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MOE ESOL Funding process using ELLP

Hi Everyone

Christmas and the end of the school year is fast approaching so for the next few weeks I would like us to reflect and think a little more about our school leadership for English Language learners.  Hopefully this will help you to plan to implement any changes you might want to make in 2015. However to be relevant to your situation I really need you to share your questions and inquiries.

  • What is it that is puzzling you?
  • What area do you think you need to make changes to and how can we support you in this?
  • What learning was particularly valuable to you that you could share so others may benefit?

I certainly won’t have all the answers but I am confident that as a community we can input you’re your situation and share our thoughts and ideas. So please go ahead and ask.

MOE ESOL Funding Process and Latest MOE ESOL Update

Today I thought it was appropriate to begin our leadership discussions by focusing our thoughts on - the implementation of the new method of applying for ESOL funding by using ELLP scores, as this is something that is new to us all. It is also timely as the latest MOE ESOL Update that came out today also examines this process.

I was interested to read in the latest MOE ESOL Update that “Over 84% of schools had transitioned to using scores based on ELLP (English Language Learning Progressions) matrices for the Period 2, 2014 ESOL funding applications.” In this update a number of implementation issues are discussed. “The main issue has centred around ensuring that all schools send in scores for funding which are based on 'achieved' stages rather than the stages at which students are currently working.” If you haven’t already done so I recommend that you carefully read the update and reflect on the discussion of the issues and how they relate to your school. Or for those of you yet to implement it thinking about what you have planned and whether anything more needs to happen? 

  • How well has this process worked in your school?
  • Is there an area that teachers in your school are unclear about or not fully understanding, where some further input would be appropriate?

For example do teachers understand the reading levels used in ELLP? For a student to be judged to have 'achieved' a particular stage, they must demonstrate competence in decoding, making meaning and thinking critically across a range of contexts.   Do teachers examine each of these areas when determining a reading level or do they base it upon a reading age?     

  • Are teachers clear about the difference between scoring students for reporting to parents as opposed to applying for ESOL funding?
  • Are the teachers using the ELLP document to develop appropriate next steps?
  • Is the system you use to record and monitor long term progress for student’s effective? Does it help teachers to use ELLP as an ongoing working document in their weekly teaching?
  • As a school do you have a focus on accelerated learning for these students as the update stresses how critical this is?
  • Do the ESOL teacher and the classroom teacher both work together to target appropriate multi-layered support?
  • Is any further PLD required? If so, by whom and when?

Good luck with the process. I am sure that most of you will find something further to implement as any system takes time to bed down properly.  

Our Primary ESOL Community

Everyone has been extremely quiet but I hope many of you joined the Ready to Read webinar opportunity. Catriona shared links related to this webinar and if you missed it then it has been recorded. The link will be shared with you as soon as it is available online.

Other communities


  • A new video, creating a school-wide reading culture, is now online. Mahurangi College and Kingsford School in Auckland share insights into how they foster a culture of reading for pleasure in their schools. This is such an important element of a successful reading programme but one that is easy to overlook in our busy classrooms, unless we make it a priority.
  • Do you encourage your learners to give you feedback or report on your year? 
  • Latest children’s author profile on Kyle Mewburn.
  • Anne shared some great resources in her last update, I especially liked the 40 reflection questions in this Edutopia article Free Resources and Tools for Replicating Project-Based Learning.

Secondary Literacy

  • Have been having an interesting discussion around Generic vs Subject-specific literacy skills and Subject specific literacy within thematic units of work. This has relevance to our thinking as we need to encourage subject/mainstream teachers to teach both literacy and language and that this means more than just teaching some vocabulary. This is why I encourage subject/mainstream teachers to apply for TESOL scholarships as it supports them to teach subject specific literacy and language.   

A Few Recent Gems

  • Bilingual Cognitive Advantage: Where Do We Stand? Linguistic experience and its effect on cognition. Published on November 12, 2014 by Francois Grosjean, Ph.D. in Life as a Bilingual
  • Talking to Learn, Elizabeth A. City. November 2014 | Volume 72 | Number 3. Talking and Listening, pages 10-16,  Educational Leadership.
  • Speaking Volumes, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey.  November 2014 | Volume 72 | Number 3. Talking and Listening, pages 18-23, Educational Leadership
  • A new book, New Ways in Teaching Vocabulary, Revised, by Averil Coxhead. Because vocabulary is a central building block for all learners, New Ways in Teaching Vocabulary, Revised is designed to make vocabulary teaching almost effortless. Classroom teachers contributed more than 100 step-by-step activities that fit any context, learner, proficiency level, or technology. This revised volume builds on the work by Paul Nation, one of the leading researchers and teachers in the field and represents the most recent developments, including technology, which lends value and ease to teaching vocabulary.

Some of the practical activities in this revised book have been shared by publishers http://www.tesol.org/BookLanding?productID=14004 .

  • Beating the summer effect While a certain amount of stagnation following the summer holidays is perhaps to be expected, Rata Street School, Lower Hutt, Wellington, has made positive changes that have negated much of that drop-off, meaning teachers can immediately build on the progress made the previous year, rather than battling a ‘two steps forward, one back’ situation. Education Gazette 19 Oct. 2014
  • Constructive Conversation Skills Poster. This is a practical resource poster with sentence starters for helping students to build ideas using discussion skills to negotiate, clarify, fortify and create.  Zwiers, O’Hara, & Pritchard (2014) Common Core Standards in diverse classrooms: Essential practices for developing academic language and disciplinary literacy.  Stenhouse Publishers ,ALDNetwork.org.

Enjoy your week and please share any feedback.