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

From history to idiom – D Day

Learning Outcomes | Teaching and Learning | Assessment and Evaluation | Printing Version

Writer: Helen Nicholls
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Overview This unit is written for secondary English language learners to develop specific reading skills as a scaffold to NZ Curriculum learning area achievement objectives. It focuses on identifying main events, the use of idioms and other language features in the context of a historical recount.

Learning Outcomes

(What do my students need to learn?)

What are my students’ current strengths and learning needs?

Use previous reading assessments (e.g. asTTle or PAT scores, ESOL unit standard assessments, PROBE assessments, formative assessments) alongside The English Language Learning Progressions (ELLP) reading matrix to establish the level at which students are working and their current strengths and needs. Resources from the Assessment Resource Bank (ARB) can also be valuable for this purpose e.g. identify the main idea at levels 3-4.

Curriculum Links Assessment Links
Learning area: English (ESOL)

Students could be assessed formatively or summatively using the following ESOL unit standard:

Unit standard 27983: Read and understand simple texts on familiar topics (expired)

Focus: Written language 

English: Reading

AO L4:


Show an increasing understanding of ideas within texts

Language features

Show an increasing understanding of how language features are used for effect within texts

English Language Learning Progressions:

Students will be working at ELLP stage 2.

English Language Intensive Programme:

Students will work with a sample text at ELIP stage 2.

Key Competencies: all five with particular emphasis on:

Using language, symbols and text: to identify main ideas and understand how idiom and other language features are used for effect in a historical recount


Specific learning outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  • identify the main events in a historical recount
  • know and explain the meaning of an idiom
  • follow a lexical chain though a historical recount
  • identify pronoun referents in a historical recount
  • identify different types of verb processes in a historical recount
Language learning outcomes

Key vocabulary:

idiom, idiomatic phrase, headword, lexical chain, pronoun reference, pronoun referent, verb processes, linking verbs, action verbs, mental verbs, saying verbs


figurative and literal language


chronological sequencing

See also:

Features of text forms – Recounts

ELIP stage 2 sample historical recount genre texts with language features annotated:

John F. Kennedy (3d); Captain James Cook (9c)

Suggested Duration 2 weeks

Teaching and Learning

(What do I need to know and do?)

Teacher background reading:

lexical chains

Learning task 1

Learning task 2

Learning task 3

Assessment and Evaluation

(What is the impact of my teaching and learning?)

Students could be formatively assessed using ESOL US 2969 with another stage 2 ELIP historical recount e.g. Captain James Cook – A New Arrival (9c)

Printing this unit:

If you are not able to access the zipped files, please download the following individual files:

Published on: 09 Feb 2012