New Zealand has been a desirable location to immigrate to for many years. However, since the global pandemic, people worldwide have been re-evaluating their situation, Aeotaroa has become even more desirable. To avoid Auckland’s congestion, the Bay of Plenty is an increasingly popular destination, so where should new kiwis go to find ESOL courses in Tauranga? And what makes a good English course?

The best ESOL (English) tutors available
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Daniel
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Should You Learn English Online Or In Person?

Many of the more well known English classes are found only in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. However, Tauranga’s population of over 150,000, and its short drive from Auckland, mean that you have plenty of options for great ESOL courses.

There are certainly advantages to both in-person ESOL courses and ESOL online options. While a combination of both can allow you to have the best of all worlds.

With an online option, you do not have to navigate New Zealand traffic, road rules or parking (one of the most prevalent complaints amongst Kiwis nationwide). This can allow you to focus on your language learning rather than arriving at your English class in a heightened state of anxiety. In addition, using video conferencing software such as Zoom, Messenger Video, or Duo means that you can still get some of the befits of in-person language tutoring.

However, with in-person ESOL courses or in-home English tutors, there are the advantages of group conversations, more real-world experiences, and getting the unconscious benefits of body language.

ESOL Courses, English Schools and Language Tutors in Tauranga

With the number of English learning options available in the BOP it can be surprisingly tricky to work out which one is best. Often new Kiwis work on word of mouth and attend a class that has been recommended. However, suppose you are the first in your friend or family group to move to New Zealand. In that case, those recommendations may be thin on the ground. The information we offer here is also designed to be helpful for native English speakers wanting to help non-English speakers adapt to kiwi culture and learn English.  This is not a complete list of all ESCOL courses available, but it will hopefully provide a good starting point.

Let’s Learn - Free English Classes

Run by Holy Trinity Tauranga (part of the Anglican Community of St Mark), the Let’s Learn ESOL classes cater to all levels. The goal is to help the community improve their English communication skills and develop a stronger community, particularly for those of the Christian faith. They do have basic English classes, right through to ESOL Bible Study groups.

Based in Devonport Road, the church has been running Christian focused ESOL groups for over 15years, with English learners from all around the world, including Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Chile, Iran, Russia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Bangladesh, Korea, Turkey, Vanuatu, Iraq, Germany, and Sweden.

The best ESOL (English) tutors available
Jj
5
5 (2 reviews)
Jj
$30
/h
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1st lesson free!
Mel
Mel
$30
/h
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1st lesson free!
Carey
5
5 (7 reviews)
Carey
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Rosina
5
5 (1 reviews)
Rosina
$18
/h
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1st lesson free!
Tim
Tim
$22
/h
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1st lesson free!
Daniel
Daniel
$30
/h
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1st lesson free!
Kathy
Kathy
$40
/h
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1st lesson free!
Lynnie ann
Lynnie ann
$30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Jj
5
5 (2 reviews)
Jj
$30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Mel
Mel
$30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Carey
5
5 (7 reviews)
Carey
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Rosina
5
5 (1 reviews)
Rosina
$18
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Tim
Tim
$22
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Daniel
Daniel
$30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kathy
Kathy
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Lynnie ann
Lynnie ann
$30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Let's go

Mount Maunganui Language Centre

This is a professional Category 1 English Language School. This means that they are registered and monitored by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). There are a limited number of Category 1 English courses in New Zealand. Each submits to an External Evaluation Review (EER) (or self-assessment) every four years, which is publicly available from the NZQA website.

The main advantage to enrol in ESOL courses through a Cat1 school is that students are generally allowed to work part-time while they’re studying without an official work visa (you do need to have a student visa, though).

The Mount Maunganui Language Center has a range of different English classes. Although none allow you to learn English online, they’re all in-person with ESOL teachers. With prices starting at around $250 a week, the more intensive courses can be completed part-time or full-time. A full-time day might look something like this:

  • 9:00 - Warm-up
  • 9:10 - Grammar/Vocabulary Development
  • 9:50 - Conversation/Pronunciation
  • 10:40 - Morning Tea/Social Conversation
  • 11:00 - Listening/Speaking
  • 12:00 - Lunch
  • 13:00 - Conversation skills/fluency activities, out of class study, exam preparation, activity programme
  • 13:55 - Break - this time may be changed to suit teachers lesson
  • 14:05 - As above, 1.00pm continued
  • 15:00 - Class finish

Toi Ohomai English Language Courses

The primary English course offered through Toi Ohomai is comparable to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) high B1. Like many ESOL classes in New Zealand, these are funded by the New Zealand government, so they are accessible to Kiwis who have their residency or citizenship approved.

