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Ministry of Education.

English Language Learning Progressions (ELLP) Pathway professional development module

This is a self-access professional development module on the ELLP Pathway document.

It explains the features of the resource and how the ELLP Pathway can be used to meet the English language learning needs of emergent bilingual and multilingual students. It also explores where the ELLP Pathway sits in the suite of Ministry ESOL resources. The module is self-pacing, with places to pause and complete 3 optional tasks.

The module will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

 It is designed to be used by anyone new to the document and who is interested in what it has to offer. This could be a:

  • School leader
  • ESOL Coordinator / ESOL teacher
  • Learning Support Coordinator (LSC) / SENCO
  • Classroom or subject teacher
  • Teacher new to the profession, or new to teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Teacher aide/ Learning assistant.

The module could be used to lead a team meeting, for a whole school professional learning session, or to upskill yourself personally.

ELLP Pathway professional development module

Before you start the video, download and print the ELLP Pathway and the three tasks so you can refer to them.

Resource links for these modules can be downloaded, and are available at the bottom of the page.


Video transcript

Slide 1

Kia ora koutou and welcome to this introduction to the ELLP Pathway document. 

I’m Jane van der Zeyden and I’m here with my colleague, Erin McKechnie and we are going to walk you through this professional development module.

Slide 2

During this module, you will learn about the ELLP Pathway document including how it fits into the suite of Ministry ESOL resources, and especially how it links to the ELLP matrices. We will explore what the ELLP Pathway has to offer you and your students. You will also gain a deeper understanding of the pedagogy that is crucial for supporting students in their acquisition of English and that underpins the ELLP Pathway.

This module is designed to be self-pacing – you might like to watch it in its entirety, or you may choose to pause the recording at the suggested times to reflect or complete some of the optional tasks provided. 

By the end of this module, you will have a broader understanding of how the ELLP Pathway can support your teaching and planning for emergent bilingual and multilingual students.

Slide 3

What do you already know about the ELLP Pathway document? Maybe it is absolutely brand new to you, or maybe you have heard a little bit about it already. Task one is an Anticipatory Guide. Read the statements and consider whether they are true or false. Pause the recording now.

The answers to the Anticipatory Guide will become clear from the information contained in this module or from the content of the ELLP Pathway itself. You can change your answers along the way, or at the end of this presentation.  

Slide 4

The ELLP Pathway was born out of the need to help teachers to make accurate decisions about their emergent bilingual and multilingual students - their English language learning stages and next learning steps.  It is a supplementary resource that is not designed to replace the ELLP matrices, but rather complement them.  It is essential that you still refer to the ELLP booklets – both the Introductory booklet and the one relevant for the year level you are teaching. You can see these booklets on the screen if you’re not sure what they look like. These have a wealth of crucial information needed to understand language acquisition and progression. The writing exemplars in the ELLP booklets are particularly useful and guide you in noticing aspects of written texts and 'where to next’ in terms of your teaching. 

Slide 5

When you download the ELLP Pathway, you will see that you have the choice of a Word document, or a Google Doc version. It is personal preference as to which version you choose to look at.  The ELLP Pathway has the same stages and function headings as the ELLP Matrices. The indicators on the ELLP Pathway are in some cases an elaboration or they may give more detail than the indicators on the ELLP matrices. They are designed to show you an expected progression of learning English as an additional language.  One of the ELLP Pathway’s key purposes is to guide you with what to notice about your students and then provide suggestions on what to do next.  Effective formative assessment practices are at the heart of the ELLP Pathway document.

The Foundation to Stage 3 document is the full edition of the ELLP Pathway. It includes teacher support material, and it is the edition we will be focusing on today. The Record of Progress and the Student Agency versions are other forms of the same document that are used for other purposes, which we will discuss later.

Slide 6

Pages 2-4 of the ELLP Pathway have a focus on knowing your learner. On the slide you can see a screenshot of Page 2. You would find it useful to pause the recording here and take a moment to read page 2. 

