20 June kicks off Aotearoa’s National Volunteer Week celebrations for 2021. It’s a great chance to recognise the amazing work of our volunteers over this past year. The pandemic hasn’t been getting in anyone’s way – 440 new volunteers trained with us (safely!) last year and we’re planning to train at least as many in 2021.
As well as teaching English, ESOL home tutors have been working tirelessly to ensure our newer Kiwis aren’t feeling isolated – helping people learn more about connecting socially in their communities. 2020’s ‘Covid-19’ year saw our volunteers working even harder – teaching via electronic and online methods when the lockdown times required it.
Keeping tutors up to date with teaching practice is central to supporting these very important learning partnerships, and regular upskilling workshops are run for volunteers around the country. Our Palmerston North people are very active, with over 23 volunteers attending the centre’s most recent, very popular refresher workshop: ‘Sounds good: A speaking skills workshop for teaching pre-literate learners’.
The workshop was highly interactive and full of fresh ideas.
“I can adapt some of the activities to suit my learner’s level.”
“I’ll now gather pictures and objects to use as visual aids to promote vocabulary.”
But workshops aren’t just for new ideas, they’re also a wonderful networking opportunity for volunteers to share teaching tips and tricks together – which our Palmy tutors found a first-rate aspect of the workshop.
“Tutors’ input on how they’d use the resources was very helpful for me!”
Want to know more about an English Language Partners refresher workshop? Here’s a brief outline of our latest:
‘Sounds good: A speaking skills workshop for teaching pre-literate learners’
Working with low-level learners can be a challenge! Especially pre-literate learners – with limited reading / writing skills in their mother language.
Our workshoppers focussed on visual techniques for speaking activities as an effective way to teach new language. They looked at picture stories, grids, information gap activities and role play dialogues. As many visual techniques don’t require learners to read words, they are really useful for helping learners notice and practise correct pronunciation.
Our special thanks go to Dana Taylor, for facilitating so many workshops for us over the years. Dana’s support and commitment to helping professionally develop our volunteer ESOL home tutors and our teachers is truly appreciated.