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Week 5: the EL unit standards review

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Last updated by Breda Matthews

Hi everyone,

    March already!


Last week Joanna asked for recommendations for textbooks teaching academic skills. Thank you to all those who made suggestions and I am sure there are some more great ideas out there.  I have found the Macmillan Writing series (three books) useful and the Oxford series Lecture Ready for listening. A key point when choosing a textbook for academic skills is to look for books with an EAP, rather than an EFL, focus. There are many excellent EFL textbooks at an advanced level but they won’t necessarily provide the academic vocabulary and text structures that students working in our high schools need.


New resources

David Riley has produced two new books about Joseph Parker. Find the post here plus a link to view part of the books.


Earth Day Resources - some great texts that could have multiple uses , not just for Earth Day, were shared in this post


Very Important News!


NZQA are going to review the EL unit standards. This follows hot on the foot of the NZCEL review and the EAP review. It is essential that panel members include secondary teachers who have prepared students for and assessed against the EL unit standards. Please consider applying and, if you would like to discuss what this might involve, feel free to contact me. Detail of the review are below.


In April 2017, the NZQA National Qualifications Services will begin review of English Language (Level 1 Foundation - Level 4) unit standards currently listed on the Directory of Assessment Standards:

NZQA have invited expressions of interest in contributing to the review, either as a member of the review panel or as part of the supporting email network. Members of the email network will receive regular updates with opportunities to contribute feedback, opinions, and ideas. If you wish to be included in this e-network, please email  englishlanguage.review@nzqa.govt.nz.

The purpose of this standards review is to ensure that:

NZQA will pay a fee for service to panellists, including for phone/Skype conference calls, and we meet travel and accommodation expenses.

More information about the review and access to the application form for review panel membership can be found on the webpage for Review of English Language unit standards. The closing date for applications is 9am, Monday 13 March. Applicants will be notified as soon as practical after the closing date.

If you would like to receive information and updates about the review, please send a message the review mailbox asking to be added to the email network, at: englishlanguage.review@nzqa.govt.nz.

Please pass this message on through your networks - the more people who know about this, the better!


On other communities


Primary ESOL Online continued to discuss ways to support students who speak more than one language in our classrooms. There are some interesting and informative posts in this conversation.


Secondary Literacy Online have discussed improving writing.


English Online have  shared strategies used for independent text studies for NCEA.  You can read a couple of posts through the thread here.