Literacy and English Language Learning

Rere atu, rere mai
Taku manu e
Rere ki tua, rere ki kō
Kia whetūrangitia e.

Fly, my bird in every direction. 
Attain the countless stars.

Literacy professional learning and development (PLD) is a government priority and is delivered in a responsive and tailored way. Facilitators take an appreciative inquiry approach to your school’s leaders and teachers acknowledging and working with the strengths that are already present. In this way the PLD can be school led and school driven with facilitators coaching and supporting your leaders and teachers. Facilitators work collaboratively with school leaders to create a PLD plan.

You can get Literacy support in two different ways. Either through a centrally funded model, by applying to the local Ministry of Education, or by funding the work through your school/Kāhui Ako. If you wish to apply for a centrally funded allocation of PLD please contact our facilitators as they can support you with this process.

The purpose of PLD is to focus on a system shift, accelerating the literacy learning for priority learner groups and addressing equity and excellence for all students. Principals and teachers, in collaboration with facilitators, will engage in a Teaching as Inquiry process to refine their practice, build literacy content knowledge and practices, in a culturally responsive way. Facilitators will support literacy leaders as they build their leadership capability in the school. We offer support in a flexible and responsive way typically through a selection of the following methods:

  • Whole school staff meetings to enable and ensure consistent practice across the school through a focus on planning, teaching and assessment and on each student’s identity, language and culture
  • Individual and team support to set individual goals, analyse data, focus on accelerating learning to meet curriculum expectation and developing protocols for teacher led discussions on student progress and to build pedagogical content knowledge
  • Classroom based modelling, observations and feedback
  • Regular leadership meetings to address systems and processes
  • Mentoring and coaching of in-school literacy leaders

English language learners (ELLs) are bilingual/multilingual students who bring knowledge of languages and cultures to their school. They represent an increasing proportion of our student population and are spread across many schools and regions. Understanding additional language acquisition and typical pathways of progress for these students’ educational success is an important aspect of professional learning.

There is some urgency for ELLs to develop their English language proficiency in order to meet the literacy and language demands of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) at age-appropriate levels. Our PLD reinforces the central role that identity, language and culture play in learning and will be tailored to improve the achievement of English language learners.

English language learner professional learning could include a focus on students who are:

  • New Zealand-born from linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • ESOL-funded from migrant and refugee backgrounds
  • ex ESOL-funded from migrant and refugee backgrounds
  • Pasifika students who may be migrant or NZ born
  • international fee-paying students
  • Māori students transitioning from kura kaupapa to English-medium schooling
  • English language learners who have special education needs.

For information about a specific focus on ELLs please contact Gaylene Price and/or facilitators in the literacy team.


Find useful links for your professional learning and downloads for Literacy and English Language Learning on our resources page.


Successful literacy learning enables each student to access all learning areas of the New Zealand Curriculum at their age appropriate curriculum level.

Our team of experienced and successful facilitators will support you to ensure each of your students has success with reading and writing. They bring a wealth of knowledge to their role through their involvement in professional learning and development and the research on their practice over the last five years.

Our literacy facilitators also coach and mentor in the Accelerating Learning in Literacy (ALL) project and can share with you the successful strategies and learning conditions identified as making a difference to student outcomes.

Chris Henderson

Deputy Director, Team Leader Literacy, Accredited Facilitator, Expert Partner
Accredited Facilitator, National Leader PfS ALL
Ōtākaro Annex 172
Internal Phone: 94149

Adie Bonisch

Accredited Facilitator
Ōtākaro 117
Internal Phone: 94156

Gaylene Price

Accredited Facilitator
Ōtākaro 117
Internal Phone: 94979

Scott Wolfe

Accredited Facilitator
Ōtākaro 117
Internal Phone: 94154

Sue Ellis

Accredited Facilitator
Ōtākaro 117
Internal Phone: 94158