Learn to understand, speak, read and write English for study, work and everyday situations at Level 4

Programme Overview

The New Zealand Certificate in English Language (General/Academic) (Level 4) is a 17 week NZQA-approved programme. It is ideal for migrants to New Zealand who want to improve their English language skills to work, study or take part in New Zealand society. It is also suitable for international students who want a formal English qualification rather than a shorter training course.

Students gain 60 credits through tests in the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, and also develop their vocabulary, accuracy and fluency in English. The programme offers different ways of learning to a wide of range of learners and develops effective communication for everyday life.

Programme Outline

The programme is designed to meet the linguistic, social and general skill development required by learners when studying English prior to further academic study or employment in New Zealand. Graduates will be able to consider employment opportunities or, depending on their attained level of English skills, apply for entry to certificate, diploma or degree programmes at Whitireia or other New Zealand tertiary institutions. The programme identifies and addresses the skills and competencies that learners need to develop to be successful as:

  • learners of English language,
  • self-managing and independent learners
  • ​participants in academic, social and economic life in New Zealand

To gain the New Zealand Certificate in English Language (General/Academic) (Level 4) students must gain 60 credits by passing twelve assessments in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Reading complex texts

  • read and understand complex texts with high independence on familiar topics
  • read and understand complex texts with high independence on unfamiliar topics
  • use strategies to locate and organise important information in texts
  • use strategies to summarise important information in texts

Writing extended texts

  • write coherent texts appropriate to the audience and purpose
  • write with few linguistic errors
  • write a range of text types, synthesising and evaluating information and arguments from a number of sources

Speaking Fluently

  • speak fluently in a general/academic context for a minimum of eight minutes
  • use interactive strategies in a general or academic dialogue of at least five minutes
  • communicate information, ideas and thoughts, with some details and examples in a range of familiar and unfamiliar contexts

Understanding complex texts

  • identify the main idea and five key supporting details in a monologue of at least five minutes duration on two separate occasions
  • identify the main idea and five key supporting details in a dialogue of at least five minutes duration on two separate occasions​

​​​​​These assessments also cover the five Academic English unit standards which are required for level 4:

22749 - Write texts under test conditions in English for academic purposes
22750 - Write a crafted text using researched material in English for an academic purpose
22751 - Read and process information in English for academic purposes
22891 - Deliver an oral presentation in English for an academic purpose
22892 - Demonstrate understanding of spoken texts and process information in English for academic purposes


Entry Requirements

Domestic students

By interview, internal placement test, or achieving a lower level

International students

Evidence of skills based on the placement test

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