|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
Aoraki Polytechnic will soon become the first institution in New Zealand to offer six new nationally accredited qualifications in English.
English language programme co-ordinator Craig Courtis has been working for two years to develop a programme that uses the new set of qualifications in English as a second language.
These will eventually replace all the English qualifications now offered by private language schools and tertiary education providers throughout New Zealand.
Starting this month, with a second intake in September, the New Zealand Certificate in English Language involves 17 weeks' fulltime study. It is offered at levels three and four.
The aim is for students to develop language skills so they can communicate independently and effectively in everyday situations, such as the workplace or in further study.
It is open to overseas and local students and includes tuition in listening, speaking, reading, writing and English grammar.
Mr Courtis says there are about 300 qualifications available to English language students in New Zealand, which makes it difficult for students and employers to compare benefits.
Cutting back to six national qualifications has been "a long process". All schools and institutions will gradually move to the new qualifications.
"For the past two years we've been trialling different ideas that will allow us to successfully move to the new qualifications very quickly," Mr Courtis said.
He has also been asked by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to work with other institutions throughout New Zealand as a "consistency assessor".
The role will involve assessing and moderating teaching materials and programmes to ensure consistency for students.