ESOL resources

We have a range of resources to help teachers and schools support English language learners.

You can order these from Down the Back of the Chair (external link) using the item numbers shown here.

View our newsletters  (external link)

Foundation literacy teaching and learning

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • The New Zealand Curriculum – for English-medium teaching and learning in years 1–13: 32615
  • The Literacy Learning Progressions – Meeting the reading and writing demands of the curriculum: 33511
  • Reading and Writing Standards for Years 1 to 8 – National Standards: 33481
  • The English Language Learning Progressions – A resource for mainstream and ESOL teachers: 11258, 32600,32601, 32602, 32603.

ESOL funding and programme development

The English for Speakers of Other Languages folder contains the following handbooks:

  • Refugee handbook for schools
  • Effective provision for international students
  • NESB Students: A Handbook for Schools
  • Progress Assessment Guidelines

Refugee handbook for schools

  • Supports schools in meeting the particular needs of students from refugee backgrounds, especially at key transition points.
  • Focuses on developing programmes that support students with a range of social and academic needs.
  • Emphasises the importance of providing family support and developing wider community networks.

Download the Refugee handbook for schools [PDF, 1.2 MB] or order from Down the Back of the Chair, item number 118094. If you have difficulty accessing the document, please email

English for speakers of other languages: Effective provision for international students

  • Discusses ways to develop effective business plans and processes for receiving international fee paying students.
  • Suggests how to provide quality ESOL support for international students.
  • Emphasises the importance of pastoral care.

No longer in print. Download English for speakers of other languages: Effective provision for international students [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Non-English Speaking Background Students – A Handbook for Schools

  • Provides information and suggestions for boards of trustees, principals and staff on appropriate and effective support for English language learners from years 1 to 13.
  • Discusses the factors that affect the learning of English language learners, and steps for developing effective ESOL and mainstream classroom programmes.
  • Suggestions for the development of school-wide policies and procedures.

No longer in print. Download the Non-English Speaking background students - a handbook for schools [PDF, 8 MB]

ESOL progress assessment guidelines

  • Provides information about a range of assessment tools and processes used in New Zealand schools.
  • Explains how these tools can be used to assess the language learning needs and describe the progress of English language learners.
  • Discusses the purpose of diagnostic, formative and summative assessment.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item number 30975.

Programme provision and monitoring

English Language Learning Progressions

  • Mainstream and ESOL teachers can use the English Language Learning Progressions (ELLP) to monitor English language learners’ progress in speaking, listening, reading and writing.
  • An introduction booklet and years 1 to 4, 5 to 8, and 9 to 13 booklets contain extensive background information and annotated student exemplars.
  • The DVD demonstrates the oral language monitoring process by analysing student interviews against the criteria.
  • The facilitation manual provides a series of seven professional development modules for use with staff.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • ELLP ring binder: 11258
  • introduction booklet: 32600
  • years 1 to 4 booklet: 32601
  • years 5 to 8 booklet: 32602
  • years 9 to 13 booklet: 32603
  • ELLP DVD: 11337
  • ELLP facilitation manual: 11356
  • Using the ELLP Matrices DVD: 710098.

SELLIPS – Supporting English Language Learning in Primary Schools

  • Provides suggestions for developing students’ academic, cross-curricular English language in both mainstream and transitional classes.
  • Presents ways in which teachers can scaffold the learning of English language learners so that they can achieve learning outcomes at their appropriate stages.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • SELLIPS years 1 to 2: 33237
  • SELLIPS years 3 to 4: 33238
  • SELLIPS years 5 to 6: 33240
  • SELLIPS years 7 to 8: 33235.

English Language Intensive Programmes (ELIP) primary and years 7 to 13

  • These folders and CDs offer key programming guidelines for beginning to advanced English language learners.
  • Language skills are illustrated with scaffolded texts in oral interaction, reading, understanding and responding, and writing.
  • Each unit includes an ‘orientation to learning’ section, suggested teaching components and sample strategies.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • ELIP Primary Resource: 108867
  • ELIP Years 7–13 Resource: 10845.

AUT Picture Dictionary and Teaching Resource

  • A New Zealand-based picture dictionary for new learners of English.
  • Introduces over 1,000 high frequency words used in daily life in topic groups.
  • The teaching resource features an extensive list of learning tasks linked to the dictionary pages.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • AUT Picture Dictionary: 700116
  • Teacher resource for Picture Dictionary: 700117.

