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Delegates Gather In Nelson

Delegates Gather In Nelson

Two hundred delegates from across New Zealand gather in Nelson today for the national ESOL home tutors¹ conference. (May 16-18)

It is the first time that Nelson has hosted the annual event for tutors of English for Speakers of Other Languages - nationwide there are nearly 3,000 trained volunteers who last year worked with 5,600 migrants and refugees, helping them to learn English and settle in New Zealand.

Local ESOL Home Tutor¹s coordinator Doug Adam says the theme for the conference is ŒOur Changing Identity¹. ³Our keynote speaker is Mar Mar Kyi Maung, who is part of Nelson¹s Burmese refugee community and will speak about her own changing identity and her perspectives as a new migrant,² he said. ³Another interesting workshop will be John and Hilary Mitchell talking on ŒNelson's first ESOL students' - Maori - and how they acquired English in the early days of European settlement."

The home tutors¹ conference will also launch a key research paper on the contribution of NGOs to the settlement of refugees and migrants in New Zealand.

The conference is at the Rutherford Hotel and will be opened by MP Maryan Street, Associate Minister for Tertiary Education on Friday night, after a welcome by Ngati Koata. On Sunday, there is a panel discussion with leaders from key organisations working to resettle refugees and migrants: Peter Cotton, RMS refugee Resettlement; Claire Szabo, ESOL Home Tutors; Mary Dawson, Auckland Regional Migrant Services; and Louise May, from the Citizens Advice Bureau. There are 20 workshops at the conference before it is closed by National MP for Nelson, Nick Smith, on Sunday at 3pm.


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