NCEA Standards Alignment

This resource contains a variety of Ideas for 1.3 Interaction Tasks which have been shared by Catherine Hannagan.


Teaching Listening
  • Goals and Techniques for Teaching Listening
  • Strategies for Developing Listening Skills
  • Developing Listening Activities

This Choice Board gives lots of great ideas for choice and is presented in a simple, effective way. They can be attached to task documentation (schedule, conditions, etc.,) when sent for moderation. Many thanks to Verna Morris, HOD French at Dunstan High School for sharing this resource.

France map
Student Task Information - This provides a good example of how information about the tasks that students will undertake in the writing portfolio standard could be presented. Many thanks to Jacqui Johnson for sharing this resource. Being on Exchange is a context that would suit any target language and this resource could be easily adapted to the target language and culture.

This presentation discusses Aligning the Level 1 NCEA Learning Languages Achievement Standards.

Resources which accompany the presentation:

Features of Conversation - These resources have been developed and shared by several Learning Languages teachers. If you have updated versions of these highly useful documents or versions in other target languages not included here, please be encouraged to contribute resources






Cook Islands Maori



The updated Context Elaborations for the Learning Languages achievement objectives are now available on TKI The context elaborations provide examples of what is expected of students who are achieving at the specified level.

A context is any situation, scenario, or activity that gives students the opportunity to interact or communicate using the target language. A context elaboration is an annotated text that has been created or generated in response to a particular situation, scenario, or activity. It may be, for example, the transcript of a spoken interaction. It may be productive or receptive. The annotations make links to the descriptor and achievement objectives and highlight language/cultural features.

Cook Islands Maori
Vagahau Niue
Gagana Samoa

These context elaborations are a much anticipated and valuable resource and I am sure you will all appreciate the knowledgeable and generous effort of our colleagues in contributing to the development of this resource supported by the Ministry of Education.
Resources used at the workshop Aligning the Level 2 NCEA Learning Languages Achievement Standards

Student Indicators for Levels 1 - 8 of the NZC

Teacher Tracking Sheets and Marking Schedules Level 2

(Level 1 versions are available above in the Level 1 Workshop Resources and Level 3 versions are available within the Level 3 Workshop Resources below).

These Level 2 versions of Tracking Sheets have been developed and kindly shared by Andrea Gohns, Bethlehem College.

Agreed code/marking rubrics. Many teachers have descriptive codes (agreed on and understood by the students) which they place in the margin. These codes still need to remain true to the idea of general feedback and cannot give students specific information on error correction. For example, writing a ‘V’ in the margin to indicate there is a verb error will still expect the student to locate the error, identify the problem and research how to correct it. More precise feedback should not be given to students. For example, ‘V/fut’ indicating that the verb was incorrect and needed to be put into the future tense has told the student what the error is and how to correct it. This would not be suitable feedback. (Source:
This resource is a very full list of agreed codes collated at workshops and cluster meetings in Auckland and Northland and is provided here as a guide only. It is intended that teachers would select the codes most appropriate to the task at hand and to their classes. The codes must only be used in the margin and the specific error is not to be underlined. It is important to note that feedback should not be given on .3 tasks which once fed-back on, should not be done again with the same scenario and task.

Here is a model of best practice in terms of using codes for student feedback. Teachers should review the model they are currently using to ensure that they are maintaining the authenticity of student work and that the ownership of the language remains with the student.

Here is an example from Botany Downs Senior College, kindly shared by Michelle Lodge, HOD Languages.

These models from Columba College, kindly shared by Jacqueline Hill, HOD Languages, include marki ng code cards for students and reflection/feedback strategies.