Focus on English

  • A series of six learning modules for English language learners in years 7 to 10. The topics support the curriculum in science, mathematics and social sciences.
  • Teachers can focus on high frequency vocabulary, technical terms and basic language features that support classroom topics.
  • The complete set of booklets is Animals, Shapes, Plants, Measurement, Weather and Conservation.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • Focus on English teacher pack: 31563
  • Focus on English student pack: 31564.

Reading resources

Dual Language Pasifika New Entrant Readers

  • The resources comprise of 20 dual-language flipbooks, audio and on line resources in each of the following Pasifika languages – Samoan, Tongan, Tokelauan, Niuean and Cook Island Maori and English. 
  • There are also support materials (external link) for teachers and whanau 
  • Funding is available to contribute to whanau fono which are co-ordinated and facilitated by facilitators from all five Pasifika languages

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • Cook Island Maori Dual Readers: 16544
  • Gagana Samoa Dual Readers: 43940
  • Gagana Tokelau Dual Readers: 16289
  • Lea Faka-Tonga Dual Readers: 16080
  • Vagahau Niue Dual Readers: 16608

Ready to Read selections

  • Carefully chosen Ready to Read titles from the ‘early’ and ‘fluency’ levels of the colour wheel are suitable for English language learners.
  • Teachers’ notes are designed to help teachers use the texts as learning tools for teaching reading and related aspects of English.


  • This collection includes titles appropriate for use with English language learners in years 7 to 13.
  • An extensive set of teachers’ notes enable ESOL and mainstream teachers to integrate English language learning with ‘learning to read’ and ‘reading to learn’ in a range of topics.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • Insects: 30086
  • Coping with Crises: 31037
  • Making It Happen: 30087
  • Animal Rescue: 31036
  • Maths in Action: 31888
  • Design in Action: 31887.

Electronic storybooks

  • They are a series of stories with audio recordings and teachers’ notes. The stories have been adapted from Connected, Choices and School Journals.
  • These high interest stories are designed to appeal to reluctant readers in years 5 to 10.
  • Glossary definitions and activities that encourage students to respond to the text are included.
  • You can upload these CDs onto school servers or copy them for individual student use at school or home.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • Freaky Fridge and Other Stories (years 5 to 6): 32998
  • Frog Pond and Other Stories (years 5 to 6): 31371
  • Give It a Try and Other Stories (years 5 to 6):31892
  • The Perfect Birthday Present (years 5 to 6): 33342
  • Danger Man and Other Stories (years 7 to 8): 33526
  • Creepy and Other Stories (years 7 to 10): 31375
  • Plastic Fantastic and Other Stories (years 7 and 10): 33137
  • Just Swallow this Camera (years 7 to 10): 31987
  • Swimming with Sharks and Other Stories (years 7 to 10): 27494.


  • This is a series of theme-based collections designed to provide high interest reading and listening material for junior secondary students.
  • The series supports students in a range of curriculum areas.
  • Danger! was designed specifically for English language learners with a vocabulary level over 2,000 words. An audio tape and teachers’ notes are included.

Out of print.


  • This series presents scientific information and examples of technological practice for secondary students in the context of real life problems and experiences.
  • Concept maps linking to science and technology topics are provided for each title.
  • Teachers’ notes include specific approaches for science and technology teachers.

Out of print.

Professional development

Effective literacy practice

  • Three texts that focus on the dimensions of effective practice: knowledge of the learner, knowledge of literacy learning, expectations, instructional strategies, engaging learners with texts and partnerships.
  • Specific literacy pathways for English language learners are discussed.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • Effective Literacy Practice Years 1–4: 12940
  • Effective Literacy Practice Years 5–8: 31324
  • Effective Literacy Strategies Years 9–13 Literacy Team Guide: 30322
  • Effective Literacy Strategies Years 9–13 Facilitator Guide: 30323.

Learning through talk

  • Emphasises the key role of oral language in supporting student learning.
  • Provides extensive information and relevant resources for supporting English language learners in developing oral language skills.
  • Topics include knowledge of the learner, instructional strategies, engaging learners with talk, expectations and partnerships.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • Learning through Talk Years 1–3: 33378
  • Learning through Talk Years 4–8: 33379.

Using the ELLP Matrices: A practical guide to tracking the progress of ELLs

  • This DVD is a practical guide to making an overall teacher judgement on an English language learner’s ability and stage in the areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing as described in the ELLP (English Language Learning Progressions) matrices.
  • It is designed to be used for individual, small group or whole staff professional development. Each section is up to six minutes in length and shows two teaching colleagues discussing a student’s work and language ability in relation to the ELLP stages.
  • You can view the DVD content when working through the ELLP professional support modules (see next item).

