Our Hutt centre’s ESOL literacy classes visit to Matiu-Sommes Island was a great opportunity to take learning outside the classroom.
About 40 teachers, volunteers and learners all had a great trip out in Wellington Harbour, as did the children who also came along to enjoy the day.
After studying the importance of wearing sun block and hats in New Zealand, learners came prepared, and also brought masks for the ferry and a good supply of water and snacks for the journey.
Those taking their first ever trip on a ferry were a little nervous, but as teachers had sorted a buddy system, someone was on hand to reassure ‘first timers’. Fortunately, it was a calm day on the water and, with no bouts of seasickness, everyone arrived on the island in good spirits.
A ranger from the Dept of Conservation welcomed the party in Te Reo and everyone greeted him with “Kia ora.” The ranger briefed us on the island and because no animals are allowed, bag checks were mandatory.
Everyone enjoyed picnicking and exploring this special place.
In class, people had learnt a lot of new language about the history of the island and its present use, so the display at the visitors’ centre really helped consolidate the language learning.
Following the trip, the class printed photos out to use for more class activities and discussion.
The ‘language rich’ experience was a whole lot of fun for everyone.
The ESOL Literacy programme teaches context-based English to adults from refugee and migrant backgrounds who have minimal literacy and numeracy in their mother language.