in the Intensive English Centre (IEC)with their mathematical skills.
Notre Dame students have been visiting classes on a weekly basis for a hands-on teaching experience as part of an assessment for the IEC students math’s specialty unit. 
Using the internationally acclaimed maths card game, Numero, which has been sponsored for the school by RIC Publications, students work to encourage and develop the maths skills of the children. 
Notre Dame’s Manager, Office of Professional Practice in the School of Education, Ms Serena Davie, explains: “Mathematics research indicates that children must articulate their moves orally for maximum learning. The game works well to reinforce language as well as mathematics with these children.
“Another great benefit is that the game is able to improve the mathematical thinking of struggling and excelling students of all ages. It is also fun and inexpensive!”
Many of the children in the IEC come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have migrated to Australia, with their families, from countries such as Sudan, Uganda, Afghanistan and Burma. Some have never had toys, played games in their homes or even attended formal schooling.
School Principal at Beaconsfield Primary, Mr Graham Dart said, “This partnership is a ‘win-win’ for both Beaconsfield Primary students and Notre Dame. The interactions not only promote mathematical thinking and test operations knowledge; they also provide an excellent language experience.
The Education students get to hone their instructional techniques and make a positive difference to a child’s day.”