The Nelson branch of the TESOL Association of Aotearoa New Zealand

NATESOL supports ESOL teachers in the Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and Golden Bay regions
at the 'Top of the South', and our members are drawn from the private, tertiary, secondary,
migrant and refugee sectors.

Madeline Carroll Email

Barbara Robson Email

See Contacts for TESOLANZ details.

Recent and Upcoming Activities

NATESOL AGM and Meeting 30 Oct 2019 3.45-5pm

L218, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology


3.45-4:00pm NATESOL AGM (all welcome)

4:15-5:00PM Education and training in Nelson for former refugees

Contributors: English Language Partners, Red Cross Pathways to Employment, Nelson College, Nelson College for Girls.

Former refugees in Nelson come from very diverse backgrounds, bringing a variety of skills and knowledge with them. Appropriate education and training is vital for assisting with successful resettlement. Please join us to share your experiences of ways of supporting former refugees into successful settlement.

Anyone interested in ESOL teaching or refugee support is welcome to attend. Regional branches of TESOLANZ such as NATESOL aim to provide professional development opportunities and to be a voice for our learners. If you value this, you may wish to join TESOLANZ to offer your support and benefit from our newsletters, Journal, networking and professional development.

Please share this message with your colleagues and networks. For further information please contact the writer on 021 256 6961 or email

Tuesday 23 October, 3.45.- 5.30pm, Waimea College Library

AGM and Learners as Publishers, facilitated by Carol Morgan and Annette Vartha.

Look at examples of printed books written by learners which can be used for shared reading, and examples of listening and speaking activities using Voice Thread.

AGM 3.45-4.15, and Learners as Publishers 4.15-5.30pm

Friday 23 November, Best Practice Workshop NZCEL Assessment

NMIT, 9.30 - 3.30.

This is an NZQA workshop facilitated by Julie Luxton and hosted by NATESOL for all teachers who are using NZCEL Unit Standards for ESOL assessment.

Registration and deposit of $100.00 by 18 October.

Contact Madeline Carroll or Annette Vartha for more information. Also look here.

NATESOL Branch Annual Report, October 2017

NATESOL has again organised three stimulating events and has worked hard to encourage membership with 24 fully paid up members, an increase on 2016.

This year there has been more focus on supporting people who are teaching former refugees who are frequently at beginner level and who form the majority of ESOL learners in Nelson, particularly at primary and secondary schools. Nelson receives several intakes of former refugees every year with the numbers arriving in Nelson nearly double this year from previous years. For the first time this year several families have arrived from Colombia.

Our first event of the year was at English Language Partners on 29 March when tutors shared their favourite speaking activities. This included Jazz Chants, Board Games, on-line readers and Voice Thread for recording speaking activities and using colourful playdough.

On 9 June we invited members and friends of NATESOL to explore Nelson Public Library, the Elma Turner Library, where librarian Nicola Harwood showed us a selection of picture books and easy readers for learners of all ages, and online resources. A useful resource is PressReader which has digital newspapers and magazines from around the world, including Burmese and Nepali language newspapers.

The third and final event of the year is on 26 October with a presentation by Patrick Steer of Red Cross Refugee Support about the situation in Columbia and the journey of former refugees to New Zealand and Nelson. Quite a large number of families from Columbia have been resettled in Nelson over the past year.

The Branch AGM is also scheduled for 26 October afternoon.

An innovation this year has been a NATESOL Facebook page, managed by Geeta Bhagwani. This has replaced the Newsletter. Perhaps in 2018 we can manage both a Facebook page and a Newsletter!!

I would like to thank the NATESOL committee for making these events happen and for keeping the Branch alive and active. Particular thanks are due to Lauren Walton who took maternity leave in the 2nd semester and welcome to Geeta Bhagwani who is now our Secretary. We have also welcomed Annette Vartha, at Nelson College for Girls, who has come from Auckland and AKTESOL. The committee is open to anyone who would like to join us. We would particularly like to have committee members from the Primary and Home Tutor sectors.

Many thanks also the Patrick Steer of Red Cross, the Elma Turner Library for making two of our events possible. Thanks to English Language Partners and NMIT for hosting two of our meetings.

A key issue still facing all ESOL sectors in Nelson is meeting the needs of beginner learners, particularly former refugees. Finding sufficient resources to meet this need seems to be particularly demanding for community and informal language support such as English Language Partners and Home Tutors.

Madeline Carroll

NATESOL Branch Chairperson

Please click this link for our 2017 Financial Report.

Our 2017 AGM can be found here.

NATESOL Branch Annual Report, October 2016.

