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English Language (ESL)

The ESL department offers facilities that are purpose built to meet the needs of all second language learners and international students – small classrooms, computer suite, reception area, kitchen facilities.

Our teachers and staff are highly qualified and provide access to bilingual assistance and a holistic approach to pastoral care.

All second language learners are integrated into mainstream classes at an appropriate level, in addition to timetabled English Language classes.  Students’ timetables are personalised to their individual needs and goals.

On entry, students undergo a placement test in English and Maths.  Class levels are allocated according to their age, maturity, language competency and maths proficiency.

Senior students can study at different levels of the curriculum in order to experience success at their level of ability.

English language instruction and NCEA assessments allow students to apply acquired skills and knowledge in all international exams including TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS and CFC.

The English Language curriculum is linked to the Common European Framework (CEF).

Students Say …

“I began studying at Rutherford College when I came to Auckland in 2012.

I felt grateful to be one of the overseas students in this school, as it helped me be the person I am today.

The ESL Department is like my second home.  I still miss my family of teachers.

The school gives students many opportunities.  It sparked the interest in Architectural Design that I study today.

I remember that I learned one special sentence when I was in the ESL class: ‘You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.’.

The achievements I have made so far are the results, lessons and encouragement from the teachers at Rutherford.  It was their job, but what ESL teachers did for us went beyond the call of duty.  It was my great honour to have known all of you”.  Sally Zhong (Third Year student of Architectural Design)

“When you attend a new school in a new country at a young age, the most important quality you would want your teachers to have is patience and kindness.  The great teachers in the ESL Department made all of my difficulties with the English language go away. Ms Sibthorpe could always find a way to solve any problems.  Ms Gerzic always made everything clear.  She encouraged me to establish a new club at school.  I will never forget her words ‘You’ll never know whether people will like or not what you do unless you give it a try.  And if they don’t, it’s their problem, not yours'”. Kevin Liu (Rutherford College’s Proximae Accessit 2010, now an Asset Management Engineer with Opus International)

Success Stories

Our past students have successful careers in a whole range of professions. Although many of them arrived with very limited, or no English at all, they have completed tertiary studies and become successful barristers, chartered accountants, architects, engineers, computer programmers, graphic designers, artists, interpreters, dentists, pharmacologists, teachers, university researchers and marketing directors (to name but a few).

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