Farewell to amazing home tutor Jackie


Jackie Sayers has been a wonderful volunteer for English Language Partners for more than 10 years - helping former refugees and migrants improve their English and feel at home in Aotearoa.

We hope you feel inspired reading her story!

“I’m unsure when I started volunteering as an ‘English as a second language’ home tutor. It may have been about 2007. I had no experience teaching English in any form, but plenty of experience in working in education with adult learners.

"I first heard about English Language Partners (ELP) when I saw an advert in the local Feilding free paper for volunteers.

ELP has given me the opportunity to meet and get to know people, both learners and tutors, from a wide range of cultures, languages and religions.

"I've met people from India, China, Philippines, Cambodia, Egypt, South Africa, Germany, France, Columbia, Africa, Bhutan, Nepal, Fiji, Japan, Holland, Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine  and Hungary that I can recall.  And this is in small town New Zealand!

"Of course, I've also met many Kiwis who were born here! And my trips to Palmerston North to the 'mother office' for committee meetings and shared events, introduced me to Afghani and Myanmar refugees.

"I don’t recall how long it took me to get hooked, but probably not more than half an hour. I have been hooked ever since. I have been a home tutor since around 2007, but I've also spent a number of years assisting with the Literacy and Conversation classes. I also served on the local committee - back when the centres were run by committee.

"My experience with ELP had been a two-way process: I have helped learners learn the intricacies of New Zealand English and they have taught me about their language and culture.

I have also learnt a lot about English language. It's made me realise, as an immigrant myself, that it's not enough to see English in New Zealand without its co-partner te reo Maori. We too need to become bi-lingual.

"I've had a wonderful time as a volunteer for ELP and it’s with reluctance but necessity that I step down this year. However I do know that while I won’t have any learners as such I do I have a lot of friends!”

At ELP Palmerston North, we sadly farewelled Jackie at the end of last year. If you would like to become an ELP volunteer and join our team of ESOL home tutors, please get in touch.

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ESOL Home Tutoring

  • 1-2 hours per week
  • Learn about New Zealand culture
  • Trained, volunteer tutors
  • Lessons in your home
  • For New Zealand citizens and residents
  • Free programme
  • In all centres
  • Find out more

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