Frequently asked questions | ELPNZ

Frequently asked questions

What does an ESOL home tutor do?
An ESOL home tutor works one-to-one with a learner, giving help with English language and advising on everyday life in New Zealand.

Read our job description

Who can be a tutor?
You can, if you have an empathy with someone from another culture. You also need to be fluent in English and have about an hour to give to your learner each week for at least six months.

Do I need a teaching qualification?
No. NZQA approved training (Level 3) is provided. It's not difficult.

Does English need to be my first language?
No. Many tutors come from a non-English speaking background. Your experience in learning English will be helpful.

What will my learner be like?
Learners come from more than 80 countries, including Burma, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Cambodia, Croatia, Vietnam and Russia. Most are women, and all are refugees and migrants who find it difficult to access other language learning services. Statistics on tutors and learners

When is the tutor training?
Courses may be daytime, evening, weekends or a combination of times. Check with your local centre.

How long is the training?
You’ll spend 20 hours together with other tutors, and 40 hours tutoring or doing assignments.

I have to miss one of the training session times. Does that mean I can't be a tutor?
Talk with your local manager or coordinator, and arrange an alternative training date - we hate to lose volunteers!

Where is tutoring done?
Usually in the learner’s home, but you can meet your learner anywhere that is agreeable to both of you. Often you can meet at the English Language Partners' office.

What if the person I'm tutoring speaks pretty good English?
They may need help with particular vocabulary, pronunciation or their confidence - we'll match you with someone who will gain from your knowledge.

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.

Do I need to be able to drive to my learner’s home?
We try to match you with someone living close by.

What support is there for tutors?
Your manager or coordinator will introduce you to your learner, and contact you regularly. Advice, teaching resources, workshops, newsletters and an annual conference are available. You can meet other tutors and learners at social events.

How do I become a tutor?
You will be interviewed by the manager or coordinator, and then attend training. 

What’s in it for me?
As an ESOL home tutor, you will learn new skills. You’ll make friends with people from different cultures. You’ll have the satisfaction of making a difference in your community, and the experience may give you a new outlook on life.