With the re-established Auckland to Hamilton commuter train cutting the travel time between the two major cities, it is unsurprising that new residents to New Zealand are looking at Hamilton as a viable location to settle down. It has all the main amenities that any family could want, great job prospects, and English Tutors and ESOL schools to ensure that your English will be at the level you need.

Whether you are looking for an English Tutor to help you improve your conversational language skills or an ESOL course that will help you get into the job or university you want, there are many options. Mostly, it will come down to your personal preference. You will need to decide whether you want:

  • One-on-one tutoring that can focus specifically on what you want to know.
  • Small classes that lead to certification or formal qualification.
  • Conversational groups based on your interests.
  • Academic groups to improve specific vocabulary.
  • Community groups to build your local connections.
  • Proving your English language ability for the Skilled Migrant Resident Visa.

Some of the ESOL classes and groups available to English language learners in Hamilton are a mix of different formats. While some tutors will be able to introduce you to local highlights and work with specific areas of interest.

English speaking Muslim woman in Hamilton office
English speaking Muslim woman in Hamilton office - Bongkarn Thanyakij
The best ESOL (English) tutors available
Jj
5
5 (2 reviews)
Jj
$30
/h
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Carey
5
5 (7 reviews)
Carey
$40
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Anna
Anna
$40
/h
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Tim
Tim
$22
/h
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Siala
Siala
$20
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Athena
Athena
$24
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Dina
Dina
$23
/h
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Daniel
Daniel
$30
/h
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Jj
5
5 (2 reviews)
Jj
$30
/h
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1st lesson free!
Carey
5
5 (7 reviews)
Carey
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Anna
Anna
$40
/h
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1st lesson free!
Tim
Tim
$22
/h
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1st lesson free!
Siala
Siala
$20
/h
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1st lesson free!
Athena
Athena
$24
/h
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1st lesson free!
Dina
Dina
$23
/h
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1st lesson free!
Daniel
Daniel
$30
/h
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1st lesson free!
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Wintec: Waikato Institute of Technology

New Zealand Polytechnics tend to be more hands-on and practical than Universities, so are often where Kiwis go to study practical topics. This means that you will likely encounter English courses that provide actual world usage when you learn through somewhere like Wintec.

Wintec has a dedicated English language program that can help you earn your New Zealand Certificates in the English Language, as well as help you pass your IELTS, OET and Cambridge First exams. While most of the courses will have a fee attached, passing will provide you with the English language qualifications to allow you to enjoy the life you want to have in New Zealand.

As an English language provider, Wintec has several pathways that an ESOL student can look at – starting from absolutely zero understanding or knowledge of English through to a more formal course.

WIE: Waikato Institute of Education ESOL Teachers

WIE is a private English Language school based in Hamilton, although it also has branches further afield. English courses with WIE are aimed at students 14 and older, focusing on adult students looking to obtain work, study, or residency visas.

Although it is a private language school, the Waikato Institute of Education is registered with the relevant government bodies that oversee and monitor educational facilities. This includes the NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) and the Ministry of Education’s Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

Superprof English Tutors

Although Superprof is an international organisation, one of the highlights is that you can choose a specialist tutor locally or work with someone online anywhere in the world. This is an excellent option if you need extra help before sitting an equivalency exam. Because each English tutor has different skills, abilities, and languages, you can often find someone who is a fully trained ESOL teacher and can communicate in your native language. This makes it much easier if your English language ability is at zero or if you want to engage a tutor to help older or younger members of your family improve their English.

Working with a tutor will often involve working in your home, which increases the accessibility for those that find it difficult to leave home to attend classes. However, some tutors also work from public spaces such as cafes or library’s, so make this one of the questions you ask when you first get in touch.

 English Class in Hamilton
English Class in Hamilton - West from Getty

ATC Vision College English Class

Vision College has a strong Christian ethos and welcomes multilingual students wanting to learn English at varying levels. Vision works with refugees and migrants, starting with ‘pre-beginner’ classes going right through to an Elementary level.

Their classes are four days a week, allowing for 12 hours of language learning per week. Most of the classes can be accessed free if you meet the criteria. Vision College classes at the very basic level are designed to give ESOL learners enough English to take further study. While at the more ‘post beginner’ class, English students should read, write, listen and speak in English well enough to cope at a basic level within most Kiwi workplaces. The courses are designed to focus on the Kiwi lifestyle, so they may include cultural references and coping with everyday life in New Zealand.

