This week we continue the ESL series of where to go to improve your English- New Zealand. We will explore the history and features of this lovely country filled with mountains and beautiful countryside.
New Zealand was discovered 700 years ago by the Polynesians, who formed the Māori culture. In 1642, a Dutch navigator explored New Zealand, eventually leading to settlement by more European explorers. In 1840, New Zealand became part of the British Empire after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British and Māori chiefs.
New Zealand was originally a part of New South Wales in Australia but became its own colony in 1841. The country has kept close ties with Britain. Due to working visa arrangements, the British are the largest group of migrants to New Zealand. Immigration laws in New Zealand typically favor those who are fluent English speakers. There are three official languages in New Zealand, English being the predominant language. Most of the population can speak it as a native or second language. The dialect is very similar to Australian English. The second official language is the indigenous Māori language and the third is New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).
The English dialect is mostly non-rhotic, except for certain parts of Southern Burr and Otago. The short “i” is centralized, making certain words like “chips” sound like “chups.” Other words, which could have completely different meanings, such as “fill” and “full” can be pronounced exactly alike. Other one-syllable words are pronounced as if they have two syllables, and most questions are asked with a rising intonation at the end. Many English words are borrowed from the Māori language as well, one example being “hikoi,” which means march or walk.
You can find English schools in any major touristy cities in New Zealand. Locals tend to be friendly and laid back, with a love for the outdoors. New Zealand has amazing outdoor landscapes and beautiful cities such as Auckland, Wellington, and Hamilton. The school year has four terms, with the first starting in late-January/early-February through mid-April, then the beginning of May to the beginning of July, end of July to end of September and lastly, mid-October to late-December. There are many holidays in between, including New Year’s, Waitangi Day, Easter, Christmas, Boxing Day, and more.
Take a look at all of the countries we have covered so far!