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Connections with other school subjects

English has particularly close links with subjects such as media studies, drama, history, languages, and art history.

But English also links to all subject areas because the skills that students acquire in English are universally useful and applicable:

  • All students need certain literacy and language knowledge, skills, and attitudes to meet the reading and writing demands of the curriculum. Reading and writing, listening and speaking, and viewing and presenting are required tools in every curriculum area. Literacy in English is therefore a crucial factor in student success.
  • All learning areas depend on students being able to understand, respond to, and use a variety of written, oral and visual language to think about, locate, interpret, and evaluate ideas and information and to communicate with others. The key competencies similarly depend on these skills for their development.
  • The critical thinking and analytical skills developed in English are important in all areas of the curriculum.
  • English plays a major role in developing the key competencies and values that are also of benefit in other subjects.

The four aspects in English (purposes and audiences, ideas, language features and structure) can also be a way of embedding literacy in all senior subjects.

“As language is central to learning and English is the medium for most learning in The New Zealand Curriculum, the importance of literacy in English cannot be overstated.”

The New Zealand Curriculum

Connections beyond the classroom

English learning extends well beyond the classroom. Most schools provide opportunities for students to get involved and be part of:

  • school productions
  • debating clubs
  • book clubs.

Many schools provide opportunities for students to participate in competitive activities such as:

  • Sheila Winn Shakespeare
  • Debating competitions
  • Poetry and short story competitions
  • Stage Challenge
  • Ngā Manu Kōrero (English and te reo Māori oral speaking).

Pasifika festivals now often include regional speech and drama performances.

Last updated July 31, 2012