English for Academic Purposes - Information Sheets

English for Academic Purposes Information Sheet

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22891 version 4: Deliver an oral presentation in English for an academic purpose

Published February 2020. This is a new document to replace previous clarifications and address issues that have arisen from moderation and the update to Version 4 of the standard.

Level of the standard: Guidance Information 2

This standard is set at New Zealand Qualifications Framework level 4 and is informed by level mid-B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. It attests to a learner’s readiness for the academic demands of undergraduate degree or diploma courses.

Academic purpose and authentic context: Guidance Information 4 and 9

An appropriate academic purpose is essential and must give learners scope to meet all Performance Criteria (PCs) of the standard. Assessors should ensure that each learner has a research question that has the scope to demonstrate a broad knowledge base, drawing on source materials of sufficient complexity.

The purpose of the presentation could be worded as a question, a hypothesis or an issue for discussion (e.g. “Discuss whether or not the use of 1080 poison should be banned”). It needs to go beyond the statement of a topic (e.g. “The Millennium Development Goals”). Historical accounts such as “the life of a famous person” do not support an academic purpose at NZQF level 4.

Authentic context: Guidance Information 4

The oral presentation should be made in a situation that closely reflects an authentic academic context. This may include a seminar, exposition, debate or speech in a formal academic style. Evidence from moderation indicates that this is best achieved when the learner is standing and in front of a live audience of other learners. If questioning from the audience or assessor is used, it is after the completion of the 8 minute presentation.

Independent demonstration: Guidance Information 5

Learners may use cue cards, notes, slideshow or visual aids, but prompting by the assessor or other candidates is not permitted. Use of voice software is not permitted.

Broad knowledge base and acknowledging sources: Performance Criterion 1.1

Learners need to develop ideas by expanding on them to show a broad knowledge base that includes some theoretical concepts. Main ideas must be supported with subsidiary points and relevant examples. Acknowledgement of source material is required. This could be included in a slideshow, or stated by the learner as part of the presentation. Both the content and structure need to be coherent and relevant to the audience and academic purpose.

Clarity and use of vocabulary and language structures: Performance Criteria 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4

These PCs relate to the selection and accuracy of use of lexical and grammatical forms. The vocabulary used must be at a level appropriate to the academic purpose and context. The spoken language should be expressed confidently, with clear, relatively natural pronunciation and intonation. Some inaccuracies are acceptable, but the learner must demonstrate control with only minor and occasional structural, grammatical and pronunciation lapses.

Strategies and visual aids to promote engagement and effectiveness: Performance Criteria 1.5 and 1.6

Learners need to use a range of delivery strategies to maintain audience engagement. The presentation needs to be supported by some form of visual aid that is relevant and integrated into the presentation. Learners should ensure that the use of visual aids (such as slideshows) does not become the focus of their attention. Eye contact with the audience is expected in an oral presentation.


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