Toi Ohomai also offers more formal certification, such as the New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Academic) (Level 5), which is aimed at English learners who want to take further studies under the New Zealand tertiary education system. The Level 5 certificate generally sees graduates with the English language skills to also take on postgraduate Level 8 or Level 9 courses.

Passing a Level 5 certificate English course should see students who have reached a high B2 level compared to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

Because Toi Ohomai is one of the largest tertiary institutions in the Bay of Plenty, most of their English courses are designed for those with a level of English equivalent to having passed NCEA Level 2.

An ESOL tutor teaching English
Learning English with a Tutor - Bo1982 from Getty.jpg

English Language Partners Bay of Plenty

With ESOL tutors coming from all over the Bay of Plenty, English Language Partners offer several different options for learning English. While they do have qualified TESOL and CELTA teachers available, part of the appeal to learn English through English Language Partners is that they use local volunteers. This means that while you can get a variety of experience levels from your home tutors, you will also be provided with insights into the Kiwi lifestyle and culture.

Some of the different options with English Language Partners in Tauranga include:

English Language Groups

These are held in a class with qualified teachers and are generally a minimum of 2 hours per week. As with most ESOL courses, you learn “Kiwi” English (which often has a smattering of te reo maori throughout), and have the New Zealand culture interwoven in everyday English. With the language groups, the teachers usually try to arrange day trips to introduce students to their area and provide an opportunity for new language learners to get to know each other informally.

New Zealand Certificate In English Language

This is a recognized NZQA certificate obtainable through most English language learning options. There will usually be an in-class component and an at-home component. Learning in the classroom provides you with the basic information you need, but self-study at home is where you will really master the English language. If you are struggling to find the time to practice, or simply need a little more assistance, think about hiring a tutor above and beyond your classroom learning.

English For Employees

English Language Partners run this course aimed at people with little to no English knowledge who are heading straight into the workforce. This is a 45-hour course designed to improve your workplace English. This should be a free programme supported by the New Zealand government to ensure that the kiwi workforce has strong communication skills.

English for Migrants

This type of English course has been prepaid before arriving in New Zealand, and is part of the additional fee that some migrants pay to Immigration New Zealand for English lessons. If you have paid this fee, make sure you get your lessons!

Home tutoring English Learning
English tutoring at home in Tauranga - FatCamera from Getty

Superprof ESOL Tutors

Because most ESOL tutors with Superprof offer the first lesson free, or at the very least a chance to get to know your tutor before lessons start, it is a great way for finding an English tutor who can inspire you to want to learn English.

A common theme with ESOL tutors living in New Zealand is that they have had experience teaching English overseas. While this is often primary or highschool level students, most will also have taught adults and understand the specific needs for different age groups. Common areas for Kiwis to teach overseas include Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Georgia and Spain.

Speaking Clear English

Because Kiwi English is notoriously one of the fastest spoken English variations globally and uses a lot of slang, listening and speaking are sometimes the most challenging aspects to learn. Having frequent conversations with an ESOL tutor who can communicate clearly, and help you to annunciate correctly is essential.

Talk to your tutor, whether in person or via video chat and make sure that you can understand them! The New Zealand accent can vary. While it would be good to understand kiwis from all over Aotearoa when you are learning, you really need a tutor who can make themselves understood.

learn english with picnic in Tauranga
Learn English at picnic in Tauranga - David P Hilss from Getty

Reading and Writing Perfect English

Reading a passage is one thing, but do you really understand what you have read? While reading and writing is often a skill that people think they can master on their own, having an English tutor who can help build your vocabulary and understanding is essential. This is often where retired English Professors or Board-certified English teachers make the perfect tutors.

No matter what your reason for learning English, when you arrive in Tauranga, you will be pleasantly surprised with the variety of options you have available – and if you have to learn English while sipping tea at a café at Mount Maunganui, so be it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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