Hero photograph
Photo by Joe McMenamin

English Language Learning 2015

ELL Coordinator —

Once more, we have had a lot of learning and a lot of fun in our English Language Learning classes in 2015. We started the year with ten returnees from 2014 and five new arrivals attending classes in Room 7A, with a further eight arriving through the year. All of these students develop a personalised timetable that includes mainstream classes as their skill and confidence grow. This year the students have been lucky to have the help of three part-time bilingual tutors: Daniel (Spanish), Soheir (Arabic) and Emy (Spanish, attached to one student).

In addition we ran an NCEA English Language class of 15 that included eight students who did not attend 7A classes, of whom three were new to New Zealand. Nationalities represented in all of our specialist classes are: Afghani, Chinese, Colombian, Indian, Indonesian, Filipino, Rwandan, Samoan, Sri Lankan, Somalian, Syrian, Tongan and Vietnamese. And of course there are many other English Language Learners, from these and other parts of the world, participating in and contributing to mainstream classes, supported by their mainstream teachers.

As a school we love to celebrate the diversity of our community and give it expression on Multicultural Day and it was a special thrill this year to have two Colombian dances performed by a group of six students, five from Colombia and one from Syria. Many thanks to Daniel and Claudia who put so much time and effort into preparing the dances and the dancers.

We connected with our Language Learning community with two events during the year. On 25 August we delivered an Arabic language NCEA information presentation, to run alongside the subject selection and careers expo on the same evening. We invited all families who did, or might have had, Arabic speakers in their whanau and had a pleasing response. Those who attended appreciated having help to negotiate the careers display as well. Thanks to Ramia who did such a good job of interpretation. And on the 13th November we had a morning tea to which whanau were invited and it was lovely to share this with two mothers, a father and a sister, as well as our ELLs and two tutors.

During the year we also engaged in some EOTC. In February we took eleven of our newest arrivals to Percy’s Reserve so they could experience the peace and beauty of the New Zealand bush, and in July we visited Expressions Gallery to see the exhibition of 50 National Geographic Photographs, taken in the last 50 years. On 23rd November we had our annual day trip. We travelled to Wellington by train, hopped aboard the ferry to explore Somes island (and eat our lunch), returning again to Wellington for some fun at the lagoon - six students even braved the water – and so back to Naenae on the train, with many sleepy people!

We wish all our ELLs and their whanau and the tutors and teachers a wonderful holiday break (with lots of practice in English), and look forward to seeing you again next year.