Who are the English language learners in your class?
English language learners are not a homogenous group and may include:
- students from homes where a language other than English is spoken
- ESOL-funded students from migrant, refugee, or NZ born backgrounds
- previously-funded students
- students transitioning from kura to English medium-learning environments
- students from bilingual education settings
- international fee paying students
Key ideas about English language learners
- English language learners should make accelerated progress.
- There is a sense of urgency as they work towards reaching their peers, that is to catch “a moving target”.
- Teachers, students, families, and whānau are advantaged if they understand English language learning pathways.
- English language learners need to become proficient users of academic English language for learning at school, as well as proficient users of social English for communication purposes in the wider community.
- When English language learners have strong home language(s) they are more easily able to achieve in English.
- English language learners need to continue to use metacognition or critical-thinking skills in their first language to help them develop skills in English.
What are the stages of the English Language Learning Progressions?
The broad stages of the English Language Learning Progressions are:
- Stage one
- Stage two
- Stage three
- Stage four
in oral language, writing, and reading.
The stages are described in very broad and generalised terms. This is deliberate. Language acquisition does not necessarily follow a smooth or linear pathway.
The matrices do not describe language learning in exact detail, although the supporting exemplars do. This approach allows teachers to make judgments across a range of contexts, text-types and ages using the same matrix.
Judgments about what stage a learner is at can never be absolutely accurate; they can only indicate the "best fit" for that learner. Your professional judgement is always needed.
You will probably notice that some learners will show features across more than one stage.
How do The Progressions: ELLP align with The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)?
- If you have younger learners in years 1–4, what is the pathway of English language acquisition as your students access learning at levels 1 and 2 of the NZC?
- If you have learners in years 5–8, what is the pathway of English language acquisition as your students access learning at levels 3 and 4 of the NZC?
- If you have older learners in years 9–13, what is the pathway of English language acquisition as your students access learning at levels 5 -8 of the NZC?
This diagram can assist you to consider these questions. This diagram is in the front section of each Progressions: ELLP booklet. You can also listen to a recorded explanation about pathways for students’ language learning.
The New Zealand Curriculum (p.16) also outlines important messages about Learning areas and language.
How can you help your students to access The New Zealand Curriculum at age-appropriate levels as soon as possible?
English language learners should have the same learning outcomes as other learners in their peer group, but they will need explicit language teaching and extra scaffolding of learning.
In other words, you will need to consider how to provide appropriate cognitive challenges as well as teaching the English language skills necessary to access all of the Learning areas in The New Zealand Curriculum.
The resources you will need
The goal of this resource is to help you use the English Language Learning Progressions: ELLP, and to understand and support the learning of English language learners in your classroom. As you work through the modules, you should have the following ELLP support materials handy.
- Introduction booklet
- Oral Language Exemplars (DVD)
You will also need the booklet that is relevant to your class level, for example:
- Years 1–4 or
- Years 5–8 or
- Years 9–13.
All schools with ESOL funded learners were sent these documents in a large ringbinder in 2008.
If you need to order copies of these materials, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0800 660 662.
How do The Progressions: ELLP fit with other ESOL resources?
Two key resources you could find useful are the English Language Intensive Programme (ELIP) and the Supporting English Language Learners in Primary Schools (SELLIPS) resource.
Once you have established a stage on The Progressions: ELLP for your learners, you will be able to use the SELLIPS and ELIP resources to plan effective teaching and learning for your students. Go to the relevant stage for your learners to find specific suggestions and ideas for your planning in a range of contexts. These resources help you scaffold student learning.
When working through the modules, the following resources may be useful in providing supporting information:
- Ministry of Education (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum for English-medium Teaching and Learning in Years 1–13. Wellington: Learning Media.
- Ministry of Education (2003). Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1 to 4. Wellington: Learning Media.
- Ministry of Education (2006). Effective Literacy Practice in Years 5 to 8. Wellington: Learning Media.
- Ministry of Education (2004). Effective Literacy Strategies in Years 9 to 13: A Guide for Teachers. Wellington: Learning Media
- Ministry of Education (2009a). Learning through Talk: Oral Language in Years 1 to 3. Wellington: Learning Media.
- Ministry of Education (2009b). Learning through Talk: Oral Language in Years 4 to 8. Wellington: Learning Media.
- Gibbons, Pauline. (2002). Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning. Portsmouth: Heinemann
- Gibbons, Pauline. (2009). English Learners Academic Literacy and Thinking. Portsmouth: Heinemann
Published on: 15 Dec 2015