Academic English Language Requirement

In 2016, the University introduced an Academic English Language Requirement into all its bachelor’s degree programmes. The Requirement does not affect whether you are offered a place on a programme.

The aim of the Academic English Language Requirement (AELR) is to ensure you have a sufficient level of competence in academic English to support your study at University.

Who must meet the Requirement

You must meet the AELR if you are admitted to a University of Auckland bachelor’s degree programme and you are:

  • a domestic student
  • an international student applying on the basis of a New Zealand secondary school qualification
  • an international student applying on the basis of results at another New Zealand tertiary institution

How to meet the Academic English Language Requirement

The AELR may be met through your entry qualification or through satisfactory completion of an approved course in your first 12 months of study.

Meeting the Requirement through your entrance qualification

School qualifications

  • For those applying on the basis of NCEA results: You will meet the Requirement if you have gained the University Entrance Literacy Standard and a minimum of 17 credits in English at Level 2 and/or 3.* #
  • For those applying on the basis of CIE (taken in NZ) results: You will meet the Requirement if you have gained the University Entrance Literacy Standard and a minimum of a D grade in an English course at AS or A Level.
  • For those applying on the basis of International Baccalaureate (IB) (taken in NZ): You will meet the Requirement if you have gained the University Entrance Literacy Standard and are in receipt of 26 points.

*Does not apply to applicants who meet the University Entrance Literacy Standard in Te Reo.

#English for Academic Purposes standards US 22750 and US 22751 will contribute to meeting the AELR.

Previous study completed elsewhere

For those applying on the basis of results at another tertiary institution, you will meet the Requirement if you have:

  • satisfied the AELR through NCEA, CIE (taken in NZ) or IB (taken in NZ) qualifications as outlined above, or
  • completed and passed 60 points or more of study at bachelor’s degree level or higher at a tertiary institution and have achieved an acceptable result in DELNA testing.

Graduates

For those who have previously completed a qualification, you will meet the Requirement if you have:

  • completed a bachelor’s degree, or a higher qualification from the University of Auckland, or another recognised tertiary education provider in New Zealand, or
  • completed a qualification from an overseas tertiary institution that is recognised by the University as the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, or higher, in New Zealand

Completed an approved University of Auckland foundation programme

For those applying on the basis of completed foundation study at the University of Auckland, you will meet the Requirement if you have

  • completed one of the following approved programmes: Certificate in Academic Preparation, Certificate in Health Sciences, Tertiary Foundation Certificate, Foundation Certificate in Education, Foundation Certificate Tohu Tūāpapa Mātauranga.

Special Admission

For those applying under Special Admission regulations: You will meet the Requirement if you have achieved an acceptable result in DELNA testing.

Meeting the Requirement in your first 12 months of study

If you do not meet the Requirement through your entrance qualification as outlined above, but otherwise qualify for admission, you can satisfy the AELR during your first 12 months of study by passing an approved academic English language course.

The approved courses for each programme are listed below.

Approved courses that meet the Requirement

Arts

  • ACADENG 100
  • ACADENG 101
  • ENGWRIT 101
  • ENGLISH 121/121G

Business and Economics

  • ACADENG 104

Creative Arts and Industries

  • SCIGEN 101/101G
  • ACADENG 100
  • ACADENG 101
  • ENGWRIT 101
  • ENGLISH 121/121G

Education and Social Work

  • ACADENG 100
  • ACADENG 101
  • ENGWRIT 101
  • ENGLISH 121/121G

Engineering

  • SCIGEN 101/101G
  • ACADENG 100
  • ACADENG 101
  • ENGWRIT 101
  • ENGLISH 121/121G

Law

  • SCIGEN 101/101G
  • ACADENG 100
  • ACADENG 101
  • ENGWRIT 101
  • ENGLISH 121/121G

Medical and Health Sciences

  • SCIGEN 101/101G
  • ACADENG 100
  • ACADENG 101
  • ENGWRIT 101
  • ENGLISH 121/121G

Science

  • SCIGEN 101/101G
  • ACADENG 100
  • ACADENG 101
  • ENGWRIT 101
  • ENGLISH 121/121G

Conjoints

  • SCIGEN 101/101G
  • ACADENG 100
  • ACADENG 101
  • ENGWRIT 101
  • ENGLISH 121/121G

How the AELR helps you

Marie McEntee, who coordinates one of the approved AELR courses (SCIGEN 101/101G Communicating for a Knowledge Society), explains the benefits students will gain from completing an approved Academic English Language course to meet the Academic English Language Requirement.