Examples of lists for giving feedback in writing portfolio tasks can also be found on the Verb Cube website:
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Resources used at the workshop Aligning the Level 3 NCEA Learning Languages Achievement Standards

Creating Real Communication (Lyddon, 2002)


Role-play is an effective way to develop students’ communicative competence, especially the sociolinguistic and strategic competence. It also helps the students acquire what Saville-Troike (1996) describes as interactional knowledge. Learning a language for a wide range of social and expressive functions requires more than just learning word- and sentence-formation, correct pronunciation, and orthography; rather, one learns “a system of use whose rules and norms are an integral part of culture” (Schiffrin, 1996: 323). Usually, role-plays are properly framed, yet open-ended, bilateral, interactive, and above all, highly contextualized in nature. However, Clark (1987), acknowledging the value of role-plays in a foreign language classroom, cautions us that a form of role-play in which the students simply act out a predetermined script made by someone else would result in mere memorization of stereotypical expressions that may or may not have real-life application in actual communicative exchange. Instead, the teacher must structure his or her role-plays in a way that their students engage in “role-making” and “role-negotiating” as they interact.

Have you ever developed or adapted role-plays, plays, simulations, or sociodramas for teaching? Have you experienced any of these activities as a learner? What is your opinion of these activities for language teaching?

Drama in Education: ESL and Foreign Language Classes (Stern, 1980)

Theatresports in the Second Language Classroom

Keep Talking: Communicative Fluency Activities for Language Teaching (Klippel, 1984)

Dowloaded from,d.aGc

Communication Games

What are the key attributes of assessment capable students?

Information Literacy Planning Overview

Strategic Competence

Communicative Competence; So what does this mean in the Learning Languages classroom?

Getting real in the language classroom; Developing Japanese students' communicative competence with authentic materials (Gilmore, 2007)

The Content Trap

Thinking Activity

SOLO HOT Visual Map Overview

Teacher Tracking Sheets and Marking Schedules Level 3
Level 3 Tracking Sheets have been developed and kindly shared by Andrea Gohns, Bethlehem College.

Marking Schedules Level 3

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Level 3 NCEA Writing Resources Workshops

These resources represent the brainstorming of teachers who attended the Level 3 NCEA Writing Resources Workshops. At this stage, they are mostly ideas and draft versions but have been very kindly shared by your fellow Learning Languages colleagues to support you in your planning of aligned Level 3 programmes and task design. The resources will be updated with final versions as they are made available. While some resources appear to be language-specific, the contexts can often be as equally relevant in different linguistic and cultural contexts, and may prompt new and further thinking. Thanks to the National Advisors from ILEP who have contributed useful links to support your planning.

It is hoped that teachers will continue to contribute the resources they developed from the work started at the workshops so that they can be made more widely available through the wiki. Email your contributions to or

Many thanks to the teachers who have contributed their task documentation for Level 3:

Wendy Chen, Rotorua Boys High School - Chinese

Anne Moir Scott - Epsom Girls Grammar School - French

Useful links provided by the National Advisors, ILEP



Newspapers and news web





Magazines in Chinese







オンラインで見られる日本のテレビ局のサイトOnline Japanese TV stations.
1. NHKonline

2. フジテレビ

3. 朝日(あさひ)テレビ

4. 関西(かんさい)テレビ

5. 東京放送(ほうそう)

Free online Japanese newspapers. Keyword searching is available.
1. **朝日(あさひ)新聞**

2. 毎日(まいにち)新聞

3. 日経(にっけい)新聞

4. 読売(よみうり)新聞

5. 産経(さんけい)新聞

6.  Japan Times

7. NHK週刊こどもニュース NHK Weekly Kids News

If you are not an advanced learner and want to read Japanese newspapers, this site provides recent news in a simple language with less Kanji.
8.  朝日小学生新聞  Asahi newspaper for elementary kids

This site explains keywords in the recent news in easy words.
9. 毎日中学生新聞 Mainichi newspaper for middle school students.


NZQA Exams Logo
NCEA External Assessment: Grade Score Marking

To coincide with the implementation of the revised achievement standards, Grade Score Marking was introduced for level 1 in 2012 and level 2 in 2012. It will be introduced for level 3 in 2013. Prior to its implementation, five years of research at NZQA confirmed that Grade Score Marking is a fair and effective method of standards-based assessment. NZQA has outlined Grade Score Marking in its generic document which is available on

The 2012 external assessment schedules for levels 1 and 2 show Grade Score Marking in practice. These schedules along with the sample external assessments are included in the resources for externally assessed standards and can be accessed through the language-specific subject page

For those teachers and language associations developing their own assessment resources for use in practice exams, a generic schedule template (1) is now available

This version has been adapted from the one available on the NZQA site and has had the language and standard-specific references removed ready for use. With the correct standard title and number it will work for all practice versions of the languages externals.