NATESOL has organised 3 stimulating professional development events this year and has worked hard to grow awareness of the work of TESOLANZ and encourage membership, particularly in the primary and secondary school sectors. Events have been well supported by people from all sectors, primary, secondary, tertiary and community, both members and non-members. Membership increased from 11 paid up members in April to 20 at the present time. The challenge of such a small membership is the lack of funds to pay for speakers and activities since Branch funding is by a capitation grant equal to one third of the TESOLANZ subscriptions paid by branch members.

The Committee would like to thank Shellee Hall, who this year relocated to Nelson from Auckland, for her efforts to increase awareness and build networks among ESOL teachers in Nelson region secondary schools and for her very active and positive contributions to the work of the Committee.

In May we were fortunate to have Averil Coxhead give her time to visit Nelson to give a stimulating presentation and lead discussion on the role of technical vocabulary in vocabulary learning. Averil raised our awareness of the challenges of learning technical vocabulary, which is an important aspect of language proficiency needed for work and study. Thank you Averil!

Maree Jeurissen visited Nelson and NATESOL on Saturday 13 August and presented two sessions in the morning. The first session was about TESOLANZ, it's roles and activities. This gave members an opportunity to reflect on what NATESOL is doing and set some goals for next year. There was a strong feeling that we would like to be more engaged with our learner communities as well as supporting ESOL teachers in all sectors. Maree then shared with us some inspiring ideas for lively whole class activities from a European/British conference she had attended. The committee and a few members enjoyed sharing lunch with Maree. We very much appreciated the effort she made to come to Nelson and the financial assistance from the National Executive which made this visit possible.

Maree also thanked Helen Tyson for her contributions to NATESOL over many years and presented her with flowers from the Committee.

Our final session for the year is on pronunciation activities led by Mo Killip, following this AGM.

A key issue still facing all ESOL sectors in the Nelson is meeting the enormous need for English language training and support resulting from the large numbers of migrants and former refugees who arrive in Nelson with little or no English. Finding sufficient resources to meet this need appears to be particularly challenging for the community and informal language support sectors such as English language Partners and Home tutors.

Our goals for 2017 include more engagement with learner communities as well as increasing awareness of the work of TESOLANZ and building membership. We are keen to attract representation from all sectors onto the committee.

Thank you to the Committee for your hard work in organising events and keeping in touch with your sector. Particular thanks are due to our out-going Treasurer, Cynthia Sampson, who has regularly driven over from Takaka to take part in meetings.

Thank you also to Nelson College and NMIT for hosting NATESOL events.

Madeline Carroll, Branch Chair, 26 October 2016

Please click this link for our 2016 Annual Financial Statement

Location Speaker / Topic
4:00pm Wed 21st Oct, 2015 Nelson College AGM. Speaker - Hilary Smith, President of TESOLANZ.
Wed 2nd Sept, 4-5:30pm Nelson College, International Block

"How to support former refugee and migrant students in the classroom"

with Stephanie Dodd, Secondary PLD (Professional Learning and Development) Facilitator for ELLs and Home School Partnerships in the Lower North Island, Nelson and Marlborough.

Tues 23rd June 3:45 - 5pm

NMIT, M209 (Library 2nd floor)
Julie Page has kindly agreed to repeat the workshop she is giving to WATESOL, for NATESOL. You can bring your own devices if you wish. I hope there will be opportunity for all of us to share good experiences we have had of on-line resources - or websites to avoid!

13 June 2015, 9am - 1:15pm

2nd May 2015
Nelson English Centre

NATESOL Mini-Conference

NATESOL Committee for 2015

Madeline Carroll & Barbara Robson Joint Chair
Lauren Walton Secretary
Cynthia Sampson Treasurer
Clare Butler Primary, Intermediate, Secondary
Madeline Carroll Adult/Tertiary
Barbara Robson Adult/Community

Newsletters & Meeting Reports

All documents PDF unless otherwise marked.


NATESOL Newsletter Sept 2015


NATESOL Annual Report 2015


NATESOL AGM Minutes 2015


NATESOL Financial Report 2015

2015 Activities

NATESOL members at our September session - a presentation by Stephanie Dodds, followed by resource & knowledge sharing from those present on "How to support former refugee and migrant students in the classroom".

2014 Activities

Wed Mar 19th: Digital Tools and Materials to Improve Pronunciation with Una Cunningham

Associate Professor, College of Education, University of Canterbury

Sat May 10th: English Language Provision for new New Zealanders ... joining the dots.

