Volunteers in New Zealand are helping refugees learn English.
Nelson, New Zealand is one of the country’s resettlement areas for the refugees, 50 percent of whom have originally come from Colombia. 30 percent from Myanmar, and 20 percent hailing from Bhutan. As refugees from non-native English speaking countries– others even coming from camps in other countries– some of them have little to no English education at all.
English Language Partners
Because of the language barrier that these refugees experience, a non-profit organization called English Language Partners initiated a home tutoring programs for them.
Coordinator Trish Standring said that the tutors and the learners and their families form amazing relationships because of the program, aside from learning English itself, for the learner, and the sense of accomplishment knowing that they were able to impart their knowledge, for the teachers.
The program does not require their volunteers to have any teaching experience. All they need is to be fluent English speakers, and have the willingness to help others and to understand. The non-profit organization will handle the training of the tutors to prepare them for their classes. Apart from this, they also have access to a variety of teaching materials available at English Language Partners, and even earn an NZQA certificate after they have assessed their learners.
Apart from this, as http://www.elitetutor.sg/english-tuition/explains, it is also important to factor in the student’s lifestyles and needs in the learning process. This is why the comprehensive training course also includes learning about the refugees’ background, handling adult learners, and teaching them specific language skills they can easily apply in their daily lives.
Of course, the English lessons are not limited to children alone. Refugees come in different ages, and for adults, they would need the language skills necessary for them to land a job, form a sense of belongingness and community, and properly adjust to their new homes. Even www.elitetutor.sg agrees with this, as adult learners need conversational speaking skills, or even business English for them to be able to have a good life in an English speaking countries.
Learning English and Beyond
Not only do they learn how to communicate in English, but they will also help develop social connections and life skills which are very important in adapting to a new country. Furthermore, having a good command of the language would also give them the confidence to get jobs or even a driving license.
On the part of the tutors, one tutor has explained that the rewards of teaching refugees has been amazing. He shares that he received a sense of satisfaction for every small progress that his students show, as well as enjoying authentic foreign food that the refugees cook when he comes over to teach.
Not only is it a program to help cross the language barrier that refugees experience, it is also a way to bridge refugees and natives together, develop a sense of community, and help each other learn about different cultures.