Secondary Sector SIG

All files are PDF unless otherwise marked.

Athlyn Watt

Secondary SIG Coordinator


09 294 6005 or 021 294 7921


TESOLANZ position statement: Staff responsible for ESOL programmes in primary
and secondary schools.

TESOLANZ believes that specialist teachers with a recognised ESOL qualification should
have responsibility for developing, planning and implementing ESOL programmes.
Programmes can be enhanced by paraprofessionals who would ideally hold qualifications in
working with ELLs. We encourage all schools to support teachers and paraprofessionals to
gain ESOL qualifications.

Qualified staff have the benefit of training to support the micro-decisions of teaching required
to accelerate the development of English language proficiency, enabling our learners to more
readily access a broad classroom curriculum, achieving academic success and a sense of
social and emotional wellbeing.


Secondary Literacy Website

Take some time to browse and see what the site has to offer -

  • Literacy in the Learning Area – a dedicated space for each learning area – let your colleagues know about this
  • Leading Literacy in your school
  • Professional readings
  • Links to Literacy Progressions, NZC, ELLP
  • NCEA and literacy – links you to the necessary documents and sites
  • …and much more

New English for Academic Purposes (ESOL) standards & UE Literacy Proposals

The following documents - gathered from various NZQA website locations - may clarify the situation with regard to the proposed (yet to be confirmed) use of ESOL Level 4 unit standards as one pathway towards UE. Note that, if this pathway were deemed acceptable, the two standards (22750 and 22751) would be modified a little to become English for Academic Purposes (EAP) standards which could be used by all learners, not just English language learners.

(Information supplied by Julie Luxton)



EAP Writing US 22750

EAP Reading US 22751

What is happening with national ESOL qualifications?

In November 2010, the NZQA National Qualifications Services (NQS) team gained agreement from the sector to lead the development of nationally recognised NZ ESOL qualifications, in collaboration with ESOL providers and peak body organisations.

On 16 February 2011 NQS convened a meeting with the Ministry of Social Development, Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), Ministry of Education (MoE) and Department of Labour (DoL) to discuss cross-agency Government strategies aligned to ESOL provision, and how a framework of NZ ESOL qualifications could provide support to these strategies.

NQS has also established a NZ ESOL Qualifications Project Advisory Group (PAG). The Terms of Reference for the PAG is to provide governance to the project; develop a framework for the qualifications; and provide a brief to the qualifications development panel who will be drafting the qualifications. The PAG is representative across provider types including, Wānanga, Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics, Private Training Establishments, Industry Training Organisations and Secondary Schools.

The PAG met on two occasions in March and has completed a provisional framework and the brief. In completing these, the PAG has considered the needs of:

  • learners (international students, migrants, refugees, and secondary students)

  • education organisations (secondary schools, polytechnics, private training establishments, universities)

  • overseas educational institutions

  • employers

  • New Zealand government agencies.

The PAG also took into account the varying purposes for learning English (for everyday, academic or employment purposes).

A qualifications development panel has been selected from across the sector and will be tasked with drafting the qualifications under the new NZ Qualification Framework (NZQF) qualification listing requirements. The panel’s first meeting will be in April.

Once the suite of qualifications has been drafted and confirmed by the sector, NQS will complete a Review report and recommendations for qualifications to NZQA’s Service Delivery unit for approval. Upon approval of the recommendations, NQS can go ahead and complete development of the qualifications. The final drafts will be consulted on and confirmed before they are submitted for listing on the NZQF.

NQS will provide updates at significant development stages. For any enquiries, please contact Annie Chan at

Secondary Sector Special Interest Group

The Secondary Sector Special Interest Group [SIG] was formed to give secondary teachers a voice in TESOLANZ policy-making and lobbying.

What effect does NCEA have on ESOL?
Should there be an ESOL curriculum?
Should there be ESOL achievement standards?
Are unit standards enough for secondary assessment?


If so, this is your opportunity to join the TESOLANZ Secondary Sector and encourage other teachers concerned with ESOL to do so. The sector welcomes all secondary teachers, whether your main focus is ESOL or another subject.

The Secondary Sector Special Interest Group Co-ordinator is Katherine Bennett and the Committee consists of Juliet Fry, Kathy Parker, Chris McGuirk and David Wallace. For information you can email Katherine or your local contact:



Uma Sing


(09) 828 9444 (home)


Julie Luxton email

Email 027 248 5479


Robin Stewart




Julia Beresford


04 385 8911 (work).


Rosemary Allison



Pauline Douglas




[TBA] .


ESOL Level 4 Assessment Resources – Request for Proposal

NZQA request for proposal to produce materials.



What are you doing with ELLP?
How are you using this in your department and using it school-wide? Explaining the strategies you are using to get ELLP "off the shelf" might help us all. Put your ideas on this site.

Any ideas that you think the secondary sector should prioritise for follow-up this year? Email me or again add them to the notices section on this site.

Minutes of 2009 AGM Secondary SIG meeting - updated

Secondary Interest Group report for 2009 AGM

Upgraded Curriculum Alignment

In an effort to secure dedicated EAP standards a letter has been sent to Bali Haque, at NZQA and Geoff Gibbs at the Ministry of Education. The letter is below. For this initiative to be successful it must have the support of ESOL teachers nationwide. If you agree with the request for dedicated EAP standards please email as many ESOL colleagues as possible and follow the instructions on the Word document.