It is useful to be familiar with the minimum scores for each grade which are outlined below:
  • A four question paper has a possible maximum score of 32 (8 X 4)
  • The minimum possible score for an A is 9, because 8 could be made up of N2, N2, N2 and N2 - which couldn't possibly be A
  • The minimum possible score for an M is 13, because 12 could be made up of A4, A4, A4 and A4 - which couldn't possibly be M
  • The minimum possible score for an E is 19, because 18 could be made up of M6, M6, M6 and M6 - which couldn't possibly be E

In summary, neither the way the exam is written nor the final grade students are awarded should change as a result of Grade Score Marking. Practice external assessments should be written to and marked against the criteria of the relevant achievement standards.

These resources were made available by Liz Scally, National Assessment Facilitator, NZQA following her presentation at the NZALT Massey Branch Langsem 2013.

Generic Assessment Schedule Template (2)

Grade Score Marking

Grade Score Marking and Seeting Cut Scores

Top down marking

Top down marking was introduced with the aligned standards. At the same time the format of the assessment schedules changed to better reflect the intent of these standards.

Specifically, the format of the schedules for recent standards:

  • discontinued the use of bolds and underlines, and judgement statements that relied on counting up pieces of information ; this was done because the 'counting up' method did not support holistic marking when all aspects of a candidate's response are considered as a single entity.
  • included a descriptor of each level of achievement - as stated in the standard - at the top of the schedule, along with an 'unpacked' version, this is the same for every question.
  • a 'grade score descriptor' for N1 through to E8 was written for each question; they described what a candidate at each particular grade score actually did. The descriptors vary from question to question because the specifics of the questions vary.
  • for each question a list of the specific evidence that candidates commonly/most often wrote was included
  • for each question a brief example of a verbatim response at each level was included
The corollary of the above is that if you have an earlier schedule with bolds and underlines, it was likely written for the old standards, and hasn't been structured for the aligned standards. Which means it doesn't work very well for top down marking - most particularly the judgement statements. So where to from there?

The simplest thing to do is to rewrite the judgement statements so that they don't specify how many 'pieces of information' are needed, rather what they do is to describe what a student at that level is able to do. If you look at last year's Level 3 schedules (which were for the old standards) you will see this. The link below will take you to the French L3 schedules, the other 2012 L3 schedules are formatted the same way.
NCEA Tasks and Supporting Documentation

In response to your own requests, here are some assessment tasks that have been developed and been generously shared by your colleagues. It is the intention to build up a resource bank of tasks. To do this, email the documents in either word or .pdf format. The ideas of these tasks might inspire your own contexts relevant to your students and have been made available for you to use and adapt. Although some of the tasks indicate a specific target language, because there are a wide range of ideas these could be relevant to any target language context with minimal or no adaptation. It may also be useful to critique your own tasks against these to ensure that your tasks are appropriate to the level for which they are intended. Teacher Tracking Sheets and Marking Schedules for Level 2 (and 3 when available) are available below.Templates are also being made progressively available to design your own tasks. Other tasks can be located within the specific level workshop resources above.


Levels 1, 2, and 3 tasks from Westlake Girls' High School kindly shared by Anne Robertson

Levels 2 and 3 tasks from Rosehill College kindly shared by Sue Pommarède

Level 3 task from Epsom Girls' High School kindly shared by Anne Scott.

Level 3 Internal Assessment Student Handbook from Riccarton High School kindly shared by Anne Jacques. Developed from an priginal template written by Whanganui teachers.


