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Week 7: Supporting ELLs with low literacy in L1

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Last updated by Breda Matthews

Hi everyone,

      Last week we participated in offering advice to support  a Tongan student with low literacy skills - thank you to all who contributed to this conversation.


Providing adequately for small numbers of students with low literacy is always challenging and I’d like to remind you of our doc Tools for ELLs and their teachers which we have recently shared with Secondary Literacy Online. This doc can be edited by anyone so feel free to add your suggestions. Reading Kerry Morris’ comments re Columbian students reminded me to mention that RAZ Kids Reading books can be read in English, Spanish and French which is a great way to encourage L1. As these books go right down to emergent reader level they can even be used to support students with limited literacy in Spanish. I have put a couple of screenshots below.



And don’t forget the Pasifika Dual Language books.


NCEA workshop at Long Bay College - the correct email to reply to Laura is lcurwoodlbc.school.nz - Apologies for the error Laura.


Heather Becker started a conversation around ELLP reporting. Thanks to all who replied and don’t feel that it is too late to share how you report with the community. It is great to hear all of the different ways this is tackled. The ELLP Professional Support Modules contain an excellent section on this -  Module 5 - Reporting to parents.


Julie Luxton also posted some very helpful information on the expiring, revised and new EL unit standards. I am reproducing this below as it is so helpful.


On the English Language subject page, the standards posted will be one of the following:


  • expiring – indicated by an ‘expiring’ watermark and the statement This standard is expiring. The last date for assessment to take place is 31 December 2019 e.g. 27983
  • reviewed – with the same number as a standard you may be currently using. but modified and identified as version 3 e.g. 27999
  • new – (with numbers starting with 30 or 31) - additional standards designed during the review to meet learner / assessor needs e.g. 31006

As indicated above – and hitherto communicated – current and expiring standards can continue to be used until December 2019. However, the version of the reviewed standard which you will have used and/or may use this year and next is no longer on the NZQA website. Therefore, if you are submitting material for external moderation you will need to cite version 2. It is not essential to include a hard copy of the standard with physical submissions, but the version used must be referenced.


Please keep posting your questions regarding the unit standards as this is how we will build our knowledge base.




Matariki - the Māori New Year - 15th June - I wonder if this would make a topic for a persuasive text with all the discussion around making Matariki a national holiday?

Cook Islands Language Week  - 29th July


Sociolinguistics Symposium 22

Register online at https://www.ss22.ac.nz/registration.html


Language Testing Research Colloquium

4- 6th July Auckland University.


NZALT Conference

Sunday 8th to Wednesday 11th July, 2018. Programme Auckland University.  One of the pre-conference events is a Language assessm


New Zealand International Education Conference (NZIEC) 9-10 August (pre-conference workshops 8 August), Te Papa, Wellington. Registrations now open. Register here.  The theme is “Inspiring Global Leaders” and they have a multitude of different speakers lined up. If you want to grow your International Student numbers and learn more about how to care for them and how to market abroad then this is the conference for you.

On other communities

Secondary Literacy Online discussed high expectations. I enjoyed the video on creating group norms./

English Online shared an opinion piece from the Herald and a clarification regarding the close viewing standard that may be helpful to teachers using that standard with ELLs.

Have a great week.


Breda Matthews

Facilitator: Secondary ESOL community 


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