Patchwork stories create sense of belonging and memory

English Language Groups

At English Language Partners, we look for new and innovative ways of teaching. Palmerston North centre's arty topic is just another great way to get the English learning happening.


In Palmy, our learners are enthusiastic about their new ELP ‘home,’ and jumped at a chance to create an artwork to celebrate their move.


Teacher Liz Wharton says a craft making project had been in the pipeline for a while.

“But then the lockdown swung in on 17 August, and our idea of drawing on learners’ artistic skills had to be put on hold.”


It was the return to face-to-face classes in October that finally gave the English Language Partners’ learners time together to complete their goal:

To create something beautiful to decorate our new ELP home. To have a collective sense of belonging and to create a memory, using a range of vocabulary and using the skills within each class.”

English Language Partners' learners with their artwork


"To mark Palmy’s ‘new beginning,’" Liz says, "classmates made individual wall hanging squares which were sewn onto backings by Shakila Hashim, who’s a Cultural Learning Assistant for one of the classes."


“Each square has the learner’s name,” says Liz. “And each is ‘embroidered’ with abstract or real items which illustrate something special for each person.”


Many of the squares featured flowers. As one learner says: “We all love flowers! To us, flowers represent peace and love.” “We are all different,” another adds. “But everyone wishes to live in peace and love.”

English Language Partners' artwork - individual pieces


Liz says everyone enjoyed doing the embroidery work. “It was a great activity.


“Learners will remember and cherish the time this special class spent together in 2021.”
English Language Partners' learners with their artwork


To complete the art project, learners expressed how they valued this English project.

Mee Mee: “My hobby is doing embroidery; I enjoy sewing my name into the piece of cloth. There are daisy in the garden, everywhere at home, white, green and red, love to all people.”


Shwe Wah: “Respect the flags – New Zealand flag and Karen flag, Unity to all people regardless of religions.”


Mah Ngae: “Karen flag, love all things Karen, everyone needs sunshine and stars in their lives.”


Bibi Zulaikha: “I sew my name in three colours, black, red, and green -the colours of Afghanistan, flowers pots represent gardens of Afghanistan.”


Abdul Khaliq: “Afghanistan flag, rose flower is Afghanistan flower.”


Rahima: “I like hibiscus flower, bunga raya reminds me of my time in Malaysia.”


Ma Naw: “Rabbits playing in the garden.”


Amina: “I think and design it.”


Tun Tun: “Flower is a sign of love, everyone loves flowers, I love flowers too.”


Sabera: “I love flowers, flowers make me happy, relax and calm.”


Zainab: “I love flower, make me happy.”


Abdul Hussain: “I design the pattern and my wife helped me to sew the flag and flower.”


Mulki: “I love Afghanistan.”


Zia Gul: “I like rose and pink rose.”

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