English Language Learning Support

English Language Learning Support

At Ormiston Primary School we welcome learners from various linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The learners at our school come from 23 different countries and speak 35 different languages.  Ormiston Primary has the highest number of multilingual language learners (MLL) in New Zealand.

Our team, who support our multilingual language learners is known as the Multilingual Language Learners Team.

At the same time supporting and promoting the learning of English as an additional language is of priority. 

We understand how important it is for learners to retain their native language. Many opportunities are provided, and it is encouraged, for learners to use their mother tongue, whether it is to solve mathematical problems, compete in speech contests, express their opinions, or simply to chat with their classmates.

We have a very comprehensive English Language Program that is supported by a team that is exceptionally talented and committed to catering to all of our MLLs’ needs. Our Multilingual Language Learner Assistants have received training, and they frequently participate in professional development programs where they acquire new skills and knowledge thereby enhancing the learners’ achievements.

Multilingual Language Learners Team  

MLL Leader

Roshan Syed 

Multilingual Language Learning Assistants

Mrs Donna Telfer

Mrs KikiWalton 

Ms Rozina Ben

Ms Mandy Wang

Mrs Alice Choi

Mrs Christina Tan 

Mrs Mozdeh Wafa


The MLL Team provides the most effective in-class and withdrawal support for learners. Depending on their level of English language proficiency and with the Learning Coaches’ advice, appropriate programmes are delivered, like…

Patch Play/Talk to Learn – When learning a new language, learners go through various stages. The first stage is the ‘silent period’, during which the learners absorb sounds and apply meaning to them. So modeling becomes essential for language learning. The process of learning English progresses from gesturing or uttering a single word to speaking in complete sentences. Resources such as Patch Play and Talk to Learn are tools that help learners develop their skills in listening and speaking. 

Foundation Topic Programs –  Foundation Topic Programs are designed to cater to the early needs of our English language learners before expecting them to participate in the learning of the curriculum content. 

The teaching philosophy of Dr. Jannie van Hees, whose research focuses on language learning, forms the basis of this programme. This program is essential as it paves the way for accessing learning across the curriculum. The lessons focus on the basics of English language structure, the forms and sounds of written and spoken language, high frequency words, core vocabulary for general concepts, such as colours, transport, family members and language that will enable us to interact in school and other social contexts. (The English Language Learning Progressions Introduction, Page 11)

Phonics – The instruction of letter- sound relationship is often referred to as phonics.

Structured Literacy, Primary Phonics and Jolly Phonics are some of the programs that we use to develop an understanding of letter-symbol association. Learners are organised according to their level of proficiency, and the lesson is delivered in small groups. 

Early Words – This is a program best suited for learners who are learning English as an additional language. Two important skills developed through these programs are accuracy and fluency when reading sight words.  It is a one-to-one, short, fun, and daily lesson that runs for 5 minutes per session for each learner.  

Reading BoostThis Reading Boost Programme model is taken from a reading scaffolding resource from the English Language Assistants (ELA) course. The ELA course was designed by Dr Jannie van Hees, The University of Auckland.  Our resource, although very closely related to the original, is not a perfect replica.  However, the Reading Boost resource still holds the same principles of scaffolding language acquisition and use of English in the modes of listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

Quick 60 – This is a literacy program designed for small groups of learners who need extra support in reading and comprehension. Learners’ reading rates are accelerated thereby achieving their expected level. 

Learning Village –  The Learning Village is an award-winning image-based English as an Additional Language online program. It aims to support learners to develop the English language skills necessary to participate effectively in their habitats. 

The Learning Village is suitable for learners of any language because of its immersive image-based methodology, making the image the language of instruction.

It supports induction to English, gap-filling and pre-teaching of vocabulary and language structures, for independent learning, small-group teaching, and differentiation in class. The Learning Village Team is on board to provide the best support for our learners of English. The beauty of this program is that it allows adults to learn English as well. So feel free to get in touch if you would like to learn English as an additional language. 

Mathematical Language FocusBy explicitly teaching the language associated with the mathematical concepts the learners are able to share their mathematical thinking and instill deeper understanding to evaluate the problem. New mathematical vocabulary is unpacked and introducing the language before teaching the concepts thereby enabling learners to succeed. During the lesson, the learners have the opportunity to share, compare and clarify their strategies in their first language. Mathematical concepts are linked to real- life situations through visual cues, prompts, sports and food topics to tackle abstract mathematical contexts.