When English learning meets real life, creativity results!

English For Employees

Early Childhood Education worker Prisha has hugely creative goals.

After her day job finishes, Prisha’s also working to improve her English on our 'English for Employees' course. She had a yearning to create something to use in her everyday work.  A children’s story seemed ideal, as Prisha could read it to the kiddies at her daycare centre. [Children's story 'Princess Shapla' is at the end.] 

Debbie Wright, who teaches English at our Auckland Central & West centre, says Prisha is a hugely motivated person. “The idea for the story came from Prisha, but she had a lot of support from her fellow classmates too.”

picture drawn by English Language Partners learner

Debbie says the story, ‘Princess Shapla, was actually written by her classmate Aaravi and then added to by Prisha, and fellow classmates Penina and Dharuna.

“Aaravi’s daughter drew the lovely picture and Penina chose the dress colour as purple represents royalty.”

Debbie says the ‘story’ project evolved into a learning activity for the whole class. “They all got stuck into the editing process, looking over the grammar and making sure the sentence structure worked well. Everyone got involved.”

To extend the learning, Debbie says the class also watched and discussed other stories with morals, such as Aesop's Fable ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’.

Such shared learning activities, driven by real-life needs, result in motivated learning, tangible goals, spirited fun and a lot of creative energy. It’s an essential component of what English Language Partners is all about!

Princess Shapla

Once upon a time long, long ago, a beautiful girl named Shapla lived in a village.

Her father was a rich man. Everyone knew him. He had a lot of land. He had a big house that looked like a palace. He grew vegetables and He had an animal farm. Every day they ate yummy and healthy food.

He called his daughter ‘Princess.’ Shapla thought she was a real princess! She always wore fancy dresses and crowns.

She noticed her family was different from other families. They didn’t get enough food. And wore old dresses.

She was very kind. She asked one of her friends Sara, “What do you like to eat?” She said “I want to eat rice. My family cannot afford to buy rice, they can only afford bread, I don't want to have bread every day.”

Princess said “We can exchange our food. I like bread!” Sara said, “I want to be able to wear nice clothes too.”Shapla said “I have a dress I can give you.”

Sara was so happy to hear that, they shared their food sometimes and Sara wore a red and purple dress – it was the most beautiful dress in the world to her.

Princess’ parents were so happy and proud of her. They said, “Don't just live for yourself, live and think for others.”

Click here for PDF of Princess Shapla's story.

English Language Partners learners are from diverse backgrounds and have diverse needs. Many thanks to the creators of ‘Princess Shapla' for also sharing why they are studying English with us - learning MORE English in the process! [Names changed for privacy]


"I am from India, and I have been in New Zealand since 10 years. I wanted to learn this course to improve my communication skills as I am stuck sometimes in conversation. Learn more vocabulary and writing. I am happy that I have learned a lot from this course where I can speak more confidently now. The best thing is the topics are focused and covered on the ones which we wanted to learn in English."


"I am from Bangladesh.  I have been in NZ for 6 years. I wanted to improve my communication skills. I had a main problem of hesitation with business communication. I have improved my business communication. The best thing [about the course] is a friendly environment where I can ask my teacher any questions. No question is a dumb question."


"I'm from Tamil Nadu, India. I have been here for 5 years. I had some problems understanding the Kiwi accent. I found it quite difficult to understand them. I am able to write any story by using new phrases and understand more about Kiwi accent. The best thing about the class is the teacher(Debbi). She is very cool, and she works on student’s goals to learn. And she encourages me to speak."


"My name’s Penina. I am from Samoa. I’ve been in NZ for 26 years. The main language problem I have is it’s hard to understand and hard to know the meaning of some words- that’s why I wanted to do this course. I pretty much just work and then come home or sometimes go to the gym. I use English every day at these places. The best thing about our class is that it’s been good to meet each other. The main thing that’s good to know is an easier way to speak English how to learn and understand different ways to speak like, formal or informal."

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English for Employees

  • 2-4 hours per week (Up to 45-hour course, flexible hours)
  • For people with a job (full-time, part-time, casually/seasonally or self-employed)
  • Improve your workplace English
  • Qualified teachers
  • Small classes
  • For New Zealand citizens and residents
  • Free programme
  • In all centres
  • Find out more

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