Page 2 is an overview of the journey that an English language learner is likely to take. The ELLP stages are very broad and are likely to take a year or more for a student to move through. 

The arrow at the bottom of the page is particularly important to understand and refer to.  This shows a common pathway for students who begin school at five AND who have a strong grounding in their first language.  It is important to consider what year level you teach and have a look at the stages that students in your class are likely to be working within. For instance, if you are teaching at the Year 1 and 2 level your students will be working within Foundation or Stage 1. If you are teaching at the secondary school level, your students could be working anywhere from Foundation to Stage 3. If they are beyond Stage 3, you would continue tracking their progress using the ELLP Matrices.

Slide 7

Let’s turn to page 3 of the ELLP Pathway document now. A key ESOL principle is knowing your learner, and page 3 supports you with building your knowledge of your emergent bilingual and multilingual students - what do they bring to their learning, and what do they need to learn next? 

The top section of the page suggests some actions that you could take to get to know your learners, including the suggestion of using a supplementary enrolment form. Your school’s enrolment processes might be an area that you wish to reflect on and evaluate as a result of this session. It is so important to have robust enrolment processes that ensure you are identifying emergent bilingual and multilingual students as they arrive at your school and also collect relevant information that will be useful to aid your planning and teaching.

There are also links to some supporting videos on the topic of knowing your learner. These four videos might be useful to you at a later date to view and deepen your knowledge of the importance of knowing your learner.

Now is your opportunity to think about an emergent bilingual or multilingual student that you know well.  Using task 2, take some time to fill out the sections. How well do you really know your learner? Pause the recording and complete the task now. 

Some possible learner profiles are provided in the table. These may help you to consider what students bring to their learning, the challenges they may face and what you need to know to maximise their learning.

Slide 8

Turn to page 4 of the ELLP Pathway document. This page builds on the idea of knowing your learner with links to another four videos that have more of a focus on supporting and scaffolding your learner. Again, these can be viewed and explored at a later date. 

Slide 9

From page 5 onwards we get to the detail of the ELLP Pathway with the indicators of language use and understanding as the focus. The first section is about Listening.

You will notice that the function headings at the top of each column are the same as the ELLP matrices. The indicators on the ELLP Pathway document are an elaboration of the ones from the ELLP matrices and in some cases have more specific detail. The indicators are written as ‘I statements’ and make it easy for you to notice and respond as a teacher.  Some indicators are considered ‘achievement indicators’ and are highlighted when the student has achieved this independently, and consistently in a range of contexts across the curriculum.  Other indicators such as: “I need wait time to process language” are ‘support indicators’ and are highlighted when the supports are in place for students.

One of the key understandings about language acquisition is the notion of BICS and CALP.  BICS is an acronym for Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills or a person’s social language – the language they might need for everyday and social interaction. CALP stands for Cognitive, Academic Language Proficiency or the language of the curriculum.  When thinking about the indicators from the ELLP Pathway, or the ELLP matrices, it is important to be considering the student’s CALP.  To deepen your understanding of BICS and CALP, it would be useful to read page 4 of the ELLP introductory booklet. You can see a visual of that booklet on the slide. There is a downloadable version of this booklet on ESOL Online and a link to this is provided in the resource section that accompanies this module.

You will notice that there are teaching strategies and suggestions down the right-hand side which will help with planning effective teaching that incorporates best ESOL practices. The tasks suggested there are only examples and by no means a finite list!  They are hyperlinked to ESOL Online where there is an explanation of the strategies often with video footage to support your own learning about these strategies.

