New Zealand Certificates in English Language (Levels 1-5)

New Zealand Certificates in English Language (NZCEL) qualifications are intended for learners of English as an additional language. These qualifications are available to all parts of the English language sector: secondary, tertiary, community, and for permanent and temporary residents, and international students.

NZCEL Guiding Document

This is a companion document which gives detail to the learning outcomes of the NZCEL qualifications and provides guidance to programme designers and teachers to support consistent assessment practice.

Guidance includes:

  • NZCEL pathways
  • conditions related to the assessment of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills
  • sufficiency statements to indicate text type, text length and vocabulary level
  • language skill and control descriptors for each NZCEL qualification level
  • types of discourse for academic, general and employment contexts
  • unit standards aligned to the NZCEL qualifications
  • relevant website links e.g. English Language descriptors / frameworks.

NZCEL Guiding Document (PDF, 442KB)

Programme approval

Existing programme developers

All education organisations with approved programmes leading to the existing English Language qualifications will need to review their own programmes to evaluate alignment with the reviewed English Language qualifications.

All programmes need to clearly map to the graduate profile outcomes of each qualification. If the mapping requires any change to an existing programme, the education organisations will need to refer to the NZQA Guidelines for applying for approval of programmes leading to New Zealand qualifications at Levels 1-6 on the NZQF and the accreditation of organisations to provide approved programmes (PDF, 536KB) to determine the nature of the change/s, and make the appropriate application to NZQA. This may be a programme change or a new programme application.

New programme developers

Any education organisation wishing to develop a programme leading to any of the Certificates in English Language suite of qualifications must apply through the usual application process using their education online profile and following the NZQA Guidelines for applying for approval of programmes leading to New Zealand qualifications at Levels 1-6 on the NZQF and the accreditation of organisations to provide approved programmes (PDF, 536KB).

Secondary schools

Schools wishing to provide a programme of study leading to a New Zealand Certificate must apply to NZQA for programme approval and/or accreditation:

http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/providers-partners/assessment-and-moderation/managing-national-assessment-in-schools/new-zealand-certificates-for-secondary-schools/.

Consistency reviews

Any organisation that has graduates from English Language qualifications, which are listed on the consistency review schedule, will need to attend a consistency review.

Unit standards aligned to NZCEL

Unit standards may be incorporated into programmes of study by organisations with consent to assess to use as assessment evidence towards achievement of parts or all of the NZCEL qualification outcomes.

English Language standards

English Language unit standards are designed for people for whom English is an additional language.

This suite of standards was reviewed in 2018 to align to the graduate profile outcomes of the 2017 NZCEL from Foundation to Level 4. More information on the review can be accessed at Review of English Language unit standards.

Assessment Support Material (ASM) for the earlier version of the English Language Levels 3-4 unit standards is available to provide guidance for teachers and assessors.

Development of ASM for the English Language standards published in 2018 is underway. This will include resources to support assessment at Foundation to Level 4 unit standards.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) standards

Level 4 EAP unit standards are designed to assess a candidate's readiness to study at undergraduate level. These standards are mandatory for NZCEL (Academic) (Level 4) [Ref: 1883]. They were last reviewed in 2017.

Level 3 EAP unit standards were developed in early 2018 as a pathway onto Level 4 EAP study.  They can be used to assess parts of the NZCEL (Applied) (Level 3) [Ref: 3667].

Assessment support material for EAP Level 4 unit standards is available to provide guidance for teachers and assessors.

Contact

If you wish to receive email updates, and/or make contact regarding the NZCEL qualifications, English Language or English for Academic Purposes unit standards, please email NQS@nzqa.govt.nz.

 
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