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Learning pathways

At school

English can be a very important subject for senior students, especially as they are working towards NCEA. They can meet the level 1 literacy requirement largely or wholly with level 1 English achievement standards. Similarly, level 2 English achievement standards can contribute significantly to the University Entrance qualification.

For up-to-date information on University Entrance, visit the NZQA website.

Through English learning students develop the literacy skills they need to access learning in other subjects. Studying English also develops the critical thinking and analytical skills that are valued in all subjects. Read the “Why study English?” (rationale) section of this guide.

Students say:

“By studying English I will use my skills to create well-structured pieces of writing, wherever that is.”

“English is like a stepping stone in your life, a basic thing you need to have, in order to survive the world after school.”

At tertiary level

Studying English is essential preparation for all for tertiary study. English can be included as a major or minor part of numerous tertiary programmes. Studies in English lead to many career options. Many tertiary courses, including those in the health sciences, require proficiency in English.

Students say:

“I’m getting As in geography at Victoria and one of the main reasons is that I learned how to structure a university level essay in year 13 English.”

“The best preparation I had for university was the reading and thinking I did when doing my year 13 research, not to mention that I learned how to do referencing properly.”

“It was really useful going so deeply into those poems and texts because that’s the kind of thinking I’m doing in my law course.”

Learning for life

To make the most of their life opportunities, all students need to become effective oral, written, and visual communicators with the capacity to think critically and in depth.

Literacy in English gives them access to the understandings, knowledge, and skills required for full participation in social, cultural, political, and economic life.

The four key concepts at the centre of English study – identity, communication, story, and meaning – are relevant in every area of life. By exploring these concepts in their own work they discover more about who they are, and, by entering into the experiences of others through their works, they enlarge their own experience.

Studying English enhances employability. According to Business New Zealand, the single most important attribute looked for by employers is the ability to communicate effectively. ( Careers NZ: The 10 skills most valued by employers)

The study of English can open up all kinds of interests, activities, and explorations. Every time a person engages in any of the following, for example, they are using and/or building on what they learned in English:

  • Reading a book, magazine or newspaper
  • Going to the movies
  • Listening to a friend
  • Writing an email or blog
  • Forming and expressing an opinion
  • Speaking at a tangi or wedding
  • Creating an internet document
  • Devising a set of instructions
  • Discussing why they like a particular novel or movie.

Magic happens when stories connect.

Last updated August 19, 2015



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