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Achievement objectives

AOs: L6

AOs: L7

AOs: L8


Cook Islands Māori


Gagana Sāmoa





Vagahau Niue



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The communication strand

The focus of this strand is on:

  • extending students’ ability to communicate by giving them opportunities to use and combine the receptive skills of listening, reading, and viewing, and the productive skills of speaking, writing, and presenting or performing in culturally appropriate contexts
  • engaging students in language-learning experiences in which they have opportunities to engage with their peers in genuine social interactions
  • fostering authentic language-learning experiences through interactions of other kinds, for example, when students communicate with speakers of the target language about personal issues, cultural issues, trade, travel, tourism, or any area of mutual interest
  • building students’ accuracy and fluency, with an emphasis on ‘intercultural communicative competence’ rather than native-speaker competence
  • empowering students to communicate in unfamiliar situations by developing a range of skills to help them negotiate meaning
  • encouraging students to use language and text forms and types appropriate to increasingly specific contexts and situations as they become increasingly aware of the audiences and purposes of the texts they use and respond to.

Progression in the communication strand: Levels 1-8

Progression in communication is seen in:

  • the range and complexity of the contexts in which students are able to communicate
  • students’ ability to communicate in both concrete and abstract contexts
  • students’ understanding of how language is used effectively in different situations, taking into account text type and audience.

This progression is evident in the proficiency descriptors and in the achievement objectives for the communication strand. It is summarised in the following breakdown and attached PDF table:

Levels 1 and 2

Communicative function:

  • Receiving and producing
  • Producing and responding to


  • Information, questions and requests


  • Familiar expressions
  • Everyday vocabulary
  • Supported situations
  • Use social awareness to communicate appropriately

Levels 3 and 4

Communicative function:

  • Understanding and producing
  • Expressing and responding to


  • Information and ideas, personal needs and interests


  • Simple texts
  • Own background
  • Immediate environment
  • Use cultural knowledge to communicate appropriately

Levels 5 and 6

Communicative function:

  • Communicating
  • Expressing and responding to


  • Information, ideas and opinions, personal ideas and opinions


  • More complex language
  • Beyond the immediate context
  • Understand and produce a variety of text types.
  • Use knowledge of the situation to communicate appropriately

Levels 7 and 8

Communicative function:

  • Communicating, exploring, developing, and sharing, justifying, supporting, or challenging


  • Information
  • Ideas and opinions
  • Views of others
  • Personal perspectives
  • Own ideas and opinions
  • Ideas and opinions of others


  • Variable and effective language use
  • Increasingly complex and varied text types
  • Engaging in sustained interaction
  • Producing extended texts
  • Critical response

Progression in the communication strand: Levels 6-8

In years 11–13, students are extending their linguistic and cultural knowledge and, as a result, communicating with increasing effectiveness.

Understanding how language conveys intended (and sometimes unintended) meanings, which has its beginnings in simplistic observations of differences, develops into the ability to use and explore language sensitively and purposefully.

Students move beyond simple concrete contexts of information exchange to sharing, exploring, justifying, and challenging ideas, opinions, and perspectives. They develop an increasing repertoire of linguistic and cultural knowledge, which enables them to critically select language and text types that are appropriate for the audience.

Level 6

Students are expected to communicate information, ideas, and opinions, and express and respond to personal ideas and opinions in areas of most immediate relevance. The content and language of the communication is targeted beyond the immediate context to include the expression of opinions. Students are expected to understand and produce a variety of text types.

Level 7

Students are expected to begin to engage in sustained interactions and produce increasingly extended texts, in which they explore the views of others, develop and share personal perspectives, and justify, support, or challenge ideas and opinions in different situations. Students are expected to begin responding critically to more extended and varied text types on familiar matters.

Level 8

Students are expected to engage with and respond clearly and critically to a variety of extended texts, including authentic texts (those not created or modified specifically for language learners). They are expected to use the language more variably (flexibly) and with greater effectiveness (fitness for purpose and appropriateness), at times in sustained interactions and extended texts. They are expected to explore the views of others, develop and share personal perspectives, and justify, support, or challenge ideas and opinions in different situations and on matters that are beyond their immediate experience. In all their output, it is expected that students will use their developing knowledge of linguistic and cultural forms to help them create meaning.

Last updated March 26, 2013