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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Module 2: Valuing and utilising learners’ language and cultural resources

Welcome to Module 2 of Working with English Language Learners.

In this module you will think about what you already know about the learners you work with and the importance of developing trusting relationships and effective teaching practices.  


Learning byte

Watch this clip to see a teacher and learners share their knowledge of their language backgrounds.

After you have viewed the video, have a shared discussion to reflect on:

  • what you know about your learners' language skills
  • how you create opportunities for learners to use their languages to support their learning.


I have about four children who are bilingual, they speak their home language at home and also English. And approximately seven students who only speak their home language and are learning English.

Student - My name is Ali. I am from Iran. I’ve been in New Zealand for eight years. I speak two languages and they are Persian and English.

Student - My name is Andrew. I am from New Zealand. I speak three languages; English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Working with my buddy Jack is easier to do because we both speak the same language.

Student - My name is Vivienne. I am from Germany. I have been in New Zealand for some time and this time it is the four time I’m being in New Zealand. I speak two languages; German and English. Some words are for me a little difficult.

Student - My name is Sok Jan. I’m from Korea. I’ve been in New Zealand for six month. I speak two languages; one Korean language and last one English language.

The children who are bringing their first language into the classroom felt like they were the expert of that knowledge and when they shared it with others, it made it work really well.

Preparation for Module 3 >>

Module 3: Understanding additional language acquisition

Module 3 is about how people learn an additional language. Think about how a bilingual brain works. If you are bilingual, think about how you learn new content and what helps you to make sense of your new learning.

Updated on: 03 May 2022