English language learners in years 9–13 may have a diverse range of English language proficiencies and range of competencies in different learning areas. This means they may need to work towards a variety of pathways that may include achievement standards or unit standards, including English language unit standards.
Schools need to plan flexible pathways for learners that recognise their diverse abilities, interests, and aspirations.
NCEA (National Certificates of Educational Achievement)
New Zealand's national qualifications for senior secondary students.
- NCEA is part of the National Qualifications Framework, along with approximately 1000 other qualifications. They are administered and quality assured by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
- Achievement and unit standards build towards 3 levels of qualifications, NCEA levels 1, 2 and 3. Most students in schools will study towards achieving NCEA.
New Zealand Certificates in English Language (NZCEL)
NZCELs are not commonly used in school contexts. However they may be appropriate from some students who do not intend to take NCEA but who would like a New Zealand qualification.
- NZCELs are nationally recognised qualifications intended for learners of English as an additional language.
- There are a suite of six qualifications ranging from a level 1 certificate (Foundation) to a level 5 certificate. See the list of New Zealand Certificates in English Language.
All achievement and unit standards count towards NCEA including the English language unit standards.
English language unit standards
No matter what their stage of English language learning is, ELLs students can be assessed against English language unit standards. This is in addition to any literacy standards that the students in the higher stages can also be assessed against.
While the English language unit standards do not count towards meeting the level 1 NCEA literacy requirement, they do count towards credits for NCEA certificates levels 1, 2, and 3.
There is a relationship between the English language unit standards and the stages of The English Language Learning Progressions, so that, for example, students learning at stage 3 could be assessed against level 3 ESOL unit standards and students learning at English Language Learning Progressions Stage 1 could be assessed at level 1 ESOL unit standards.
ELLs who have not reached the literacy expectations of their cohort should be encouraged to continue their study of English language so that they receive specific language tuition and support of their learning in other subject areas. English language study will also scaffold students towards achievement level 1 literacy.
EL unit standards – assessment links and resources
NZQA: English Language (EL) formerly ESOL – the English Language standards; national moderator newsletters; clarifications of standards; and assessment support materials
Virtual Learning Network English Language unit standards group – This group is used to discuss English language unit standards assessments and to share resources.
ESOL unit standards assessment tasks (expiring December 2015)
Teaching and learning units and assessment resources
These resources relate to previous ESOL unit standards. They may be suitable for adaptation to the requirements of the English language unit standards.
- Belonging: An integrated resource for ESOL unit standards (by Jenni Bedford and Breda Matthews) Formative teaching and learning sequences and summative assessment tasks prepare students for eight NCEA ESOL level 2 and 3 unit standards assessments.
- Our Changing World summative assessments for level 2 and 3 ESOL unit standards.
These resources could be adapted to meet the requirements of the English language unit standards.
Level 1 literacy requirements
In response to the alignment of standards with The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), two pathways have been developed to assess students’ literacy for a level 1 NCEA certificate. These can both be used by English language learners (ELLs).
Currently students can meet the level 1 NCEA Literacy requirement in three ways – through the specified, literacy-tagged achievement standards, or through literacy unit standards.
Level 1 achievement standard literacy pathway
Measured by achievement in specified standards that are levelled at curriculum level 6. This pathway is appropriate for school students who are learning at Stage 4 of The English Language Learning Progressions. ELLs should also be supported to continue to develop English language proficiency, particularly in academic English, in their mainstream classes. These students should be monitored to ensure that they do not "fall through the cracks".
- English Online: Teaching and learning sequences support preparation and assessment for a range of standards
- Archived assessment resources that may be suitable for adaptation
Level 1 literacy unit standards pathway
In this pathway, naturally occurring evidence from a range of sources is collected throughout the year. This is measured against three specific literacy unit standards.
It is important to note that work gathered for English language unit standards can also be used for the required evidence for the literacy unit standards.
ESOL teachers should be involved in monitoring the collection of evidence for the literacy unit standards as well as the English Language unit standards. ELLs who have not reached the literacy expectations of their cohort should be encouraged to continue their study of English language so that they receive specific language tuition and support of their learning in other subject areas. English language study will also help the students’ achievement in the literacy unit standards and English language unit standards.
- NZQA: Literacy and Numeracy level 1 unit standards – resources that have been developed to assist with planning, implementation, and assessment
University Entrance literacy requirements
10 credits from the standards (5 credits in reading and 5 credits in writing) are required to meet the University Entrance literacy requirements. These can be met using:
- level 2 and 3 standards that contribute towards University Entrance
- English for Academic Purposes standards 22750 and 22751 (both are required).
UE – assessment links and resources
NZQA: English for Academic Purposes unit standards – the EAP standards; national moderator newsletters; clarifications of standards; and assessment support materials
Teaching and learning sequences
- Formative teaching and learning resources for the EAP listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
- Archived teaching and learning sequences – assessment resources for expired versions of level 2 English standards. (All the resources from this page apply to literacy standards prior to 2011 and may be suitable for adaptation.)