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Everything you need to know about NCEA English assessments from an expert teacher (part 2)

Everything you need to know about NCEA English

So, you can now call yourself an NCEA student, yet do you need a bit of a head's up on your NCEA English assessments? – Well, you've come to the right person, because I'm an NCEA English expert!

Here are the ins and outs of NCEA English! Part two! Check out part one about NCEA English exams, if you haven't already.

This blog will cover the NCEA English assessments under: Creating Meaning: Writing, Speaking, and Presenting.

anxious students sitting NCEA English assessments.
I have been supporting many anxious students sitting NCEA English assessments.

These are some of my favourite assessments because I am able, as a teacher, to see my students' personalities shine through in their NCEA assessments. Here they are creating poems and stories, writing blogs and articles, critically analyse themes in a formal way, analyse films - and what I would call "The Mothership" - speeches and/or presentations!

A brief introduction about me and Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd.

Another brief introduction about myself. My name is Tovah and I have a tutoring company called 'Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd'. We have been available to New Zealand high school learners since February 2022. My team and I are experienced teachers with a plethora of content knowledge between us. I have been a teacher for over 12+ years and have taught NCEA English, NCEA Drama and/or NCEA Dance in a variety of Waikato/Waipa/Auckland high schools. So, I can say with confidence that I am an expert in my qualified subjects and know the ins and outs of each NCEA assessment.

Here are the ones I will be covering in this blog:


#1: NCEA ENGLISH Creative Writing

To begin with, it is imperative to say that creation is one of the highest forms of skills you can learn. To be able to think of an idea, conceptualise it, plan its delivery, and then execute your creative idea(s), is an intelligent thing to master! So, all of these NCEA assessments may be challenging for NCEA students, so they do need to be well practiced.

Creative writing is fantastic. There are many ways to deliver it such as through poetry, scripts, blogs, articles, journals, short stories, novels etc. All students will be given a brief such as a situation or theme to write about and they will need to demonstrate this by using a variety of language features.

NCEA English proofreading and editing

I think one of the main things, particularly within NCEA English Level 2 and 3 is that you need to have a strong understanding of how to edit your work. You need to be able to re-read over your work and carefully proofread it to make sense. This element is crucial and is often overlooked in NCEA English Level 1 for NCEA students. But this skill is imperative in NCEA English Level 2 and 3 so it must be practiced at the very least in NCEA Level 1 English.

Three aspects to learn in NCEA English:

  • knowing your audience that you are writer for

  • knowing the purpose of your writing and therefore the writing style for the written piece you are developing (whether you will be informing, entertaining, or persuading your audience)

  • knowing how to communicate language features in a variety of ways to deliberately facilitate the reader's thoughts and the images they develop when reading your work.

NCEA English formal writing is another way of saying you will write an essay.
NCEA English formal writing is another way of saying you will write an essay.

#2: NCEA ENGLISH Formal Writing

NCEA English Critical analysis

Formal writing is all about structure. It is important to know that you will be critically writing in this NCEA English assessment(s) so you must know how to write with conviction (having sounds examples and evidence to back up your opinions), while also writing formally (without teenage colloquialisms/slang and venting/ranting/tangents).

NCEA English paragraph structure

Having a sound knowledge of paragraph structure and essay structure is paramount to submitting NCEA English assessments. The vast majority require you to develop your answers in paragraphs and/or essay formal. In other words, through formal writing.

A common format idea for paragraphs which is easy to follow is the acronym S.E.E.D

Statement, Example, Evidence, Discussion. When you follow this correctly, you will develop a critical analysis formal piece of writing.

NCEA English practice tip

On another note, comprehension tasks and 3 level reading guides will strengthen this skill (formal writing).

The formal writing assessment is only available in NCEA Level 1 English; however, components of formal writing can be used for the NCEA Level 2 and NCEA Level 3 'Produce a selection' crafted and controlled assessments (AS 2.4 and 3.4), which is commonly known by NCEA English teachers and NCEA students as 'writing portfolios'. These assessments require students to produce a variety of different written pieces to showcase the NCEA student's knowledge of writing types, audience, purpose/writing style, and language features.

NCEA English oral presentations are another way of saying you will create a speech or presentation.
NCEA English oral presentations are another way of saying you will create a speech or presentation.

#3: NCEA ENGLISH Oral Presentation

The Oral presentation is a flash way of saying "speeches". Students will have a concept to talk about and they will be required to plan and structure the speech with language features suitable for expressing their point across. For NCEA English Level 2 and 3 they are allowed to include a PowerPoint presentation. The minimum time limit is 3 minutes for NCEA Level 1 and 4 minutes for NCEA level 2 and 3.

Appropriate NCEA English oral presentation language features could include:

  • Listing

  • Hyperbole

  • Rhetorical question

  • Simile

  • Metaphors

  • Alliteration

  • Imagery

  • Facts and statistics

  • Audience interaction

  • Anecdotes

Appropriate NCEA English oral presentation delivery features could include:

  • eye contact

  • hand gestures

  • change of voice (tone, pace, pausing, emphasis, volume)

  • body posture and movement

  • controlling technology while speaking

NCEA English visual text is another way of saying you will create a symbolic picture with a message
NCEA English visual text is another way of saying you will create a symbolic picture that communicates a message

#4: NCEA ENGLISH Visual text (film)

This assessment moves in parallel with media and advertising. Students will convey a message through an image they create, normally on A3 paper, which can be made using a variety of mediums of their choice e.g. scrapbooking material, drawing, painting, graphic design. There should be a message to convey and layers of symbolism used to communicate the message. Things like knowing what colours, fonts, textures, images and impact what message conveys. It is common for teachers to use this assessment as the next stepping stone after analysing a written text, so that students can communicate a theme within the text.

NCEA English visual text colour influences can include:

  • Red symbolises love, lust, hate, danger, revenge

  • Orange symbolises harvest and autumn

  • Yellow symbolises happiness and joy, also great to demand attention (construction sites etc)

  • Green symbolises envy, wealth, money, growth, nature

  • Purple symbolises luxury, royalty

  • Pink symbolises playful, infancy

  • White symbolises purity, loyalty, perfection, cleanliness, hygiene

  • Black symbolises professionalism, mystery, darkness, evil, unknown.

If you'd like support with this, I can help through our NCEA group tutorials - I am a qualified NCEA English teacher with confidence teaching NCEA English and supporting students with NCEA English exams.

See you in one of my NCEA English group tutorials!

We have a variety of NCEA group tutorials to help prepare you for your NCEA English and other NCEA subjects. BOOK NOW!
We have a variety of NCEA group tutorials to help prepare you for your NCEA English and other NCEA subjects. BOOK NOW!

Tovah O'Neill

Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd






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