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Week 5: Checking your unit standards assessment tasks

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Last updated by Breda Matthews

Hi everyone,

   Ast week we saw requests for help with moderation of internal English language assessment tasks. Thank you to all who responded to Laura’s request.


Don’t forget that you can ask for or offer help on our Find a moderation buddy document. Other places to work collaboratively could be collaborating with a nearby school of arranging a date to cross moderate at an ESOL PLD cluster.


Teachers are beginning to look closely at their assessment tasks and a couple of people have realised that the task they have available in their school relates to an older version of the standard.  NZQA advice is to use the latest version of the standard. Usually NZQA allow a period for teachers to transition to using the latest version of the standard but the current standards have been in use for three years, I hope Julie will correct me if I have that date wrong. You will find the latest version of the standard on the NZQA English Language page.


If you need to adapt a previously used assessment resource you will need to read the unit standard very carefully, note the changes and adapt you tasks. Make sure that you read the Guidance Information as well as the Performance Criteria. 


As an example I have notes some of the differences between unit standard 27983 Read and understand simple texts on familiar topics (EL) (which has now expired) and the replacement standard is 30985 Demonstrate understanding of straightforward spoken instructions in a familiar context (EL).


Some of the differences for these two standards include the CEFR level of the text, the text requirements and the performance criteria, see below.



27983 - expired standard

30985 - current standard

The CEFR level of the text 

high A2 – low B1

mid B1

Text requirements

i. must each be a minimum of 200 words;


vi. must be guided by the first 1000 words of The New General Service List.

i. must each be approximately 350-450 words;


vi. must be guided by the first 1500 words of New General Service List.

Performance criteria

1.2 Specific information which is key to understanding each text is located, and the meaning is identified.


1.3 Connections between essential details are identified. 

Range  may include but are not limited to – cohesive devices, verb forms.


1.4 The meaning of essential vocabulary as used in each text is identified.

Range ten words.

Specific information is identified.

Range six pieces of information.


1.3 Connections between details are identified. 

Range  connections may include but are not limited to – causal, sequential, exemplification.


1.4 The meaning of essential vocabulary as used in the text is identified.

Range ten words and/or phrases.


I am still keen to hear your reflections on the recent Teacher Accord Day. What are your thoughts and observations? Is there anything you would like clarified or to discuss here?


TESOLANZ request. If you are based in New Zealand (or have worked in TESOL in NZ in the past 18 months), please complete the survey on impacts related to Covid-19. All responses are anonymous and any identifying information within the text responses will be removed. Results will be used to help inform TESOLANZ’s communications with the Government on the impact on our area of education. Complete the survey by clicking this link. 


Language weeks

An opportunity to celebrate diversity in our schools. 


International Languages Week you can find information on this TKI page are incorrect. The correct date for ILW is: International Languages Week: Term Two, Week 7 (14 - 18 June 2021) 



Refugees as Survivors NZ: Welcoming Schools for Students from Refugee Backgrounds: Last workshop for 2021. Mon 2nd August, 9.30-2.30pm – Kohia Centre, Auckland. The booking form is attached to this email.

WATESOL Expo will be on Thursday, June 17th at Wellington East Girls’ College, 4 – 7pm. The Expo will begin with a keynote address from Dr Corinne Seals speaking on the topic of Translanguaging followed by:

  • Workshops on teaching and learning

  • Short presentations on practical teaching ideas

  • Reports on research and best practice

The Expo will conclude with a keynote address from Dr Margaret Gleeson speaking on Managing Demanding Reading Texts: Resources and Teaching Strategies.


2021 NZLA Conference Registration is now open. 


CLESOL - St Cuthbert’s, Auckland 08 - 09 October 2021. Many of you will be beginning to make plans to attend and finding the funding to do so. Teachers who are members of PPTA can access funding to attend CLESOL - NB TESOLANZ is listed as a subject association by PPTA. Find out more here.


On other communities

English Online continue to discuss literacy. This community have discussed which teachers / departments will be responsible for literacy, what provisions will be made for Special Assessment Conditions, the potential impact on programmes in Year 7 to 10, the implications of the assessments being external and timed and a co-requisite for NCEA.


There is lots for our community to consider. And I would love to hear your views.


Have a great week.




Breda Matthews

Facilitator: Secondary ESOL community 


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