The best ESOL (English) tutors available
Jj
5
5 (2 reviews)
Jj
$30
/h
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1st lesson free!
Carey
5
5 (7 reviews)
Carey
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Anna
Anna
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Tim
Tim
$22
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Siala
Siala
$20
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Athena
Athena
$24
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Dina
Dina
$23
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Daniel
Daniel
$30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Jj
5
5 (2 reviews)
Jj
$30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Carey
5
5 (7 reviews)
Carey
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Anna
Anna
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Tim
Tim
$22
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Siala
Siala
$20
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Athena
Athena
$24
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Dina
Dina
$23
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Daniel
Daniel
$30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Let's go

Citizens Advice Bureau Hamilton to find ESOL Teachers

While not strictly a language learning centre, the CAB Hamilton is a great resource to connect to community groups. They are a free advice service and able to provide a range of basic advice that includes some legal advice or help with finding accommodation, opening bank accounts or budgeting (with the way New Zealand utilities are billed, this can confused people used to a different system). They also provide help for migrants or refugees without strong English skills.

ICA: International College of Auckland English Class

Another private language institute, the International College of Auckland, has two campuses, one in Auckland and the other in Garden Place, Hamilton.

ICA offers a range of English Languages courses, including the New Zealand Certificate in English Language and Migrant English. In addition, they also provide Engineering programmes aimed at migrants to New Zealand, so they may be well suited for a career change or update to the NZ regulations and way of working.

young english students studying in new zealand
Kids studying English in Hamilton - davidf from Getty

Number Works and Words English Course

This is a nationwide franchise known for helping primary and high school students improve their mathematics skills. However, they also work with English language learners and kiwi kids who are struggling with reading.

Their English tutoring program is designed to line up with the New Zealand curriculum, so it can be an excellent choice for migrating students. Not only can Number WorksnWords help with basic English but they can also help get kids up to speed with the language at the appropriate level to fit in with their peers. New Zealand does suffer from tall poppy syndrome, so don’t worry so much about using this to put your children at the top of the class. But it can be an excellent way to help them shine and find ways to share their genuine interests with their schoolmates.

Learn English Online

As well as a range of ESOL schools and courses in the Waikato, English learners can also look online for help. The local Hamilton Library offers free resources for self-directed learning. There is also a range of apps, both free and subscription-based, that can help with improving your vocabulary.

However, one thing to note is that New Zealand English tends to follow the British/UK English spellings, and many of the online resources use USA spelling. While generally you will be understood using either spelling, some differences can cause confusion. An almost absolute example is the use of check/cheque. In New Zealand, a “check” is a tick mark or a type of pattern, while a cheque is a bank draft.

New Zealand English also has a fair amount of Te Reo Maori intermingled. The amount will vary depending on where in New Zealand you are. Although you may have encountered “kia ora” in signage and tourism marketing, other words such as “puku” (which means tummy) or “hangi” (a type of earth oven), are common words that you are unlikely to learn through either USA or UK based resources.

Learning Kiwi English Online
Learning English With WhatsApp and Facebook - DjileDesign from Getty

Facebook Versus WhatsApp To Learn English Online

While WhatsApp is a prevalent communications tool worldwide, it hasn’t really taken off in New Zealand. You will find many English tutors use it because they are aware of its popularity as an English language communication resource overseas.

Kiwis with friends and family overseas will often use WhatsApp personally, but if you want to connect to local resources, community groups, or find recommendations for English language learning options, you are best to look through Facebook.

Continuing To Improve Your English

In New Zealand, almost every town, no matter its size, has a library that is free to access for local residents. While many will have books in your native tongue, they have an excellent range of newspapers, magazines and (of course) books. Most libraries also use BorrowBox or a similar digital resource, which can provide you with free access to audio books and eBooks (please note that most books cannot be used with a Kindle).

Hamilton is lucky enough to have several library’s, and you can return books between them all. You will also find that each local library has its own set of community events that focus on the needs of the immediate area.

While the more popular new release titles and some DVDs will often have a small charge, most items are completely free. The majority of humans find it easier to learn anything they are genuinely interested in. So, once you have found a tutor to help you learn the basics, head down to your local library and find magazines in English that fit with your passions.

The key to learning English is practice. You have the opportunity to embrace a full immersion experience; now you just have to find the ESOL teachers to help you on your journey.

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Alison