When you come to University you need to know how to successfully access literature (that is the academic material relevant to your specialty), to understand it and interpret it and to be able to use this material effectively in your own work. While some students experience difficulties doing this because of English language concerns, this is not always the case. Other students simply do not always enjoy writing, presenting seminars or reading literature.

The Academic English Language Requirement (AELR) courses at the University of Auckland are specifically designed to give you the necessary skills to become familiar with the language of University, so you can communicate effectively in all your courses. Being able to communicate competently at University will assist you with your study and enable you to be a more successful learner.

Why good communication skills are important  

To be able to effectively communicate your work in an understandable way requires you to present your work in a logical, coherent and well-structured manner. It must draw on appropriate academic sources and be well referenced. To do this effectively assists you with understanding and engaging with your specialist knowledge.

It also enables you to communicate your knowledge to others, including your lecturers and tutors who have to mark your work. Course assignments and exams require good communication, so being able to communicate effectively can have a direct impact on your grades. However, most importantly effective communication enhances your enjoyment and engagement in learning at University.

Benefits of effective communication

Learning to communicate effectively at University not only helps you with your study and coursework, but it will also provide you with essential employment skills. While at University you will learn to master a body of specialist knowledge in your chosen field – whatever that may be. However, employers also want you to develop a range of transferable skills of which communication is one of the most important.

Communication enables you to connect with people and to share your specialist knowledge and gain understanding and knowledge from others. When you graduate you will engage with people inside and outside your specialist field. You will need to work and collaborate with others – and for this you need to be an effective communicator. Employers rank communication as one of the most important skills they look for in graduates.

Marie McEntee

Marie McEntee is a 22-year teaching veteran who teaches science communication in the School of Environment, Faculty of Science, as well as running a number of public outreach programmes. Marie recently received the 2015 Sustained Excellence Award at the AKO National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards, and feedback on her teaching includes many unsolicited comments that highlight the engaging, demanding and often transformative nature of her courses.

AELR Approved Courses

Read the outlines of the approved AELR courses to help you find out which course(s) might be suitable for you.

ACADENG 100 Forms in Academic English

Description

This course helps students to read, understand, and write academic texts more accurately. We analyse the way that university texts are organised and how the language is used, especially academic words, grammar, sentence patterns and paragraph structure. Students develop ways to edit their writing for clear and accurate meaning in a range of academic text-types including cause and effect, comparison and contrast, and problem-solution.

Who this course might particularly suit

The course is for students who have English as an additional language. It is not meant for students whose first language is English.
Students who want to improve their accuracy in reading, grammar and writing skills will find this course beneficial. It is recommended for students who score band 5 for writing in the Diagnostic English Language Needs Assessment (DELNA). Non-recommended students can choose this course but all students complete a language task in their first lesson and if their language proficiency is judged to be too high then they are not permitted to take this course and must swap to a more appropriate course.

 

ACADENG 101 Academic English Writing

Description

This course guides the student through the process of writing academic expository and argument essays. It begins with planning using brainstorming including freewriting, mind mapping, listing and outlining. It then moves on to the structure of an essay developing an introduction with a strong thesis statement, paragraphs including topic sentences with logically developed supporting sentences and conclusions. Linking expressions and cohesive devices develop fluency. Learning how to use the library to find appropriate academic sources and then integrating and referencing them accurately in essays through summarising and quoting helps students avoid plagiarism. The features of argument academic essays are practised: argument, counterargument and refutation.

Who this course might particularly suit

The course is designed primarily for speakers for whom English is an additional language. It is not meant for students whose first language is English.
Students who want to improve their academic writing skills, particularly essay writing, will find this course beneficial. It is also recommended for students who have not met the Academic English Language Requirement.
One advantage of this course is that each stream is limited to 30 and meets twice a week in 2 hour sessions. This gives plenty of opportunity for students to practice writing as sessions include both information giving and writing tasks.

