Hero photograph
Photo by Andrea Cosgrove


Lauren Briggs —

In 2019, the ESOL department welcomed new students from Vietnam, Japan, Tonga, Samoa, East Timor, China, Afghanistan and the Philippines. We love to celebrate the diversity in our department by sharing and teaching each other about our language, food, and culture, during class activities and other special events.

Ms Briggs, Mrs Marijo Flores, and the Filipino Youth Group, organised and hosted our annual Salu Salo evening as well as introducing ‘Filipino Week’, where we ran activities for students at intervals and lunchtimes. Once again, the students and staff from Hornby Primary School joined us for Salu Salo and this year we had over 300 people attend. The amazing food and performances kept everyone well entertained. 

In ESOL classes this year, students expanded their English learning through a variety of online learning sites and apps. Students blogged about their learning and completed research projects based on field trips. Students also developed their reading and writing skills across different text types such as procedures, reports, recounts, and expositions. Working in pairs and groups to practise vocabulary and grammar is an important component of ESOL class and students had the opportunity to gain speaking confidence through collaborative learning and sharing. 

Reige: The most challenging out of all the activities that we had was the construction of our sentences, many people had trouble with this topic. We toppled this problem with practising at home and going to study groups at Ian’s house.

Ace: By doing ESOL for the first time I've learned how to speak English more accurately. I’ve only been in New Zealand for 2 months but I'm figuring things out.

Shawn: Well for me, I have learned a lot of new things in ESOL and it really helps me a lot. Throughout this year I have fixed my grammar and spelling.

Faith: This year was really fun because of ESOL. I had fun playing games and doing many activities. I’ve also learned some new things that helped me through my other subjects such as English and Social Studies. One of the best things that happened in ESOL was when we went to Willowbank. It was really thrilling seeing many animals that I haven’t seen before. I hope that next year will be even better than this year.

Wajihah: This year in ESOL, I have learnt some new words that I didn’t know of but had the same definition as the simple words. I enjoyed learning new things in ESOL.

Louise: This year in ESOL, I learnt a lot but what I really enjoyed was when we read “Charlotte’s Web”. It was a very interesting book. ESOL overall was fun.

Myka: I think what I liked the most was when we went to Willowbank to do research. I also liked it when we played language games after a lesson. I think the Literacy Box helps me the most because I can’t answer questions when it comes to stories, but the Literacy Box reading cards help me.

Matthew: I’d like to say that I learnt many new things in ESOL this year. It is important in my life because I need to learn new languages and learn new stuff. I learnt how to write proper sentences and did lots of grammar notes. I really enjoyed this years ESOL because of learning new things and because our teacher Ms Briggs was very nice to us. Throughout the time I was in ESOL, she helped me when I was stuck.

Subhnesh: In ESOL, I learnt how to read and write in English. Also, I really enjoyed reading the story ‘’Charlotte’s Web’’. We also went to Willowbank on a field trip and everyone enjoyed the trip.

Sofia: This year for ESOL I’d like to say that I really enjoyed coming to ESOL. ESOL class has taught me a lot of new things such as how to write good paragraphs and how to improve my grammar.

Zapa: This year in ESOL I’ve learned so many things. We have to learn reading, writing, grammar, proper sentences, and spelling.

Rusi: This year in ESOL I had lots of fun and learned new things. I enjoyed reading the book ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and watching the movie about it. I enjoyed learning how to write an essay and making your dream meal. This year ESOL was fun and I’m looking forward to next year.

Anne: This year I learned a lot in ESOL. Ms Briggs taught me a lot of things that actually help me in my everyday life, even though I just entered ESOL in the second semester. I started communicating with others and started to be confident in English.

Sarah: Firstly, I just wanted to say that I thought ESOL was going to be boring since I thought it was just about heaps of writing, but boy was I wrong. ESOL was one of my favourite subjects this year, not just because of my friends who were in the same class as me, but also because of my teacher. Ms Briggs has helped me a lot by giving me support and advice with my writing, giving me the confidence to not be scared of speaking in front of the class, and she also makes class fun by making jokes or making learning fun using games. Lastly, being in ESOL has given me different things that will help me in the future with my NCEA, for example different paragraph structures and different sentence styles. Maraming salamat Ms Briggs! 

Iemaima: I came to Hornby High School in Term 3, but I've learned many things. We play fun games sometimes and also my English is very improved right now because of Ms Briggs and the way she taught me how to speak and also not to be scared of speaking in front of people. I'm so happy to join in ESOL class next year and I've enjoyed the ESOL class this year.