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Ministry of Education.

New people, new place, new start

Writer: Linda Todd

NCEA Level: 2 Duration: 8-10 weeks

Achievement standard being assessed

AS90381 (English 2.8):

Achievement criteria

  • Propose research questions and select relevant information from a range of referenced resources
  • Present accurate information and draw conclusions.

Language learning outcomes

Students will:

  • select relevant information from a range of resources
  • brainstorm their topic to select keywords search using key words, scanning and skimming for information
  • read closely to identify language techniques and their effects
  • propose research questions
  • use note-making skills
  • use oral language skills involved with designing and conducting an interview
  • reference texts accurately and write a bibliography.


In this task, students critically read several fictional and factual texts that deal with immigration issues. Students interpret their significance and value to the research task, noting how visual and verbal features are organised for effect, where appropriate. The class present considered, structured, and coherent reports based on their findings.

Curriculum links

This achievement standard is derived from written and oral language achievement objectives up to and including Level 7:

  • Reading: Close reading, Exploring language, Thinking critically, Processing Information
  • Viewing: Viewing, Exploring language, Thinking critically, Processing Information
  • Writing: Transactional Writing
  • Speaking: Interpersonal Speaking
  • Listening: Listening to Texts

Guidelines for use

Students are guided through the research process using the contexts of immigration and settlement issues, examining the ways writers and speakers use particular words and expressions and their effects. They also study exemplars researching the language of travel to develop their understandings about the how to present research. Students then select their own language research topics. They develop research questions to guide their research, record relevant information, then write up their findings in report form.


This activity should be worked on in the classroom under teacher supervision as much as possible to ensure authenticity. Once students are working on their own particular topics they may collect information at school and at home but the teacher must check student progress on a regular basis. Teachers may show how the techniques used in exemplars can be applied to the students' own work. Students should write their research reports in class.

Between drafts of the written reports, teachers can advise students that their writing may need further work on ideas, language, structure or accuracy in spelling, punctuation or paragraphing but not correct errors. Students should have access to dictionaries to check their writing. Word processing is acceptable provided it is done under teacher supervision.

Teachers are directed to the Assessment Notes contained in the Achievement Standard 2.8.

Information used in this research report could be incorporated into a related topic to fulfil the requirements of English Achievement Standard 2.2

NB: Teachers using this unit will need to check that it accords with their school assessment policy.

Possible local adaptation

Where local adaptations are made, teachers and schools should ensure that they have:

  • Checked that the adapted assessment validly assesses the standard;
  • Checked the copyright status of any material imported into the assessment resource;
  • Complied with all internal and external quality assurance requirements.

It is intended that the subject of research should be related to a student's study of language texts. It may include information from primary sources (written, visual or oral) relevant to the topic/issue and secondary sources such as commentaries, articles, reviews etc.

Teaching and learning activities

Learning task 1

Learning task 2

Learning task 3


Presenting your research

Refer to the instructions in the student assessment activity [Eng/2/8].

As this unit of work is assessed internally, moderation should be through the English department in your school.



  • Tran, Dinh (1996) Fitting In, ed Grover, Paul, Voices Nearby, , Heinemann
  • Maniam, K.S. (1997) Arriving, ed Grover, Paul, Voices Nearby, Heinemann
  • Dediya, Ruby (2001) Nauru in 2001, ed Grover, Paul, Voices Nearby, Heinemann
  • Lay, Graeme (19 ) Soesa, ed Tabasco Sauce and Ice-cream,
  • Gavin, Jamila (2002) Forbidden Clothes, From out of the Shadows, Egmont Books
  • The New Wife Stones from the Spring. Choices: Settling in, Learning Media
  • Jansen, Adrienne (1990) I Have in my Arms Both Ways Allen & Unwin
  • Ng, Eva & Thomson, Jane (1992) Amongst Ghosts, Learning Media
  • Reid, Robyn (2002) Lift the Lid of the Cumin Jar, Wellington ESOL Home tutor service.
  • Stirling, Pamela (2003) Driving While Asian, August 16-22, The NZ Listener
  • Philp, Matt (2001) Asia Downunder the New New Zealanders, September 22-28, The NZ Listener.
  • Ruscoe, Kim (2004) The End of Despair, March 13, The Dominion Post.


Useful websites:

  • Personal Stories
    Immigration experiences written by young people coming to the US. "Volunteers" uses the phrase "there is no free lunch in the world".
  • The Africans
    Unlike other immigrants, most Africans came to North America against their will, caught up in a brutal system of human exploitation. The treatment they and their descendants endured in the United States was of a harshness seldom surpassed in recent history, and their role in U.S. society was contested with a ferocity that nearly tore the nation apart.
  • The fear that renders ordinary people outcasts
    Muslims describe their fears since the Bali bombings and the subsequent backlash
  • The New Zealand Herald
  • The EPIC Database gives access to hundreds magazine and newspaper articles as well as photographs, video clips, essays etc. Access to EPIC requires a user id and password from your school.


  • Hagley Community College ESOL Department (2002) "Refugee Students: A Hagley Initiative" To purchase this video contact the HOD ESOL at Hagley Community College: [email protected]

Published on: 25 Jun 2009