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Language requirements for overseas teachers

If you completed your teacher education qualification overseas, and want to be registered and gain a practising certificate or be granted a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT), you need to be able to show you meet the Education Council’s language requirements.

There are two ways to meet the requirements set out in the policy Language requirements for teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand. These are:

If English is an additional language

By passing an approved language proficiency test within the last two years.

If English is your first spoken language

By providing evidence that English is your first spoken language in the form of

  1. A statutory declaration; and
  2. Written statements on letterhead from your primary and secondary schools confirming that English was the language of instruction and all schooling qualifications were completed in English
  3. Any other information requested by the Council.

The statutory declaration must be written only by you and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or person authorised to witness statutory declarations.  You need to state that English is your first spoken language, provide details of where and when you completed your primary and secondary schooling, and provide a brief outline of languages that were spoken at home by your primary caregivers.

Full details of the Council's language requirements can be found in Language Proficiency Requirements for Teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand (within the Registration Policy).  

From 1 January 2019, we will be shifting our approach to focus on evidence-based English language proficiency, read about it here

Language proficiency tests 

We recognise the following tests of language proficiency.

A minimum score of 7 in each component of the academic version of the test.
Visit the IELTS website

International Second Language Proficiency Ratings (ISLPR):
A minimum score of 4 in all modules
Visit the ISLPR website

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE):
A minimum score of 185, with no band score less than 185
Visit the Cambridge English Language Assessment website

Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE):
A minimum score of 185, with no band score less than 185 
Visit the Cambridge English Language Assessment website