Betsy Boeijen, her English Language Partners’ teacher, says Danièle, from Tahiti, is a truly inspiring learner.
“As well as learning English, Danièle’s also a very busy volunteer,” Betsy says. Each week, Danièle plays with ‘Ukulele Rhythms’ – seven people who perform for the elderly in rest homes in the Rotorua community. “Danièle sings and plays both Tahitian and Hawaiian ukuleles.”
Music was the topic of one of Betsy’s recent ‘lockdown lessons’. “Danièle showed us her instruments, explaining the different traditional ukuleles from both countries,” she says. “It was such a great way to get people asking questions.”
Betsy says Danièle’s classmates were fascinated. “Everyone was so interested when they saw the different ukeleles,” she says. “People were totally engaged, and asked all kinds of questions; really building their confidence in English.”
Danièle had shared that she’d been feeling a bit sad as, living by herself in isolation, she hadn’t been able to perform to an audience – something she loves! When one class member asked her to perform for the class, Danièle was delighted.
After singing and playing, Danièle said the songs made her feel happy and connected with her family; her grandmother, children and her grandchildren back home in Tahiti, as she misses them all very much.
English, sharing skills and cultures are all part of learning with English Language Partners – even while classes are online!
Traditional Tahitian and Hawaiian ukuleles
Danièle’s a student in our Rotorua centre’s English Language Group programme. Contact your closest centre if you’d like to join.