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The return to school

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Last updated by Breda Matthews

Hi everyone,

        I hope your return to school has gone well. You will all be busy settling students back into routines and some teachers are considering what assessments are appropriate this year.


So Rafael’s question about the process for using unit standards was very timely this week. Thank you to Julie who provided a very comprehensive answer and highlighted how this year will be a little different as a result of the impact of Covid19.  You can read Julie’s response here. Julie highlighted the benefits of ESOL Clusters for checking assessments and cross moderating and changes to this year’s external moderation process.


On the VLN

A teacher asked for any advice on creating an assessment task for unit standard 30995. If you have suggestions please post them here of on the VLN group


The process I follow for a reading assessment is to first write the text and check the CEFR level. This will usually involve quite a bit of work around vocabulary levels and sentence length. The next stage is to write the questions. Invariably I then find out that I need to tweak the text. There are various reasons for this. One might be that there isn’t a sufficient range of lexical and grammatical cohesive devices. But I have never written a text that didn’t need tweaking at this stage. Once amended, the text will need to be checked against the CEFR and vocabulary levels again.


Of course there are other things to be aware of for example: does your assessment task conform to the requirements of the Guidance Information, have the Performance Criteria been explained in student friendly language etc.


The NZQA EL assessment page is a good place to view assessment tasks that can be used as models for your own tasks.




Kiribati Language Week: Sunday 12 July – Saturday 18 July 2020 - no links yet I will keep you updates


Matariki is from 13 July 2020. Find teaching ideas and links here.


TESOLANZ is holding a series of Zoom sessions of interest to our sector. The next sessions are on 11th June Young learners and 18th June The state of assessment. Admission will be on a first-come, first-serve basis as TESOLANZ’s Zoom account is currently limited to 100 live participants. If you join, please make sure that you put in your name and sector e.g. Breda - Secondary  Find more detail here



When posting to ESOL Online please make sure that your email is sent to secondaryesol@lists.tki.org.nz. This will make sure that the email is answered by the community.


On other communities

English Online discussed the topics of departmental reviews and plagiarism.

Secondary Literacy Online shared a report How can teachers and whānau effectively teach and support reading?  This report has some interesting insights that are applicable in an ESOL context.

Kind regards


Breda Matthews

Facilitator: Secondary ESOL community 


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