Become a
ESOL Home Tutor

Help former refugees and migrants learn English and join New Zealand society.
Deliver language support in the learners’ own homes.

 Become a volunteer

Volunteer with English Language Partners and help us provide free English lessons to former refugees and migrants. We will train you to work alongside learners, so you can provide them with the language skills and confidence necessary to integrate and participate in Kiwi life and culture.

Certificate in ESOL Home Tutoring

A course for community volunteers who want to become ESOL home tutors. Once trained, tutors provide one-to-one, English-language support to adult, former refugees and migrants in New Zealand.

Apply online to volunteer | Find your local centre

Course details

The course is designed for 60 hours of part-time study.The Certificate in ESOL Home Tutoring is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and English Language Partners is accredited to deliver it.

Introductory training

  • 20 hours training sessions (minimum)
  • 14 hours independent study

Practical tutor training

  • 26 hours preparation, tutoring and evaluation

Class times vary, and may be scheduled in the daytime, evening or weekends.
A minimum of 80% attendance at training session is required.

Course assessment

Course assessment activities need to be completed before a certificate is awarded. Successful graduates earn an NZQA-approved, Level 3 Certificate in ESOL Home Tutoring.

Course content

  • Context of volunteer tutoring
  • Intercultural awareness
  • Adults as language learners
  • Teaching techniques for ESOL
  • Identifying learner needs and setting learner goals
  • Planning tutoring sessions and using resources
  • Evaluating sessions and reporting on progress

Learning outcomes

Trained volunteer ESOL home tutors will be able to:

  • Support learners as they settle in New Zealand
  • Maintain an informal one-to-one English language support programme
  • Assist adult language learners to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills
  • Assist adult learners to participate in their local community
  • Evaluate their own and their learner’s performance

Your responsibilities

To your learner

  • Commit up to two hours per week to tutoring, for at least six months.
  • Establish learning goals and regularly review these with your learner.
  • Plan and provide an informal, one-to-one, English language support programme. Your programme will assist your learner to develop the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills necessary to perform everyday tasks.

  • Reflect on your own and your learner’s performance.

  • Help your learner understand the cultures and customs of New Zealand.

  • Inform your learner of events, courses or other activities offered by English Language Partners and in the wider community.

To English Language Partners

  • Commit to ELPNZ’s Guiding Principles, purpose, vision and values.

  • Complete the Certificate in ESOL Home Tutoring volunteer tutor training course.

  • Attend a minimum of 80% of the course and complete all assessment tasks.

  • Participate in relevant, ongoing training (workshops, support meetings).

  • Keep a written record of weekly lessons and report to your centre on your learner’s progress.

  • Be involved in programme evaluations.

  • Inform the centre when you intend to stop tutoring.


How do I become an ESOL home tutor?

Start by finding your closest centre and completing the online application form. We will be in touch to invite you to come and have a chat with us to ensure we are the best fit for your donated time. Once accepted on the course, you will attend the training and complete the first 3 assignments before we match you with a learner. We will then match you with the learner we feel is the best fit. The training will teach you what to do from here.

When are the courses run?

We run courses at different times across the country to meet volunteer availabilities. Contact your local centre for the next course close to you.

What is the training like?

The course is 25 hours, with a few small assignments to complete as you go. It is very practical and hands on so you feel as best prepared as possible for your first steps with your learner. You will learn how to assess a learner’s needs, how to plan a lesson, where to find resources and how to use them, as well as how to approach teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking. A big component of the course is also the cultural aspect of what we do with the new Kiwis we work with.

Is there a fee?

There may be a one-off charge of $40 to cover course book and materials costs.

What if I get stuck after I start tutoring?

We are here to help! No matter what your question might be, whether it’s a grammar one, a resource or learning question, or one about how to navigate public services, we are here to support both our learners and our volunteers. Each centre also organises ongoing professional development and refresher courses throughout the year.

What if the person I’m tutoring has no English at all?

You’ll learn teaching techniques during the training that will help you get started. Your manager or coordinator can advise you and there is a local library of teaching resources available to you.

How do you ensure health and safety?

We visit each learner’s home to enrol them and to do a health and safety check before we send any of our volunteers there. All our tutors are police checked at the time of enrolment, and learners will have been police checked as part of their immigration process. The opportunity to raise any concerns is always present should the unlikely need arise.

What Our Volunteers Say

How real volunteers have found their experience

Ashok Bhat

“I really enjoyed the course. It sets out clearly what you need to know and what is expected of you and I enjoyed meeting all different people from other professions and cultures. I began home tutoring last August. My training group had a one-day session after we’d started teaching, so we could catch up and talk about what it was like actually tutoring, and we had an end-of-year function as well, so it’s also been social.”

Priyesha Mendis

"Being part of the volunteering experience has been great! I have definitely gained a lot of experience and personal development through this process. Plus, I am glad that I had the opportunity to enrich someone else's life."

Penny Wilson

"The learners always give beyond 100%, and it's a privilege to help them on their journeys. (They always make me smile too!)"


“I see her as my friend. We help each other to be better than we were.”

Kannha Mao

"Volunteering is my hobby. I'm happy to see other people happy."

Mohammad Ali Amiri

"When you come to a country and you know no-one, and someone offers you help, it is the best ever thing that can happen."

Denise Lawrence

"English Language Partners does an amazing job and long may it continue”


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