English Language Foundation courses in New Zealand - A Support for International Students

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 13 July 2023 & Read Time 9 minutes



When students venture out to study in New Zealand, the idea of stepping into a new world of academic journey amidst a welcoming and nurturing environment fills the mind with excitement. But with this new beginning comes some obstacles, and one major hindrance that students face is a lack of English proficiency which makes it difficult to transition into the new environment and also affects the pace of learning.


To solve this problem, universities conduct Foundation English language Courses in New Zealand to give the support a student requires to combat these challenges. Moreover, some programs also serve as a gateway to admission for those students who cannot demonstrate their English proficiency scores. This blog will explore the benefits, types of programs, teaching methodology and curriculum covered. So stay tuned till the end! 


Why Study English Foundation Courses in New Zealand

Now let’s start with the first section of our blog, which is why students should pursue English foundation courses in New Zealand. Below mentioned are some of the key reasons to study in New Zealand


Smooth academic learning-These programs help students enhance their language proficiency skills, which helps them effectively communicate and participate in diverse academic tasks throughout their university journey. These programs ensure that students meet the rigorous demands of the curriculum effectively and fulfil their educational aspirations.


Transition into the new environment- Stepping into a whole new academic environment can be overwhelming for students, coupled with language barriers can make it all the more difficult to navigate. These programs provide comprehensive support to international students to familiarise themselves with the new academic culture, teaching methodologies, assessment requirements and different study strategies. Hence International Foundation Courses in New Zealand help scholars to cross the transition period smoothly and easily.


Cultural Immersion- When students step into a new country, a major desire is to explore the native customs, cultures and norms. Scholars can interact effectively and explore the local country by understanding and getting a good hold of the language. This is crucial for inculcating new perspectives and overall personality development. Moreover, Foundation English language Courses in New Zealand also have sections where valuable insights into New Zealand cultural norms are also given.


Networking- Studying English language foundation courses in New Zealand gives students the confidence to interact in the language, which helps them foster new friendships and engage with their preferred peers and professors. This helps them form strong social groups, study groups and business networks, which gives them a feeling of belonging and support in a new environment and helps them in their future career journey.


High-quality education- Universities in New Zealand are renowned for their top-notch education, pioneering professors and state-of-the-art facilities. Hence, students will access modern learning materials, innovative teaching methodologies and access to personalised training, which will enhance their academic learning on another level. 


Types of Programs Offered in English Foundation Courses

Universities in New Zealand host a wide range of English foundation courses to help students improve their English Language skills. These courses are chalked out in a manner where learning progresses from basic to advanced, giving students full understanding and conceptual clarity. Now let’s sneak peek into some common foundation English language courses in New Zealand.


Pre-Sessional English courses are curated so international students get a strong foothold on the English language before starting their new academic year. Generally, the duration of these courses is a few weeks to months, when students are given intensive language training. These courses are useful for scholars who have just embarked on this journey in a new environment and different classroom settings.


English for Academic Purposes- EAP courses are specifically curated and tailored around the requirements of academic study in these courses; students are equipped with the necessary language skills they need to pursue their academic studies successfully; majorly, the course includes academic writing, comprehension and academic vocabulary. Furthermore, varied academic materials, assignments classroom activities are conducted to prepare students in accordance with the requirements of the university level.


Bridging Programs: These programmes are often denoted as intensive English language programs. In such programs, initially, an assessment of students is done where the status of their current language proficiency is tested, and the area where they are lagging is analysed and based on it, a customised study plan is mapped out. These programs majorly focus on 4 basic elements of English: speaking, listening, reading and writing, grammar and vocabulary. In addition to it, the curriculum also focuses on academic study skills and incorporates cultural orientation components.


English for Specific Purposes: These programmes are chalked out in a manner where students' specific academic or professional goals are met. For example, students interested in diverse fields, such as hospitality, and medicine business, can undertake ESP programs tailored to their requirements. Since these programs are highly customised, they include special vocabulary language skills used in the specific industry and the relevant content is taught in that particular stream to prepare students holistically in their chosen field.


