- 01. What Type of English Class Do You Need?
- 02. Find ESOL Teachers That Suit
- 03. Community Education Centre Wellington
- 04. English Language Partners
- 05. New Zealand Language Centres (NZLC)
- 06. Superprof ESOL Teachers
- 07. The Campbell Institute
- 08. Victoria University English as a Second Language
- 09. What Skills Should ESOL Teachers Have?
- 10. ESOL and Kiwi Idioms
Coming to New Zealand can be exciting, but it can also be quite terrifying if you don’t understand English. So, if you are moving to the country’s capital for work, study, or lifestyle, how do you find ESOL teachers in Wellington?
What Type of English Class Do You Need?
As the NZ Immigration website points out, there are different types of English. Which style you should learn will depend on what you are primarily going to be doing in Wellington.
Learning Academic English:
The style of English used if you are studying at Victoria or any other academic institution. This is often more formal and may include specialist terms.
Learning Business English:
If you are moving to New Zealand for work, this can help make the transition smoother. This can help understanding business terminology and developing the more formal communication methods used in the Kiwi workplace.
Learning Everyday English:
If you want to enjoy conversations with kiwis, you will need to understand the more casual English used every day.
English Proficiency Test:
Many jobs and study options and most visas require a certain level of basic English. ESOL certification courses can help provide proof of your knowledge.
New Zealand Certificates in English Language (NZCEL):
This is the official certification from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). There are 5 levels, plus a ‘foundation’ level, and they are suitable for every level of English learner.
Find ESOL Teachers That Suit
In New Zealand, there is a range of options for learning English. Suppose you aren’t in a major city. In that case, there are options to learn English online or to find an English tutor who can work with you to improve your conversational skills.
In Wellington, there are several ESOL teachers with English teaching abilities to suit every learner.
Community Education Centre Wellington
Coming in under the Adult Continuing Education (ACE) funding umbrella allows the CEC to offer a free “English in the Community” class for New Zealand citizens and residents. For non-residents, the cost is minimal (~$100).
This is a wonderful way to develop or improve your conversational English skills and practice your English in a supportive but natural environment. Because these conversational English courses are run in local areas, they can also be a great way to meet other people within your immediate community.
English Language Partners
The English Language Partners has a range of different English courses. These range from absolute beginners to conversational improvements through to more specific English classes where your English teacher will focus on areas like the New Zealand road code.
English Language Partners is focused on working with those who are from refugee and migrant backgrounds and want to learn English. Many of their ESOL teachers are volunteers. ELP says that their “largest learner ethnic group was Asian, followed by Middle Eastern, South American (including Mexican and Central American), European, Pacific Islander, then African.”
New Zealand Language Centres (NZLC)
The NZLC was established in 1984 and now caters to English language learners from 13 years and older. They have a range of English courses available and those wanting to teach English (TESOL, TESCOL or CELTA).
One of the unique aspects of learning English through NZLC is arranging accommodation and assistance with work or study. They are an NZQA Category 1 school. The school follows the “Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students”.
As an approved pre-testing centre for The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), students can take English course to help them practice for the test.
Superprof ESOL Teachers
There is no reason why finding ESOL teachers perfectly suited to your exact needs should be problematic in the modern world. While conversation classes and group ESOL courses can be beneficial, many students need an English tutor who can cater to their exact needs.
While a generic course to learn English online can be helpful, when you are looking for ESOL teachers that can provide a more customised experience, one-to-one tuition is often the best way to go.
Using a database service like Superprof to find your English tutor or ESOL teachers makes it easier to find the right person to suit your needs. Reading tutor reviews improves the likelihood that you learn the skills you need. Whereas, with a group lesson, you have to hope the group eventually will get to the bits you need to know.
The Campbell Institute
With campuses in both Wellington and Auckland, the Campbell Institute is set up to help students learn English through a range of English courses, including:
- General English
- ELTS Exam Preparation
- Cambridge Exam Preparation
Unfortunately, with the global pandemic, the Campbell Institute has been unable to take new students until the New Zealand border is open to new students. As yet, the institute has not established an online English learning option.
Victoria University English as a Second Language
With a wealth of resources, The Language Learning Centre (LLC) at Victoria provides free, self-directed resources for improving your English. They also have papers like “English for Academic Purposes” specifically created to help non-English speakers looking to study in New Zealand.
ESOL courses through universities are often ‘foundation’ courses and ideal if you need to prove you can communicate in English well enough to complete your degree. They also provide an excellent foundation for understanding lectures and writing in the academic English expected within the New Zealand Tertiary education system.
What Skills Should ESOL Teachers Have?
For an ESOL teacher to be employed in a New Zealand school (primary, secondary), they must be a registered teacher AND have a qualification for teaching English as a Second Language. This can be a post-graduate qualification in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), or a standalone TESOL certificate. ESOL teachers don’t need to be registered with The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand to teach at the tertiary level. Still, most universities require at least a master’s degree to teach.
However, privately employed English tutors or teachers in private educational institutions do not need to be qualified. Nevertheless, because there is no overseeing body, if you are going through a private course or tutor, some of the skills you should expect (and should enquire about) include:
Knowledge of learning a language:
If the tutor does not have a qualification in TESOL, they should have experience in learning at least a second language to have real-world experience in the difficulties and requirements for learning another language.
Experience as ESOL Teacher (or any teaching):
While this doesn’t have to be in a classroom, your tutor should have experience teaching. Whether this was as a volunteer, a teachers aid, or a youth leader, teaching is often a skill that people think is easy until they try it.
Understanding different cultures:
When you move to New Zealand, there can be quite a culture shock. Having a tutor who understands your own culture and can translate this to help you adapt to some of the Kiwi quirks is immensely helpful. In addition, being confident that you can ask questions and have accurate answers is vital.
Understand Kiwi Slang:
Even if you intend to be immersed in high-level academics, English Idioms can be challenging enough, but in New Zealand, we have our own unique language and also add Maori and Pacific language into the mix. From the classic “yeah-nah” (which generally is an acknowledgement that your question was heard and thought about, but the answer is no) to more formal “nga mihi” (which is now often used in replace of “kind regards”).
Equipped with learning resources:
Many teachers will have workbooks or dictionaries that they recommend. Your tutor should be able to provide you with a list of suitable resources and potentially create set lesson plans to cater to your learning objectives. This could include recommending YouTube videos or Podcasts that can help with your pronunciation or listening skills.
Provide progress reports:
These don’t need to be actual reports, but you want to know that you are making progress in your English learning journey and knowing what you should be learning next. Again, having a teacher who is focused on ensuring that you have the best learning opportunity without ego is the goal. If they cannot teach you beyond a certain level, they should recommend where you can go for the next level.
One of the things that surprise many English learners is that few native English speakers have any idea about grammar – many can’t tell the difference between a noun and a verb, let alone explain how primary sentence structure works.
Learning a new language is hard! Your English tutor should be patient, understanding, and able to help. It isn’t a job, it is a calling, and not one everyone can do successfully.
ESOL and Kiwi Idioms
Like every country, New Zealand has a long list of idioms and slang. However, many of the words in current use are imported from England, Scotland or Maori. Although we are starting to see more American slang creeps into everyday vernacular.
Kiwis speak English very fast, and even when you ask them to slow down, trying as they might, slowing down seems to be something new Zealanders struggle with.
Finding a great ESOL teacher in New Zealand means that you’ll find someone who understands the local slang, can translate regional variance and can annunciate well.
When you are looking to engage a tutor or enrol in an English course, ask questions. People in New Zealand are generally pretty friendly, and your tutor will want to share this attitude with you.
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