Foudation English Programme

Students with little English go into our foundation English programme, and have up to five classes per week. We use computers regularly for online reading and vocabulary activities and have two fully equipped teaching rooms.

Why do ESOL students at AJHS do so well? We assess our students when they first start in our ESOL Department. We know exactly how well our students can read, comprehend, write and speak English, and we know what they need to learn next. We formally assess oral, reading and writing abilities three times a year, so all ESOL students know their present level in English and the ‘next steps’ needed to improve.

English Language Learning Progressions’

The ESOL programme at AJHS is based on the ‘English Language Learning Progressions’ (ELLP). This is an English language programme from the New Zealand Ministry of Education, for school students who don’t speak English. It is widely used in schools throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand. This programme outlines four different levels of ability, and students move through the levels as their English skills improve and their confidence increases. Students move between ESOL groups at their own pace to ensure their language needs are being met as much as possible.


Our ESOL students’ progress is measured individually. Each student’s assessment results are compared to their last assessments, not against a class mark or year-level grade. These results are posted on the student’s individual school report. Each student’s individual progress is important, as all language students learn at different rates and all language students learn different things at different times.

As the students progress in English, our teaching focus shifts from English language knowledge to the language required to support mainstream subjects at school. For example, students may learn to use new verb tense to write a historical report for humanities, or they may focus on science or maths vocabulary, or the language of instructions to follow science laboratory procedures.