Hero photograph
Photo by Joe McMenamin

English Language Learners 2016  

ELL Dept —

There are thirteen different nationalities represented in our two classes (Reception/Transition and NCEA). Some arrived in New Zealand this year while others had been here for a year or two already. This is the report on this year, in a mash-up of their own words.

“At first when I came to school I was really nervous because it was a new environment, new teachers, new students and new English learning. I thought it was going to be very hard for me but it was not because the teachers were really helpful, they treated me in a good way. Whenever I see the teachers they say ‘Hi, morning, how are you?’ so I was so happy.

The students were kind and lovely so they made me feel at home. I love my class so much. I like the respect we have in our class. I made new friends. I joined a soccer team and had a good coach and good teammates. I liked to share lunch with my friends. I learned about my classmates’ culture and countries, flags, songs and dance. I enjoyed Multicultural Day because I learned lots about people’s culture, like their flags, their traditional food, traditional dress and their traditional dance.

I learned more things about New Zealand like its history, culture and cities. I also learned about Maori culture and stories about how they lived and their traditional songs and dances, and some words of their language. I enjoyed watching kapa haka.

In ESOL classes I enjoyed many things: learning new words, using the dictionary, telling my story, making masks and butterflies, acting in plays, doing the SRA reading programme, watching movies, reading books, using the computer, learning about animals, sharing opinions, doing group work, journal writing, going to the library…My favourite class is ESOL because it is the class where I learned most English.

I liked my Samoan class because my mother and my father told me not to forget my language. I enjoyed the new subjects that I started. I was scared about them, thinking ‘how am I going to do these subjects? They are really hard’. But when I started it was not really that hard because of the way the teachers were teaching. They made me understand things easily.

Before I came to New Zealand I learned some English but it was not enough for me. In New Zealand, I learned more than I thought and I am happy about this. I am happy to know that I can have a conversation for a long time. Now I can go shopping without any problems. It is a happiness that my English is very good. Now I can speak English and I wish the day will come when I speak English even better than now. I will continue learning English and move on with my dream.