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Success With His English

Elizabeth Munroe, ESOL teacher writes:

A young man from Iran decided to come to New Zealand to study English. Even though he took English as a subject at school he was never any good at it, and failed his tests miserably. He was not allowed to take English in his final years at High School, because he just couldn't pass. He needed English for his tertiary studies, he wanted to be a lawyer, and a lot of his text books would be in English. He decided to take a year between school and university, go to an English speaking country, and learn English so that he could realise his dream of becoming a lawyer.

After much deliberation and advice from an agent or two, he decided to come to New Zealand. He found adapting very difficult, and not being able to speak English he had trouble understanding everyday situations like going to the supermarket or catching a bus. His agent helped him enrol into an ESOL school, and he started to learn. However, he found it difficult to be in a classroom situation with lots of other students, progressed painfully slowly because he felt self conscious, and felt he needed one-on-one tutoring to make the best of his learning. He then accessed the Internet from a library, typed the word 'tutor' into Google, and Found First Tutors. With his broken English he approached a few tutors, and that is how he found me.

I was able to help him with his homework and talk to him in English. He was forced to start speaking English which he avoided up to that point because he felt so embarrassed. This gave him more confidence, and he started making progress, which gave him even more confidence. He graduated with honours from his class and prepared and presented a farewell speech at the school. It felt great to see him come out of his shell and make such wonderful progress. To me, that is what teaching is all about.