Levels 3 tasks from Napier Girls' High School kindly shared by Strahan Winchester

Level 3 task from Tamatea High School kindly shared by Cheryl Brownlee


Levels 3 tasks from Rotorua Boys' High School kindly shared by Wendy Chen

These templates have been kindly shared by Anne Scott, Learning Area Director Languages and her department at Epsom Girls' Grammr School. The templates provide a useful format for developing student information sheets and can be readily adapted by incorporating your own tasks and school details:

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These resources were made available by Liz Scally, National Assessment Facilitator, NZQA following her presentation at the NZALT Auckland Branch Langsem. The presentation:

Activity: Bad text and bad question

Comparing older versions of marking schedules to align to current schedules:

Adapting older versions of marking schedules to align to current achievement standards:

Refer also to the information and resources further up on this page on 'Grade Score Marking' that were mentioned during the presentation.
Teachers’ views on the new NCEA interact achievement standard

A preliminary report by Martin East
Assoc Prof Martin East, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland presented on theprogress of his research on the new NCEA interact achievement standard at the recent NZALT Auckland Branch Langsem. In response to teacher requests for more information about the research he has prepared and shared the following preliminary report:

Guide for design of tasks for Internally Assessed NCEA Achievement Standards in Learning Languages (Draft)
This tool (draft version) was developed collaboratively by teachers who attended cluster meetings in the Northern and Central North regions during Terms 1 and 2, 2013. It was developed in response to requests from many teachers to have a document to guide their task design that identified all the documents that they should use to inform the design of assessments. The key words from each of the relevant documents are identified and listed here as a guide only. This document is not intended as a replacement for the documents identified therein and teachers should ensure that they are familiar with all of these documents and refer to these where they have questions or require clarification. Please send any suggestions/corrections

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Promoting Higher-order Thinking Skills in Listening Comprehension Tasks using Song and Video

These activities were shared at Term 3 clusters. They offer useful models for classroom activities by focusing on developing higher-order thinking skills including inference when engaging in comprehension tasks.

The first activity looks at an advertisement on YouTube
and is accompanied by a short set of multi-choice questions. The focus of this activity is on the value of the learning conversation in the classroom to get students to make inferences and evaulate. Teachers at the cluster meetings indicated that this could easily be adapted to a variety of target language YouTube clips, especially advertisements, with one even suggesting that it could be a good unit for Level 3 aalysing the power of advertising on the everyday life of teenagers. If you are aware of any advertisements that could be used for this task and/or you have developed similar multi-choice questions or actviities, please share these with your colleagues through the wiki by emailing the resources

The second activity surrounds the use of a song on YouTube. This is a co-operative activity and moves the students through four key stages of thinking from Barrett's Taxonomy - literal, inference, evaulation, appreciation. It requires students to practice identifying key words and again reinforces good examination technique for listening comprehension. The use of a documentary-style YouTube clip that focuses on a social issue provides inspiration for Level 3 contexts. Again if you have songs/clips from YouTube that would work well in this task in the target language, please
share these with your colleagues through the wiki by emailing the resources


Nikol Stirland, HOLA, Napier Girls' High School used the above task to model this analysis with her students (in English) and then created questions for an adverstisement in Spanish

spanish atm

Interaction Strategies

This card game has been developed for use with Level 2 and 3 students and has been kindly shared by Jacqueline Hill, HOD Languages, Colomba College Dunedin. Jacqueline invites teachers to feel free to use, bin or adapt and would appreciate a copy of a Level 1 version. This could also be shared through the wiki.

Print the cards (on different colours and back to back) then distribute the cards round the class, name a topic (or better still ask them to name one) then talk - everyone has to get rid of the cards as quickly as possible, in sensible sentences, responding to each other, asking questions etc…

The cards basically cover some language for doubting, clarifying, expressing and questioning - the elements of a conversation.

The following interaction strategies, have been kindly shared by Hilary deJoux, Acting HOD Languages, Nelson College.

Hilary originally found the resource(s) on TES and has adapted it to suit Year 10, it's one where students colour in different 'segments' of the wheel as they complete that conversation, and she found it has worked really well with juniors especially, they find it motivating and fun and it certainly gets them talking. It is easy to change the topics and adapt it to suit your class. It can be done as a group talk activity, or as speed-dating where each wheel is a new speaking partner.

