Learning languages is structured in three strands:
Communication is the core strand because being able to communicate is the core aim of all language learning. The other two strands are directed specifically at developing the linguistic and cultural awareness needed for intercultural communicative competence.
The achievement objectives in the communication strand provide the basis for assessment. The two supporting strands are assessed only indirectly, through their contribution to communication.
Progression in learning languages
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.
Context elaborations provide examples of what is expected of students who are achieving at the specified level.
Assessment for qualifications
Achievement standards now align with The New Zealand Curriculum. Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the
The NZQA subject-specific resources pages are very helpful. From there, you can find all the achievement standards and links to assessment resources, both internal and external.
Aligned level 1 achievement standards were registered by NZQA for use in 2011 and level 2 achievement standards were registered in 2012. Level 3 were registered for use in 2013.
The proficiency descriptor for each pair of curriculum levels describes what students should know and be able to do when they are achieving at that level. The proficiency descriptors can be thought of as overarching learning objectives.
In learning languages, the proficiency descriptors sit above the achievement objectives and, at each level, it is the descriptor that provides the primary focus for all teaching and learning. This means that, for most practical purposes, the descriptors fulfill the role that the achievement objectives have in other learning areas, and the function of the achievement objectives is to provide a level of unpacking of the descriptors.
Unlike the achievement objectives in other subjects – typically fairly discrete packages of knowledge, understandings, and skills that are individually assessable – the achievement objectives in learning languages are not to be separated or individually assessed.
Last updated May 20, 2016