General English Language Programs- These programs are designed for those students who want to improve their overall English communication skills. Generally, they cover major skills of English, which include speaking, listening, reading and writing, along with grammar nuances and vocabulary enhancement.


IELTS Preparation Courses- Most universities in New Zealand also take IELTS preparation courses, which are the basic admission criteria to secure a spot in New Zealand universities. These programs assist students in developing the necessary language skills and strategies to achieve the desired scores to crack the IELTS exam.


English Language Support Services: Apart from diverse English language foundation courses, New Zealand universities provide students with various English language support services. These services are designed to help students throughout their academic studies and assist them in addressing their individual language needs. These services include writing centres, creative workshops, conversation partners and one-on-one tutoring sessions. 


The Curriculum of English Language Foundation Courses in New Zealand


Listening and Reading


The most important foundation for the English language is listening and reading as it enables students to grasp the basic concepts such as sentence formation and usage of words which gives them an understanding of content flow. To work effectively on these skills, students are given various resources such as short stories, essays, informative podcasts, etc.


Fluency and Comprehension


The art of communicating effectively in English is of utmost importance. Students are taught how to form sentence structures and coherent paragraphs for this. Gaping in their pronunciation and accents are identified. Various activities are organised, such as group discussions, role plays, etc.


Vocabulary and Grammar


A rich vocabulary and correct grammar are important in forming accurate sentence structures. For this, students are taught the correct usage of vowels, consonants, tenses, adjectives and other crucial elements of grammar. Furthermore, different study materials are allocated to students as a part of daily tasks to expand their vocabulary base.


Writing Effectively


Students are trained to write effectively after forming a good foundation of listening, reading and comprehension, along with grammar and vocabulary. For this, they are given short themes to write about, curate poems or stories based on their interest, and weave an article piece based on the prompts given by the professor, which greatly enhances their writing skills.


Study Strategies


Since English language foundation programs in New Zealand are also meant for students to adjust to the new academic environment properly, teaching them effective study strategies forms an essential component of the curriculum. This includes teaching students time management, critical thinking, research skills and academic integrity.


In conclusion,  English language foundation Courses in New Zealand serve as a vital support system for students by equipping them with the essential language skills they need to empower themselves, engage confidently in the new academic environment, and collaborate effectively with peers and professors. Therefore, these programs enable students to overcome language barriers, settle into the new environment seamlessly and thrive in their academic careers. 



Q. Can students continue receiving language support after completing their foundation English language course?

A. Many universities in New Zealand offer language support services after completing foundation English language courses. These services provide assistance and resources to help students thrive at every step of their academic journey.


Q. Is there any evaluation system in place while pursuing English foundation language courses in New Zealand?

A. Yes, a proper evaluation system is in place to track students’ progress. This includes assessments, tests, assignments and presentations. Moreover, from time to time, students are also given individual feedback to improve further.


Q. Is the prime emphasis of English language courses in New Zealand only language learning?

A. No, apart from basic language learning skills, these courses also cover various arenas such as academic study skills, study strategies and information about New Zealand culture, coupled with support services which help international students to transition into the new environment and be successful in their studies.


Q. Who can benefit from the foundation English language courses in New Zealand?

A. Foundation English language courses in New Zealand benefit international students who lack English language proficiency or, in some cases, must meet the language requirements for admission into New Zealand universities. Moreover, these courses equip students with the necessary language skills to succeed academically. 


We hope we have provided sufficient information about Foundation English language courses in New Zealand. If you are still unsure or would like to get deeper insight, we encourage you to speak with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you cannot travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will provide the best guidance regarding your application to study in New Zealand. Don't hesitate to contact us at application02@meridean.org or call us at 1800-1230-00011.

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