NMSSA 2019 English: Key Findings Publications
In 2019, NMSSA assessed achievement in the English learning area using a nationally representative sample of about 2,000 students at each of Year 4 and Year 8. In the first stage of a two-stage sampling design, a stratified random sampling approach was used to select 100 schools at each year level. The schools had been arranged by school size, school decile and geographical region to ensure that the samples adequately represented these variables. In the second stage, a maximum of 25 students was randomly selected from each school to take part in the study.
Author(s): Educational Assessment Research Unit and New Zealand Council for Educational Research.
Date Published: November 2020
The 2019 English study focused on written, oral and visual literary (fiction) texts (such as novels, short stories, plays, poems) and creative non-fiction texts (such as memoirs, biographies) that use language in aesthetic, imaginative and engaging ways to entertain, engender emotion, express cultural identity and invite reflection. The study did not focus on literacy in other curriculum areas.
The NZC describes how success in English enables students to attain these purposes:
- become effective oral, written and visual communicators who are able to think critically and in depth
- make critically informed choices about their use of language in different contexts
- deconstruct and critically analyse texts
- appreciate and enjoy texts in a variety of forms (oral, visual and written)
- build a sense of identity and an understanding of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and of the world
- develop the key competencies they need to participate in society.
Achievement in English was assessed by focusing on six different language modes. Three of the modes were associated with the creating-meaning strand of the English learning area: writing, speaking and presenting. The remaining three were associated with the making-meaning strand: reading, listening and viewing. The study also used questionnaires to gather contextual information related to teaching and learning in the English learning area from students, teachers and principals.
The 2019 study followed a series of separate studies related to the English learning area that were carried out in Cycle 1 of NMSSA. These focused on literary texts in writing (2012), reading (2014), and listening and viewing (both 2015). This report is designed to provide a succinct overview of key findings from the 2019 English study. It is supplemented by reports focused on curriculum insights for teachers, a technical report, and an online interactive statistical application. All reports and the interactive application can be found on the NMSSA website (www.nmssa.org.nz).1
- The curriculum insights and technical reports should be available early in 2021.
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