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English is one of the three official languages of Aotearoa New Zealand. English is an essential tool for full participation in our personal, local, national and global communities. At Te Kura, the study of English supports ākonga to extend their competency in the use of language in a variety of contexts including tertiary study and the workplace. Ākonga develop a sense of their identity as New Zealanders and explore their heritage through the study of novels, films, short stories and shorter texts. They also develop critical thinking skills, which enables them to evaluate and challenge the thinking of others as well as contribute to important global debates. The subject is structured to allow maximum flexibility in course design. Ākonga follow a course that is linked to their learning needs and goals. They progress through the levels at their own pace. For NCEA, ākonga select a pathway to follow but can change pathways at any time.