Slide 10

Let’s explore the links between the ELLP matrices and the ELLP Pathway. On this slide we have an indicator from the ELLP matrices, stage one, writing. “Errors in words and structures are likely to be frequent and obvious”. This indicator is broad and may be hard to pinpoint and notice within a piece of writing. It doesn’t necessarily help us with what to teach next. In the ELLP Pathway, this has broadened to several, more specific indicators which are:

  • I have increasing control over word groups in my writing.
  • I am learning to use simple present, past and future tenses.
  • I am learning to use the verbs be (am, are, is, was, were) and have (has, have, had, will have).
  • I am learning to write ‘tighter’ sentences with expanded structures e.g. The tall, blond boy yelled loudly.

You may find that these indicators are easier to notice in a piece of writing, and consequently, easier to make decisions about whether this has been achieved – or if it’s a next learning goal for students.

Slide 11

Here’s another example from the ELLP matrices:

Stage 2 Speaking

Ask questions, give instructions, negotiate disagreement, buy something in a shop, arrange appointments or explain a problem.

Again, this indicator has several parts to it.

In the ELLP Pathway, we now have…

  • I use a range of question words confidently.
  • I can use language for important practical purposes e.g., say I’m not well and describe symptoms.
  • I am confident to ask for help/ask for clarification.

Slide 12

Now it’s your turn to look closely at the indicators from the ELLP Pathway.  Use task 3, to locate the indicators from the ELLP Pathway that align with the ones from the ELLP matrices included on the task template.  Make sure you look carefully at the same language mode, stage and function heading that the original statement has come from. You might like to discuss what you discover with your colleagues. Pause the video and complete the task.

Slide 13

So, that is a brief introduction to the ELLP Pathway resource. Now you might like to consider what steps to take next.

We suggest you spend some time exploring the ELLP Pathway. You might like to begin with the teaching strategies and suggestions section and have a go with using some of them with groups of students or follow some of the resource hyperlinks to see how useful SELLIPS and ELIP are to all teachers.

We also suggest watching the 8 short videos included in the resource. They provide excellent information about second language acquisition and would be a good basis of future short PLD sessions for your wider school staff.

Once you are familiar with the resource you have some options as to how you want to use it.

  • You can use the ELLP Pathway to plan your programmes and inform your planning and teaching. For instance, you might have a group of students with language learning needs who aren’t making expected progress and the ELLP Pathway may support you to provide more targeted teaching.
  •  You can start to track your ESOL funded students for the upcoming funding round using the ELLP Pathway.  Schools have the option of highlighting indicators on either the ELLP Pathway or the ELLP matrices to record a student’s progress.  The Record of Progress version of the ELLP Pathway is available on the website.  It is important to remember that whichever document you choose, it is essential it is used regularly for planning and teaching as well as recording student progress for funding.

For further support, you could join an ESOL Professional Learning Community (PLC).  There are many schools who are already well on their way with their journey in using the ELLP Pathway document and can offer their advice based on what has worked in their school.

Most importantly, start sharing the ELLP Pathway resource with your colleagues, as the real benefits for students will come when it is used for collaborative planning and teaching across the school.

Slide 14

Let’s revisit your Anticipatory Guide now.  How did you go?  Are there any answers that you want to change? If you’re working with other teachers, you might like to discuss your responses with each other.  Pause the recording to do this.

Anticipatory reading guides are one of the strategies mentioned in the ELLP Pathway and explained on ESOL Online.  They are just one of many useful and supportive teaching strategies for emergent bilingual and multilingual students. On the screen, you can see the page from ESOL Online where Anticipatory Guides are described. Have a think about how you could use an Anticipatory Guide with your students.

Slide 15

We hope that this introduction to the ELLP Pathway has been useful for you as you become familiar with it.  Including the ELLP Pathway in your pedagogical kete will benefit both teachers and students. Take some time to explore the ELLP Pathway in some more depth either by yourself or with colleagues. We’re sure that you will find that this is time well spent.

Ngā mihi.


Module resource downloads





Module resource links

Use these links from ESOL Online to find the resources referred to in the ELLP Pathway module.

  • ESOL Professional Learning Community (PLC) - Contact the Ministry of Education [email protected] for more information about your local group.

Published on: 07 Dec 2023