While English is New Zealand’s official language (along with Maori), many new migrants from Non-English speaking countries are keen to gain proficiency.
With the rising migrant population, hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers face the challenge of maintaining proper communication with patients and carrying out proper diagnoses and treatment.
For immigrants, taking English classes in formal or informal environment would be immensely helpful.
Among the factors that discourage adults to participate in ESOL (English for Students of Other Languages) are a lack of confidence, family attitude and religious beliefs. Closely linked with this cluster and particularly important for female caregivers, is child minding.
The other three main areas of difficulty are tuition fees, transport (especially in areas not well served by public transport) and class hours.
Some adults express difficulty in attending day classes because of work commitments, while those on shift duty or with family responsibilities say that evening classes are not convenient to them.
Institutes like Aorere College of Community Education offer English language programmes taking into consideration all barriers.
Papatoetoe residents and those in the neighbourhood in South Auckland have an opportunity of undergoing an eight-week certificate course at Aorere College.
The Tutors are well trained and experienced to deliver lectures in a relaxed environment and classes are held in the evening.
Mrs Inderjeet Kaur (not real name) from South Auckland gained confidence after attending the ESOL classes. She now works in a local supermarket. There are many like Mrs Kaur who have benefited from these programmes.
New migrants are increasingly realising the need to gain proficiency in English, not only for gainful employment but also for meaningful integration into the mainstream society.
As New Zealand employers prefer to employ people fluent in English, ESOL programmes are becoming popular. Aorere College students receive smart tips to achieve their target to speak and write confidently.
The eight-week course costs less than $40. Contact (09) 2790671.
Chauhan Payak, a postgraduate in English is a Literacy Tutor at Aorere College of Community Education in Papatoetoe, South Auckland.