Creating Zero Waste champions through ESOL classes and workshops


ELP North Shore’s class have enjoyed a busy day of zero waste activities.

The Intensive English class participated in a pilot in the Albany New Kiwis Zero Waste Education Initiative. It's a collaboration between the Upper Harbour Board and English Language Partners, an initiative bringing together English lessons with workshops and activities focussed on 'zero waste'.

The Zero Waste Education Initiative begins with a module introducing learners to vocabulary related to zero waste.

Anthony, a learner originally from South Korea, was delighted with the follow up workshop presentations, although he says he found it a challenge keeping up when the presenters spoke quickly. Fortunately, the pre-taught language just kept him on track!

“I understood because we learned about the subject and language in advance.”

The 'zero waste' programme involved a series of workshops

Waste 101 was an interactive workshop that filled gaps in learners’ knowledge about waste disposal and recycling, especially dealing with confusing items like meat trays, batteries and e-waste. People learned the magnitude of Auckland’s waste and Auckland Council’s 2040 zero waste target. Elmore, a migrant from China says he learned a lot, and he plans to apply his new knowledge in the future.

“The more you learn about something, the more responsibility you take.”

Love Food Hate Waste was informative and fun. Learners enjoyed Bindi’s presentation tips about storing food and loved the entertaining game she devised to test their knowledge. Nicole, originally from China, said she got “very useful knowledge” and Gloria, also from China, says she will add this “new knowledge” to the knowledge given by her mother.

Learners all agreed they were going to buy less food in the future to cut back on how much they wasted.
Love Food Hate Waste session with English Language Partners

Clean up you neighbourhood The final activity involved a clean-up around Albany Domain. After being supplied with gloves and large plastic bags, everyone went off in groups to pick up as much rubbish as they could find. The class filled several large bags, but were pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t more rubbish in such a big public area.

Learners said the programme was engaging and interesting - they'd made plans to reduce their own waste and, of course, interacted meaningfully in English. All in all, a huge success, with teacher June Couldridge saying she was happy to add the zero waste programme to her English course.

“The more migrants understand about New Zealand and the local community, the more they feel they belong and contribute.”

Her learners agree! And they are well on their way to becoming champions for Auckland Council’s 2040 zero waste target!

Writer: Jan Scott

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ESOL Intensive

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