Q&A with local MP Maryan Street

Fri 14th Nov: AGM - All welcome. Please bring 'A Gem, a Joke, a Game or an App' for an entertaining


2013 Activity Reports

Cambridge & IELTS Overview

Presented by Mo Killip (Cambridge Examiner) and Dave Loose (Tutor at Nelson English Centre)

NATESOL has a wealth of expertise within its membership and we feel it's vital to recognize this and create opportunities to share this experience, so our thanks to both Mo and Dave for their time and willingness to contribute.

So how many Cambridge ESOL qualifications are there?

Mo's presentation gave us an insight into the Cambridge English courses. She outlined the variety of courses available (we were all short of the mark). Courses include General & Business English, English for Young Learners and English for Professional/Occupational needs (eg medical, financial & legal), with multiple levels within these.

We discussed the introduction of numeric grades for Cambridge exams that map to the IELTS grades (which are used for entry to universities). Mo presented the Cambridge exams as a 'living system' that was adapting to the needs of both organisations and students.

Mo is an examiner, a trainer and a co-ordinator of a large region. Through this and her wide knowledge of the exams and the exam system, we now have a greater awareness of the range of learning & qualification opportunities provided by Cambridge.

IELTS - The Tutor's Challenge

Dave presented to us from a tutor's perspective - preparing students to sit IELTS exams.

We looked at a sample exam and in groups discussed the test format and the difficulties that would be faced by the students.

The scope and difficulty of the exam was apparent, with both listening and reading components. It involved multiple speakers, a variety of reading material and a range of different question types.

Students needed to learn the necessary grammar and vocabulary and develop strong abilities across the four skill areas. In addition to that, they had to develop sound exam techniques & strategies in order to succeed.

It was great having both presentations - looking at English exams and courses from two different perspectives and this encouraged some healthy discussion.

'Ways of Helping Learners Remember Chunks'

NATESOL was privileged to host Frank Boers for an extremely interesting, witty and 'easy to listen to' presentation.

His full presentation is linked to the title for download, but here are some ideas to whet your appetite…

Frank presented research that showed:

  • Half of natural discourse is "chunked", so recognizing and using chunks increases fluency - both productive and receptive
    • It creates 'prefabricated speech' and allows 'predictable discourse'
  • Using (or not using) chunks impacts on a student's ability to produce 'native' sounding English
  • Chunks are acquired slowly
    • Not focused on in class
    • There are too few encounters with the same chunk, so 'incidental' learning doesn't happen

His practical guides for implementing 'chunking' included:

  • Putting yourself into your students' shoes - what's obvious to you, isn't obvious to your students.
  • Raise awareness - mark chunks in authentic text
  • The 'teachability' of a chunk may dictate which you chose to teach - be selective
    • Aim for reduction of confusion
  • Present students with the correct model first - teach the WHOLE chunk. Incorrectly completed gapfills tended to be remembered over the correct model.
  • Notice rhyme and alliteration
  • Encourage students to recycle chunks
  • Use imagery/pictures/mime (Frank was an expert at this!) to present the origin of the language used in the chunk - leading to greater understanding in the current context
    • Read Franks comments about 'domains of origin'

Comments from attendees:

"Frank Boers found in his research, that "a wrong choice in the exercise doubles the likelihood that you'll make the same mistake (despite corrective feedback)". I found this very interesting; although it makes sense when you think of the attention the learner has given that item."

A great talk on chunking. It made me think quite carefully about how I present vocabulary to students and how I ask them to do things in class. I learnt some great practical ideas for the classroom."

Frank captivated his audience. His easy manner made for a relaxed environment and encouraged many questions from those present.

Frank also said thanks to the wonderful audience who were so engaged in his presentation.

2012 Activity Reports

18th October - NATESOL AGM

Members Ali Morton and Diane Homer gave short presentations - 'gems' from their attendance at the recent CLESOL conference in Palmerston North.

Ali Morton on CLESOL 2012

Diane Homer on CLESOL 2012

15 August - Strategies for teaching multiple levels

NATESOL hosted an informal peer-led discussion session to share ideas, strategies and tips on managing different needs and levels within the same class

Ali Morton showed us how to maximise the use of one resource across multiple levels, to minimise the need to prepare multiple lesson plans and resources in a mixed environment

Dave Loose showed us how a class could be structured to allow the tutor to move between two groups working at different levels and emphasised the importance of bringing the two groups together at the end.

Colin Davis gave an interesting insight into 'Thinking Strategies' that could be adapted to allow discussion and input from students at different skill levels

22 March - Paul Nation on 'Vocabulary learning from linked skills activities'

Session report

Got any branch pictures we could display? Please send them to the webmaster.

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