The second strategy is a template for mixing up speaking partners in the classroom, which was shared with us by a relieving ESOL teacher. The idea is that your class have a period where they organise speaking partners for each hour of the clock, writing in the names as they make the 'appointments'. Students keep this handy in folders or workbooks, then when you want to do a speaking activity, you can invite the class to work with their 2 o 'clock partner, or their 5 o clock partner, or perhaps a series in a random order. It is an effective way to ensure everyone is involved and mixing up who they speak to.

The following strategies (Japanese/Spanish) have been kindly shared by Kerri Williams, HOD Languages, Kerikeri High School.

More Interaction Activities

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NCEA Matrix

These matrices indicate the current achievement standards for the different target languages and their version numbers (as at 10 March 2014).








Recommended Readings:
Prof Reading Read_talk_practice.jpg
Designing Year 12 strategy training in listening and writing: from theory to practice
This article outlines some of the key issues involved in developing a programme of strategy training for learners of French, in listening and in writing. It highlights the theoretical perspectives and research findings on listening and writing that informed the selection of strategies to teach learners and thence the development of appropriate materials. Examples of these materials are given as well as advice regarding their use. The article concludes with suggestions for how strategy training might be incorporated into teachers' own work with learners.

Learner Strategies and self-efficacy: making the connection
This article reports on part of a larger study of the impact of strategy training in listening on learners of French, aged 16 to 17. One aim of the project was to investigate whether such training might have a positive effect on the self-efficacy of learners, by helping them see the relationship between the strategies they employed and what they achieved. One group of learners, as well as receiving strategy training, also received detailed feedback on their listening strategy use and on the reflective diaries they were asked to keep, in order to draw their attention to the relationship between strategies and learning outcomes. Another group received strategy training without feedback or reflective diaries, while a comparison group received neither strategy training nor feedback. As a result of the training, there was some evidence that students who had received feedback had made the biggest gains in certain aspects of self-efficacy for listening; although their gains as compared to the non-feedback group were not as great as had been anticipated. Reasons for this are discussed. The article concludes by suggesting changes in how teachers approach listening comprehension that may improve learners' view of themselves as listeners.

How ESL learners with different listening abilities use comprehension strategies and tactics
This article presents findings from research into the listening strategies and tactics of second language learners. This research makes a distinction between strategies and tactics, with the term ‘strategy’ referring to a general approach and ‘tactic’ meaning a specific action or step. The article identifies the cognitive and metacognitive strategies and tactics used by the learners, and compares the way higher- and lower-ability listeners applied them.

Listening strategies in second language acquisition
This research implies that instructional approaches which rely exclusively on teacher input or other teaching techniques for their effectiveness are failing to draw on what the students can contribute to the learning process. It provides evidence less effective students can learn to use learning strategies and apply them. By failing to draw upon students as a resource in instruction, teachers diminish the chances of students' success and exclude them from opportunities to gain independent control over the learning process.
Developing Strategic Competence: Towards Autonomy in Oral Interaction
This paper examines how strategic competence - the ability tosolve communication problems despite an inadequate command of the linguistic and sociocultural code - can contribute to the development of an overall communicative framework of interlanguage development. The author describes two basic types of communication strategies (reduction and achievement strategies) giving examples of both, concentrating particularly of achievement strategies at the discourse level, and describes a possible approach to strategy training through an examination of sample activities and materials.

Skills and Strategies: Towards a New Methodology for Listening
This article calls for a rethinking of the purposes of the listening lesson,and examines ways in which we can teach the skill rather than simplypractise it. The approaches proposed are based on micro-listening exerciseswhich practise individual subskills of listening. The implications ofusing authentic materials are then examined, and a case is made forteaching recognition of the features of spontaneous speech. Finally, astrategic view of listening is presented, and it is argued that classroomactivities need to take account of the true nature of real-life L2 listening,where understanding is partial, and inferencing is crucial.