Log in

Week 12: More on course planning and unit standards

  • Public
Last updated by Breda Matthews

Hi everyone,

     We are all heading into an extremely well deserved break but our community has continued to be active.


We had a query about joining our Listserve. You can do so on this page. Click on ‘Subscribe’ and then follow the prompts.


Deborah has asked for advice and feedback on course plans.  Deborah is keen to touch base with anyone who can offer advice during the upcoming holidays.


I think when planning courses, the critical factor is the learner's starting point. ESOL does not operate in quite the same way as other subjects. For example, it is not always the case that a Year 11student should be assessed against a Level 1 unit standard. A Year 11 student may be further along their English language learning journey than a Year 13 student. As a result the Year 11 student might be assessed against a Level 3 standard, whilst a Year 13 student, with lower levels of English language skills, might be assessed against a Level 1 or 2 standard. This often presents a problem when timetabling. Larger ESOL Departments might be able to offer ESOL courses at different levels to the same year group. Other ESOL Departments have one Year 11 or 12 class and, as a result, have to multi-level their classes. This ESOL Online page provides some guidance on multi-levelling.


I was also asked about the wide reading unit standards. In particular could texts read in other subjects be used and are graded readers are permitted. I think the answer to the first question is that the intention of the standard is to assess independent reading. So, if a student has read a text in another subject independently, for example as part of their research, that would be fine. If however, the text had been studied in another class, that would not be independent reading. 


The answer to the second question will be in the Guidance Information of the standard. I would encourage you to always read the Guidance Information. For unit standard 31005 the Guidance information states


For this unit standard: 

i candidates should be supported in their choice of texts; 

ii written texts may be abridged versions, designed for English language learners; 

iii texts must be guided by the first 1000 words of New General Service List.


Let me know if you disagree with either of the above. I’d love to hear your opinions.


A quick reminder that ESOL funding applications for terms 3 and 4 remains as 1st August.


Shared with us

Alana Magewick shared a recording of the webinar Critical literacy - Why these skills are more important than ever. Many thanks Alana.




Kiribati Language Week: Sunday 12 July – Saturday 18 July 2020. The theme for Kiribati language week is 'Ribanan te Taetae ni Kiribati e Kateimatoa ara Katei ao Kinakira;' which in English means 'Nurturing Kiribati language promotes our Cultural Identity and Heritage'.


You may find these links helpful


Thanks to Janet McQueen Primary ESOL Online for these last two links.


Matariki is from 13 July 2020. Find teaching ideas and links here and the text Matariki from Literacy Online Instructional Series.


TESOL 2020 Virtual Convention and English Language Expo, 16-18 July 2020. TESOL International Association. Registration deadline 8 July 2020. Registration is opening 1 June.

SIOP 2020 Virtual Conference July 7-9. Jana Echevarría, Ph.D., Deborah J. Short, Ph.D., and Mary Ellen Vogt, Ed.D plus Dr. Jim Cummins will be presenting.  To learn more and to register go to this page.  $275 per participant

CLESOL Conference St Cuthbert’s, Auckland, postponed until 08 – 10 October 2021


On other communities

Primary ESOL Online have discussed learner agency. You can find out more about ELLP Pathway Years 1-8 and ELLP Pathway Student Agency Record on this ESOL Online page


In relation to learner agency, Dr Jannie van Hees has offered to lead a Zoom discussion on this topic. Four sessions are planned, on Wednesday 22 July/5th Aug and Thursday nights 23 July/6 Aug, all starting at 7pm.  A suggested Koha of $20.


If you are interested please  contact Jannie directly at the following email 



Have a great break everyone.


Kind regards



Breda Matthews

Facilitator: Secondary ESOL community 


To post to the list email: secondaryesol@lists.tki.org.nz


To unsubscribe from the list, please visit https://lists.tki.org.nz/sympa/signoff/secondartyesol/

Please note that the views expressed on this mailing list are not necessarily the views of the Ministry of Education, or those of CORE Education.