Level 3

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31008: Read and understand a range of written texts independently (EL)

Updated December 2019. This is a new document to address issues that have arisen from moderation.

Demonstrating independent competence (Guidance Information 5)

Learners may use a bilingual and/or a monolingual English dictionary, but not electronic devices, to help them read and understand the written texts. Monolingual dictionaries should be those designed for English language learners at level 3.

Extended written text (Guidance Information 11)

An extended written text is one that merits two to three weeks of focus. Examples include novels, collections of short stories or poems, and a magazine, journal or website with a series of related articles or articles with multiple perspectives on a topic.

Abridged extended written texts (Guidance Information 8 (ii))

Abridged versions of extended written texts could include graded readers used in an extensive reading programme. These are graded by vocabulary level. Readers with a vocabulary level of around 1800 – 2100 headwords would be appropriate for this level 3 standard. See the Graded Reader Equivalence Chart on the Extensive Reading Foundation website for guidance.

Vocabulary Levels (Guidance Information 8 (iii))

Guidance Information 8 (iii) indicates that the vocabulary of the text must be guided by the first 2000 words of the New General Service List  (NGSL). This means that most of the words will be within the first 2000 high frequency words. However, it is expected that texts will also include topic-specific vocabulary and fiction will include many proper nouns.

Assessors may find the NGSL Vocabulary Profiler or English Profile Text Inspector tools useful for analysing the vocabulary level of texts to confirm suitability.

Text types (Outcome 1 Range statement)

Details of the six written texts read need to be documented. Copies of articles, sample pages from extended texts or graded reader levels or webpage links should be kept to verify the suitability of texts for this level 3 standard. Visual or oral texts cannot be used for assessment against this standard.

Engagement with the text (Performance criterion 1.2)

The learner’s personal response to each text must show engagement with the text. This involves more than demonstrating understanding through summarisation. There must be evidence that the learner has made connections between the text and their own lives and experiences, or between the text and their prior knowledge or ideas about society or the world. Engagement may involve expressing viewpoints or critiquing the writer’s views.



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