I love being able to help people settle in a new country…learning our language and customs.
I became interested in teaching English as a Second Language in 2003, when I had a student from China, who spoke no English, arrive to stay with me. I decided to train in ESL tutoring so as to help any future students that stayed with me. Following training I enjoyed teaching a Japanese lady, is now a Kindy teacher, then tutored a lady from India.
After moving from Kapiti to Porirua in 2007, I tutored refugee and migrant students at a local high school whilst also tutoring a couple from Myanmar. The husband had some English and quickly progressed to study for his Chef’s Certificate at Whitirea Polytechnic, and I supported him with his study. The wife struggled to learn English, only having had 2 years of prior schooling. We remain firm friends and manage to communicate easily now.
I have worked with Syrians and Iraqis since then. Yamamah, I first met whilst working at high school and later I taught her mother, Suadad. We remain close friends, and both now work at English Language Partners Porirua, helping newer arrivals. Over the past 2 years I have loved working with Aisha Hamdi, a very talented lady from Syria. Aisha and I have had such fun with our learning, and I will miss her now that she is moving to Auckland.
I am not sure yet who my next learner will be, but I love being able to help people to settle in a new country, often after great trauma, by helping them to learn our language and customs, so I am sure another wonderful friendship will soon begin.
Mary Gemmill – June 2018.