Kiwiana online class ‘sweet as’ for lockdowned learners

English Language Groups

Porirua centre’s learners flooded into their Kiwiana course.

Classes for low-level learners run during the April school holidays were so popular that manger Jacqs Wilton added a second Zoom room. And even with the course divided into higher and lower levels, each class still had large numbers.

Teacher Hanschen Venter says “In the lower-level class, learners looked at ‘bees’ knees’ and ‘stoked’, and the very common Kiwi term: ‘sweet as.’”

“Learning parts of Kiwi English is so important,” she says. “It’s often where conversation breaks down when people develop English, as they have no idea what Kiwis are talking about.”

“Unless you know, who could really link ‘It’s the bees’ knees’ with ‘It’s wonderful?’”

Hanschen presented the new ‘Kiwi speak’ language and learners talked in breakout groups about what they thought the Kiwi expression meant, then rejoined the main class to share. Hanschen says this created a relaxing learning environment and a lot of laughter.

“They loved learning the word ‘pub’, and now talk about their Friday afternoon gatherings at ‘the pub’ – they’re Kiwi as!”

Jacqs says the response in their latest learner survey showed that 78% are happy to continue with online learning.

“It’s a great finding. Especially for learners at the low levels who’ve jumped on board with the technology so quickly and enthusiastically.”

ELP's Kiwiana teaching resource

Like to learn online with English Language Partners? Find out more.

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English Language Groups

  • 2-4 hours per week
  • Learn Kiwi English in a class
  • Learn about New Zealand culture
  • Go on day trips
  • Meet other people in your community
  • Qualified teachers
  • Fees may apply. Ask at your centre.
  • In all centres

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