National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement - English 2019 Key Findings

Educational Assessment Research Unit, New Zealand Council for Educational Research, Mustafa Asil

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportResearchpeer-review


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 (
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew Zealand
PublisherMinistry of Education New Zealand
Commissioning bodyMinistry of Education
Number of pages106
ISBN (Electronic) 978-1-927286-56-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-927286-55-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


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