Jacqs Wilton, Porirua centre’s manager, says the majority of our Porirua centre’s classes went smoothly on to Zoom, with a couple using Messenger and Facebook. “There was one class that we delivered a month’s worth of paper-based lessons to – and supported them by phone contact,” she says.
While people learning via phone contact and support continued to learn, Jacqs says that the teaching staff didn’t feel this was ideal.
“We decided to teach learners from our beginner level classes how to get online – something many had shied away from.”
“Because they’ve no prior formal literacy or numeracy education,” says Jacqs, “they need really sustained support to develop their English and study skills.”
Jacqs says that to run a ‘Digital Literacy for Absolute Beginners’ class effectively, teacher Angela Williams really had to home in on the basics of using phones and tablets.
“She started off right at the beginning, helping to set up email accounts and getting learners to remember their passwords.”
Another class teacher, Jan Lopez, and Cultural and Language Assistant, Ku Reh Nga, also attended to offer support and translation to the class that ran from February to April.
“After only 20 class hours – huge success!” says Jacqs. “The centre’s lowest-level learners can now use either their phone or a tablet to email and log on to Zoom for class.”
Jacqs says they’re going to follow up with ongoing practice in the usual English literacy and numeracy classes to ensure that the skills are retained, and these new Kiwis can participate in society online.
“These are essential skills if we need to go to remote teaching again.”
“Such an awesome effort by everyone involved,” says Jacqs. “Well done to the learners for stepping right outside their comfort zone!”
The ESOL Literacy programme teaches context-based English to adults from refugee and migrant backgrounds who have minimal literacy and numeracy in their mother language.