English Language Partners Mobile 2024 02 12

Teaching new Kiwis the essentials for life

English Language Partners offers a vital lifeline for former refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. The not-for-profit organisation provides free English classes for work and everyday life, helping new Kiwis settle and live independently.

According to Katie Peckitt, the Auckland Central and West Centre Manager, English Language Partners has a long pedigree stretching back to the 1970s. ‘We provide excellent English language education in context for everyday life and work,’ she explains.

English Language Partners has 21 centres nationwide, including three in Auckland. They also deliver several classes out West at New Lynn, Henderson, Massey and Hobsonville Point.

The organisation offers both online and in-person classes. And there are even volunteer home tutors to support those who can’t get out and about or aren’t online.

Funding of $6,000 from the Your West Support Fund has increased the availability of classes in The West. The funding has been used to pay for venue hire. And it's gone a long way to ensure English Language Partners continues offering free classes in easily accessible locations near learners' homes.

The English for speakers of other languages literacy programme offered in Henderson is aimed at students with fewer than six years of education in their home countries. The sessions help students develop reading, writing and numeracy skills in English.

At Hobsonville Point and Massey, the emphasis is on general English language skills, covering all aspects of everyday life. From learning how to talk to a doctor or participate in parent-teacher interviews to workplace communication, these classes promote a sense of belonging and ensure new arrivals can participate in society.

The programmes run during term time. Classes are always popular, with over 1,000 learners in 2023 at the Auckland Central and West Centre. Courses are progressive so that participants can build on their skills and knowledge.

Students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and countries all over the globe. Iris is one student to benefit from the Massey Community Hub course. She was enthusiastic about her experience. ‘The classes are interactive, so I get more chances to practice my oral English and listening,’ she says.

Furthermore, many friendships are forged in the classroom, providing a valuable support network to new arrivals.

Check out the English Language Partners’ website for full details of the courses available. You can also sign up to volunteer. The organisation relies on a network of volunteers to run the home tutoring programme and is always keen to hear from anyone who wants to make a difference.