Ryota came to Australia with his family in April 2015 and is currently in Year 4 at Walkerville Primary School. Ryota studied English in Japan and reached Level 3 of the Eiken English language proficiency test which gave him a good head start with reading and writing English. According to Akiko, his mother, ‘he didn’t really have much trouble with reading and writing when we arrived but, as expected, he did find speaking and listening a bit more challenging’.
At school in South Australia, Ryota now receives a special support lesson each week and his language skills have improved dramatically. ‘For an hour every Thursday there is a special lesson just for international students. They get to learn more about the parts of their regular studies that they didn’t understand, as well as study from books that are better suited to their level of English. The school’s international coordinator runs this special class so if there is something that they are having difficulty with, the coordinator will consult directly with their teachers to get help’.
Ryota’s family is planning to stay for 3 years but Ryota says “I want to stay here forever.”