 

ACADENG 104 Academic English for Business

Description

This course focuses on academic English skills to help Business students understand and express business-related concepts. Students develop effective strategies for reading, writing, and vocabulary-building by studying the language features of texts for academic style and communicative effects. Students will apply the skills and knowledge they develop from reading and language analysis activities, and will follow the process of writing, revising and editing to produce accurate texts that have clear communicative purpose and meaning.

Who this course might particularly suit

This course is intended for undergraduate students who are doing a Business degree and who have not met the Academic English Language Requirement or who score band 6 or below for writing in the Diagnostic English Language Needs Assessment (DELNA). It will help to increase students’ confidence in their academic English reading and writing when completing tasks relevant to their university Business studies.

 

ENGLISH 121/121G Reading / Writing / Text

Description

This course is designed to develop university-wide skills of reading, writing and analysis. It addresses the needs of students in English and other disciplines where both writing and reading have an important role in learning. The course fosters personal writing skills and also introduces writing as a subject of study in itself.

Who this course might particularly suit

This course concerns university-level reading and writing skills, and is taken by students from all faculties and programmes across the university. Through a range of reading and composition exercises, the course addresses writing at the levels of sentence, paragraph and larger essay. It is suited to students who have a grasp of the basics of grammar and syntax but who wish to develop their ability to organise, craft and express responses to coursework and exam tasks. The course also considers and develops literacy skills that are transferrable to workplace contexts beyond the university.
This course is not suited to students who are not yet able to construct coherent sentences that would constitute an acceptable baseline standard of writing at Stage One, and therefore a pass, in Arts. It is an intensive writing course which assumes basic literacy, and which works to improve this in the context of university-level assignments.

 

ENGWRIT 101 English Writing for Academic Purposes

Description

This course is useful if you want to improve your existing writing skills. The course aims to help you write clear, well-developed, properly referenced essays, which directly address the topic in an appropriate way. It focuses on sound principles of essay writing, provides practice in the various stages of writing and develops understanding of the different rhetorical styles required at university. Academic texts considered in this course include arguments, comparison and contrast, classifications, summaries, critiques, literature reviews and reports.
ENGWRIT 101 can be taken as a first year course in a Writing Studies major.

Who this course might particularly suit

The course is designed primarily for first language users of English who want to develop their academic writing skills. They may not have taken writing-intensive subjects at high school, or simply lack confidence in their ability to produce university-level writing. Students with English as a second language who moved to New Zealand when they were young or students with another language background but schooled in English also find the course useful, as do mature students who take the course as a way to refresh their knowledge in the area.
This course is more suited for students with above 6 overall in the Diagnostic English Language Needs Assessment (DELNA).

 

SCIGEN 101/101G Communicating for a Knowledge Society

Description

This general education/science course is designed for any student from any discipline with an interest in learning practical ways to effectively communicate knowledge. It differs from traditional communication courses by concentrating on how to communicate specialist knowledge – (the knowledge you learn here at University in your chosen field of study). On the course you will choose a topic of interest to you and using this topic learn how to effectively access literature and data, interpret this, extract meaning and present this in an understandable way through written, oral and visual communication. You will also critically examine real world cases to explore how knowledge experts communicate with society over a variety of potentially controversial issues, and you will gain first-hand experience of negotiating and building consensus through group dialogue. This course provides you with essential communication skills in a supportive environment so you can communicate confidently during your time at University and beyond.

Who this course might particularly suit

This course is designed for any student with an interest in learning practical ways to effectively communicate knowledge. While the course appeals particularly to science and engineering students, it is relevant and currently attracts students from all disciplines and at all levels, as the internal assessment is based around a topic relevant to each student’s interest and study. Students are accepted with varied levels of English competency, from highly competent wanting to fine tune their communication skills to those with difficulties in English language. Students who have significant English language difficulties are recommended to complement SCIGEN 101 with other English support at the University (e.g. ELE and Student Learning Services).