Friday, August 12, 2005

Wellington Street class

Nancy's class is held every Thursday mornings: 9.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. at 57 Wellington Street, Hamilton East. (a community house) I have been her helper for 3 years.

Migrant students

We have many adult students from China, Korea, Taiwan, Somalia, Brazil, Fiji, Vietnam,Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Grammar is important but we do not spend a great deal of time on it. More stress is placed on spoken English.

The subjunctive mood

We do not worry too much about things like the subjunctive mood. More time is spent on conversational or spoken English.


We used a board game to introduce the proper use of preposition. Resources like this can be borrowed from the migrant centre on Claudelands Road, Hamilton East (near the mosque).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Helping a crippled, blind, deaf, mute

"Give a man a fish and feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime."

Three years ago I got involved with the ESOL home tutor scheme (English for speakers of other languages) at the migrant centre in Hamilton. As a new migrant I noticed that many fellow immigrants from Cambodia, Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan speak very little English. They have a great deal of difficulties settling down in New Zealand. One gentleman from China put it this way: I was ok in China. In Hamilton I am a crippled and blind, deaf mute!
  • crippled because he cannot drive a car to go and visit his friends or see this beautiful country. (no driving licence)
  • blind because he cannot read road signs, maps, newspapers, books...
  • deaf because he does not understand what the kiwis are saying to him at the check out counters, hospitals, telephones, radio, TV1 news...
  • mute because he cannot speak to his neighbour, his children's teachers, his family doctor...
It was due to this conversation (in Cantonese) with a total stranger that I decided to become involved with volunteer work in NZ. I must admit that I am getting a lot of satisfaction from seeing smiling faces from my new friends. Like I said before: Maslow was a very clever man! He even knew that I was willing to give up golf in the mornings and accept work way below minimum wage ;o)