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Providing sufficient opportunities to learn

Learning does not usually happen instantly, as the result of a single experience, or for all students in the same way. For this reason, new learning needs to be introduced, practised, and consolidated via multiple opportunities using different tasks, contexts, or strategies.

Increasing the opportunities

Why not allow your students to choose how they will present their work? For example, by oral presentation, essay, video, or blogging.

Read snapshot 2: Microblogging reflections on a novel to see how one teacher used blogging as a means of challenging her students to reflect in depth during the study of a novel.

Strategies you could consider:

  • Consolidate learning by, for example, getting students to write an essay on an aspect of a character and then either (i) writing a second essay on a similar subject or (ii) rewriting the first essay, making use of feedback.
  • Embed revision strategies in tasks instead of revising only when a task is complete.
  • To improve students’ understanding of structure, expose them to similarly structured texts.
  • Give your students opportunities to work collaboratively to develop the skills and knowledge they need for a task before they have to exercise those skills independently.
  • Encourage your students to experiment with their writing, evaluate it and obtain a peer evaluation, and then keep their efforts and evaluations in a portfolio.
  • Instead of relying on a single example, encourage students to read multiple examples of the genre or form that they are being asked to write in or about.
  • Encourage your students to develop their personal/wide reading by accessing books and materials in multiple ways (for example, class selections, school library, public library, digital editions, internet).

Read snapshot 7: Film study to see how one teacher succeeded in getting the students to take greater ownership of their learning and how, as a result, they began to hear their own critical voice coming through.


  • ESOL Online provides resources designed to help teachers meet the different needs of their English language learners.
  • The Conditions of Assessment Guidelines Level 1 | Level 2 | Level 3 suggest a wide variety of English learning experiences that can be assessed against particular NCEA standards. (The Conditions are in a Word document accessed from the right-hand menu on the linked page.)

Last updated June 7, 2018