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item number 710098.

ELLP Online Professional Support Modules

The Using the English Language Learning Progressions: professional support for leaders and teachers (external link) online modules allow staff to work through the content independently or in groups at their own pace.

  • Introduction: An overview of the resource
  • Module 1: Oral language
  • Module 2: Writing
  • Module 3: Reading
  • Module 4: Reporting progress in primary schools
  • Module 5: Reporting progress in secondary schools
  • Module 6: Using ELLP to support funding applications

Making Language and Learning Work – DVDs 1, 2 and 3

  • The materials model how to personalise learning by supporting students at different levels of English proficiency in a manageable way in mainstream classes.
  • DVD 1 (secondary maths and science), DVD 2 (secondary English and social science) and DVD 3 (years 5 to 8) provide practical examples of best practice for teaching English language learners in mainstream classrooms. They show how to integrate effective literacy strategies, and how a range of teachers in different subject areas scaffold language and content area learning.
  • Schools can use the DVDs to provide professional development using the ‘play by principles’ or ‘play by subject’ options.
  • Teacher booklets provide background information and suggested approaches.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • Making Language and Learning Work DVD 1: 11342 (secondary maths and science)
  • Making Language and Learning Work DVD 2: 11343 (secondary English and social science)
  • Making Language and Learning Work DVD 3: 113358 (years 5 to 8).

Working with English Language Learners Handbook and DVD

  • A 10-module professional development programme for teacher aides and bilingual tutors.
  • Coordinating teachers are essential for the success of the programme. They facilitate each module and act as a mentor.
  • The DVD includes video clips, a list of resources and a copy of the course completion certificate.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • Working with English Language Learners Handbook: 112624
  • Working with English Language Learners DVD: 700038.

You can also download the Working with English Language Learners Handbook [PDF, 2.8 MB].

ESOL Online

An online service (external link) for all mainstream and specialist ESOL teachers of students in years 1 to 13 which includes:

  • a range of strategies and approaches for teaching English language learners
  • units of work for primary and secondary
  • NCEA teaching and learning sequences
  • a resource exchange facility
  • professional readings
  • an e-forum that teachers can subscribe to
  • links to relevant websites.

Supporting diversity and community links

Multilingual notices and forms

Your school can use these notices to communicate more effectively with the families of English language learners. The notices are:

  • a form requesting background information about the student
  • missing documents
  • school camp or trip
  • parent–teacher meeting
  • parent participation
  • attendance record
  • excellent school report
  • school report identifying concerns.

Languages available:

There is also an information sheet about NCEA available in 10 languages:


New to New Zealand (5th edition)

  • Provides information about a range of ethnic groups living in New Zealand.
  • Includes comments about the geography, history, religion, language and culture of each group.
  • Pages can be added to ethnic boxes or given to teachers to develop knowledge about new students.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item number 10932.

Defining Diversity: A Facilitation Manual to use with New to New Zealand

  • Links to New to New Zealand providing 20 practical tasks based on the key principle ‘know your learner’.
  • Target audiences include boards of trustees, senior management, teachers and parents.
  • Schools may enlist the help of bilingual tutors and community members to work through the activities.

Order from Down the Back of the Chair, item number 108831.

National Standards multilingual information

How well is my child doing? (external link) pamphlets provide an overview of National Standards for families of migrant and refugee background students.

Supporting Your Child’s Learning booklets (in 14 languages) can be used with families:

  • to explain how school and home interconnect to support learning
  • to talk with parents about a child’s literacy and numeracy, and with students about their goals
  • to include in enrolment packs, newsletters and reports
  • for ideas and activities parents and children can do together during the holidays.

Download the Supporting your Child's learning booklets (external link)  or order from Down the Back of the Chair, item numbers:

  • Arabic: 2010AR
  • Chinese: 2010CH
  • Cook Island Māori: 2010CM
  • Dari: 2010DR
  • Hindi: 2010HD
  • Korean: 2010KR
  • vagahau Niue: 2010NU
  • Somali: 2010SL
  • gagana Samoa: 2010SM
  • Tagalog: 2010TG
  • Thai: 2010TH
  • gagana Tokelau: 2010TK
  • te reo Māori: 2010TM
  • lea faka-Tonga: 2010TN.


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