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English teachers make difference

SARAH ARGYLE
Last updated 05:00 05/03/2014
Beverley Calkin
REDUCING CONFUSION: Beverley Calkin has been volunteering as an English language tutor at English Language Partners for six years and says she gets more out of the rewarding experience than she puts in.

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When Beverley Calkin saw her neighbours struggling to speak English she decided volunteering as a language tutor was the least she could do.

The Botany Downs resident says she knows Asian people who find it hard to adapt to life in New Zealand because of language barriers.

"I thought if I was in another country I would appreciate any help I could get."

Mrs Calkin saw a course advertised to become a language tutor at English Language Partners New Zealand.

The organisation works with refugees and migrants to ensure communication hurdles don't stop them from participating in New Zealand culture.

"It's so rewarding, I meet all sorts of nationalities and they teach me as much as I teach them."

"Being able to speak English gives migrants the confidence to talk to people as opposed to just sticking with people from their home country."

She says New Zealanders have the power to help new immigrants who speak English as a second language.

"Migrants get frightened that they are going to say something wrong but it is like riding a bike and the more they do it, the better they will get.

"As a whole, New Zealanders speak very fast. If we are speaking to somebody who is not from New Zealand we have to learn to slow down our speech."

Julia Castles, manager of English Language Partners Auckland South, says she knows the service makes a difference.

"These tutors teach migrants and refugees the sort of English required for effective settlement. It's quite specific because learners can set their own goals and it's not just a generic English course."

Phone 278 9099 for more information on how you can get involved with the service.

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- Eastern Courier

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