Upgraded Curriculum Agreement Email

Upgraded Curriculum Agreement Letter


Literacy Requirements for University Entrance - TESOLANZ submission

TESOLANZ strongly supports PPTA in an initiative to request a review of the literacy requirement for University Entrance through NCEA and urges the Ministry of Education and NZQA to work with the Vice Chancellors’ Committee to review the current literacy requirement for University Entrance (UE). TESOLANZ would like to be involved as it was in the last review, this time with PPTA support and representation. More...

ESOL Certificate

Last year David Wallace put time into outlining what a certificate in ESOL could look like. (They are included on this page - see below). Comments were invited from members. References have been made to the need for a certificate to recognise students learning English in New Zealand in the TESOLANZ magazine. too. Comments as to your interest in having certificates including any changes would be encouraging and provide affirmation for the idea. Please respond either to me directly or by using this interact site. I look forward to hearing from you

Katherine Bennett Email

Minutes from Secondary Interest Group meeting held at 2008 AGM
2008 AGM Secondary Co-ordinator's Report
2007 AGM Secondary Co-ordinator's Report

English Language Learning Progressions

Katherine Bennett has asked Gillian Barron (Senior Advisor ESOL International) when English Language Learning Progressions could be expected in schools. Her response was that it has been "rebranded" now and due in early Term 1 2008.

NZQA National Certificates in ESOL

TESOLANZ has prepared for comment draft proposals for national certificates in ESOL at levels 2, 3 & 4 on the NQF. The certificates would be awarded when a student achieves 40 credits at one level in ESOL unit standards – 40 credits being the minimum level for a national certificate. Unfortunately, it is impossible to add standards from other areas, as ESOL only correlates with other language learning standards. Comparable standards from such areas as Communication Studies or mainstream English would be at a lower level on the NQF as these standards are designed for native speakers. The certificate must have 40 credits at the required level, so if the certificate is no more than 40 credits they must all be at that level.

Your comments on these proposed certificates would be much appreciated. Please respond to David Wallace

EAL Certificate L2

EAL Certificate L3

EAL Certificate L4

TESOLANZ Secondary Sector Policies

ESOL should be recognised as a subject.

ESOL is being taught as a subject in most secondary schools but is not based on any national guidelines or curriculum. ESOL has evolved into a subject as numbers of NESB students have increased across a wider range of schools.

In a TESOLANZ national survey of ESOL teachers, all respondents, except one, said that ESOL was taught as an option subject. 72.1% of Foreign Fee Paying students in 2000 took ESOL as a subject. The rapid growth in Foreign Fee Paying student numbers has heightened the need for ESOL to be recognised as a subject. There is no doubt that ESOL is a significant subject in most schools in spite of the fact that it does not appear on the curriculum framework.

At present ESOL is viewed by the Ministry of Education as an intervention or strategy rather than as a subject. NESB students should be supported in subjects across the curriculum, but for many students, especially those arriving at senior secondary school, a well constructed ESOL programme is essential.

ESOL curriculum guidelines are necessary.

Secondary school ESOL is different from secondary school English although some of the outcomes are similar. Pathways towards these goals need to be more focussed on acquiring new language for students who arrive in an English speaking country at secondary school age. Secondary school ESOL is different from Foreign language learning. It is concerned with the development of literacy for secondary school learning in all subjects.
Because secondary ESOL teachers come from a variety of backgrounds - English teaching, foreign language teaching, other secondary subjects, English as a Foreign Language and primary teaching, they need a set of common guidelines for their teaching programmes.

The Curriculum Division of the Ministry of Education need to produce some national agreements of the learning outcomes for courses pitched at different levels. Then NCEA ESOL standards could be written appropriately and assessment procedures could be consistent throughout the country and be incorporated into the national qualifications structures. Countries like Australia and Canada have well developed curricula for ESOL. With the globalisation of English teaching, New Zealand needs to catch up.

Universities are finding that NESB students from schools have been able to slip in without adequate English. Until an appropriate set of guidelines for the teaching of ESOL is put in place, this is not surprising. Many ESOL students have not studied ESOL in Year 13 because it has not been a requirement with any tangible outcomes. NZQA is putting in a Level 2 literacy requirement for university entrance. It is time that ESOL became a recognised course toward these goals and that a curriculum and qualifications were developed accordingly.

Concerns for ESOL in the curriculum review

ESOL Advisors feel that ESOL students’ language and learning needs must be addressed more directly than appears to be the case in the current curriculum developments.

TESOLANZ Primary and Secondary Sector Interest Groups. Submission on the Draft New Zealand Curriculum. November 2006.
Curriculum project report, March 2006
Concerns for ESOL in the curriculum review

Review of the university entrance standard

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority is reviewing the common standard for university entrance and is seeking feedback from universities, schools and other interested parties.

The working group for the review prepared a consultation document. This backgrounds issues raised by some sector groups and seeks feedback on possible changes to the entrance standard. Any specific proposals subsequently developed for the standard will be informed by consultation feedback.

TESOLANZ consulted its members via secondary sector meetings in five branches, and the results have been sent to the working group.

Consultation response

Consultation response letter

TESOLANZ survey of teacher opinions

Secondary ESOL Issue Survey Responses

Curriculum Review and University Entrance Standards (7 August 2005)

Secondary Sector SIG Report 2005

Secondary Sector SIG Report 2004

Literacy Issues Position Paper

MoST Content Management V3.0.7013