Catching a ride – in English!

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Nothing beats real-life practice to perfect the language of ‘transport and travel’ – so an excursion is definitely in order!

A classroom study on transport helped this ESOL Literacy class learn how to talk about ‘size’ and ‘speed’ in English. To practise numeracy skills, people did traffic surveys on busy streets – comparing results in tables and graphs.

Finally, last but not least, came grasping that essential life skill: purchasing a ticket to ride!

ELP learners learn about transport in NZ
ELP learners learn about transport in NZ

Palmerston North is a bit limited in public transport options and most students are already expert bus users, however the magnificent miniature railway at the Esplanade Gardens proved just the ticket for absorbing ‘train language’.

First up, the classes checked bus timetables for the best direct bus route to the Esplanade – very keen to show the teachers how to catch the bus!

The train was waiting at the station and after purchasing tickets, students boarded and enjoyed a trip through native bush, gardens, the playground and the Wildbase Recovery Centre.

After two rounds of the track, the driver gave the history of the railway, which started in 1969 and is run completely by volunteers (90 of them!). A lovely tie-in for this class who were visiting during National Volunteer Week.

To complete the day there’s always time for a picnic and fun at the playground!

Many thanks to Fred Key and Erin Johnson, Palmerston North Esplanade Railway Society volunteers, for their hospitality on the day.

Need better English? Join one of our English classes – travel towards your Kiwi dream!

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ESOL Literacy

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