Students have written about the importance of learning English, and their year of English learning.
As one of our students wrote of life in the New Zealand education system, “Education is the key to success. English is the key to education.” This year learning English with us have been students from twelve different home countries and with proficiency in many more languages than that.
Some of their comments:
Why I want to learn English
“When members of my family who have lived in Australia, America and other countries come to our house, they all speak in English but I can’t speak it. Whatever I say they mock and then I cry and feel shy.”
“When I was young English people spoke to me and when they were speaking I was staring at them the whole time. It was funny but it sucks!”
What I’ve learned and enjoyed this year
“I like ESOL class because both students and teachers are nice.”
“The thing I learned most this year is understanding. To understand what others were saying was difficult for me. Now I understand 70%. When I came to New Zealand I needed a translator wherever I went, but now I go everywhere I want without a translator.”
“This class helped me to not be shy, and to share my ideas.”
“I have learned a lot. Now I can read and write a little bit.”
“I liked when we learned about vocabulary and grammar and when we worked in groups and when we played Kahoots and worked on chromebooks and when we read and when we spoke and when we talked about our situations and when we watched movies and when we wrote.”
“My favourite thing was conversation, when we talked together in English.”
“I read different books like ‘Chinese Cinderella’, ‘Princess Te Puea’ and ‘No Good’. I got interesting stories in these books, and new words also.”
“The thing that I liked the most was Daily Dash because that will help you every time you write and when you read.”
“I used to hate the work but now I feel it is better to do work because I will learn many things and my English will get better.”
Our trip to Matiu/Somes Island in November was a highlight for many students from both ELL123 and the reception/transition ESOL class. Mr Elliott was unable to make it but the rest of our staff contingent – teachers Mrs Goguel and Mrs Sellwood, tutors Betsy, Lah, Reuben and Sara, and our volunteer Jenny - accompanied the group of 48 students. We were blessed with perfect weather and with a cheerful friendly group of young people who perfectly illustrated our Te Whanau values and the saying ‘unity in diversity’.
Students’ thoughts about the trip included: “I loved going somewhere in the ferry. It feels so nice and relaxing looking at the beautiful mountains and the calm water.” “I liked all the places that we went on that day but my favourite place was the beach with the rocks at Matiu/Somes Island.” “I’ll always remember this trip in my mind and my whole life. It is because it was my first time on the train and on the ferry.” “When we got there, a man explained everything to us like we’re not allowed to touch the penguins’ houses where their eggs hatch.” “In the museum I saw birds’ skeletons and some tools the Maori people used on the island ages ago.”
‘Unity in diversity’ was also on display at our multicultural celebration earlier in the year. This day provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to share their cultures and languages. Some were flagbearers, some performed at the concert, and all contributed to their LAR investigation of their assigned culture.
To all the students and adults who have been part of our learning this year – thank you for all you have done and been, and all you have given us.