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Bilingual Assessment Service

You may be concerned about an English language learner (ELL) in your school who is not progressing as expected or shows signs of unusual behaviour. 

If you haven't already considered ESOL-funded support for this student, please follow that process first.


If a student has been in the New Zealand school system for at least two terms and you have already provided extra support through ESOL funding and are still concerned about the student, you may be able to apply for a bilingual assessment. 

A bilingual assessment will assess a student’s functioning and achievement in their first language, and collect information about social and emotional health, and other factors which might be affecting their performance at school. 

The Bilingual Assessment Service (BAS) is delivered by the Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLBs). Over 75 RTLBs around the country are trained to do these assessments. They work with a bilingual support person and will recommend ways to help support the student. 

A bilingual assessment can distinguish between language learning needs, additional special learning needs and social/emotional needs, through dual assessment in the student's first language and English. 

The BAS is funded by the Ministry of Education; there is no cost to your school. Prior approval must be received, from the Ministry of Education, before carrying out the assessments. 

(Sourced May 27, 2019, from: http://

Go to the Ministry of Education website to find out more about Bilingual Assessments:

All of the documents and Cluster 9 processes can be located on the RTLB website under ‘RTLB forms’.


See the Cluster 9 Bilingual Service Process:

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