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New Zealand Certificates in English Language (NZCEL) Course

The NZCEL course is a national qualification in English language for international and domestic students wanting to improve their English language skills for living, working and studying in New Zealand.

Waikato Institute of Education (WIE) is NZQA approved and authorized to deliver both the General and Academic streams of NZCEL certification.

Waikato Institute of Education offers 6 levels of NZCEL from Level 1 Foundation to Level 5. The NZCEL General Course includes levels 1 Foundation to level 4 and the NZCEL Academic Course is from level 3 to 5. Each level consists of 60 credits.

  • Level 1 Foundation
  • Level 1 General
  • Level 2 General
  • Level 3 General
  • Level 4 Academic
  • Level 5 Academic

 Why Study NZCEL at WIE?

At WIE we understand that learning English is an essential goal for those wanting to live, work, and move towards further study in NZ and abroad. Our aim is to help you settle in NZ, gain the language skills you need for employment, and further education in the least possible time.

WIE’s NZCEL courses provide a unique balance of:

  • Quality, intensive instruction

  • In class testing, practice, and educational activities

  • Self study exercises and homework

  • ‘Real life’ experiences through hosted social activities that compliment unit topics

  •  A total immersion 'English Only' learning environment

At WIE, all NZCEL courses:

  •  Are full time, accelerated 25 hrs per week for 17 weeks.

  •  Are instructed by fully qualified, native English speakers, most with over 15 years experience teaching. WIE has an excellent pool of certified examiners on staff, including those with Cambridge, IELTS, OET and TOEIC experience.

  • Require the same number of hours of homework and self study as in class study. A proven method of getting better results faster and advancing in the English language.

  • Use the best textbooks as recommended by NZ’s top educators.

  • Have the latest resources and teaching methods to enhance your learning experience.

  • Include regular testing and practice to ensure you reach your goals.

  • Are part of a curriculum designed to include practical units for living, working, and further study in NZ, in both General NZCEL courses and Academic NZCEL courses.

Have a total immersion language learning environment with a good mix of international learners from around the world.

Additional Study Benefits

  • Options of specialisation in General or Academic subjects from Level 3 upwards

  • WIE has advisors and counsellors to give advice for your study needs and future pathways.

  • Private one to one tuition is available for specialised needs.

  • Regular, escorted social activities and homestay accommodation, introduce learners to everyday living situations and opportunities to converse with many New Zealanders - ideal for real life conversational practice.


Additional Options:

General English
For students who wish to study English short term or part time and do not require a qualification.
Students will be studying alongside NZCEL students. Course content is the same as NZCEL.

Exam Preparation Option
• Preparation classes for International English exams, such as IELTS, OET, Cambridge and TOEIC, are offered as an option for those studying the NZCEL Level 3 and Level 4 programmes. Please discuss availability and course dates with your admissions counsellor.

NZCEL Timetable

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
09:00 – 10:30 Topic starter
Language consolidation and review
Grammar consolidation
Language skills development: reading and listening
Vocabulary consolidation
Topic based reading and listening
Grammar expansion
Language skills development: reading and listening
Vocabulary expansion Using language in context: writing task
10:30 – 10:50 Break
10:50 – 11:50 Grammar drills
Using grammar in context: task
Topic specific vocabulary building
Using vocabulary in context: task
Structured topic-based discussion task
Language skills development: writing Everyday English: Functional language
1:50 – 12:00 Assembly
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 14:00 Topic starter
Language in context: vocabulary and grammar
Grammar consolidation
Using grammar in context: speaking task
Vocabulary consolidation
Language skills development: listening
Preparation for task Specialised language development; conversational, functional or academic English
14:00 – 14:10 Break
  cademic English vocabulary building Structured speaking task: presentation Structured speaking task: presentation Pronunciation expressing opinions, critical thinking
15:10 – 16:00 WIE After Class English Activities (Optional) Study Activities
Study Activities
(Learn new culture and have new experiences)
(Enjoy the fresh air and sun with your friends!)
English Corner
(Improve your speaking by playing fun games)
Pronunciation Class / Cambridge Pre-test
IELTS Mock Test
Social Club
(Make new friends and improve your communication skills )

WIE has Free English Activities every afternoon after 3pm. All activities are optional, but we do encourage all students to participate so they have extra opportunities to practice their English at WIE.

  • Study Activities and Social Club can help students learn English in authentic environments.

  • Students will benefit from the Tuesday Activities as students play in groups of multiple different L1 background.

  • English Corner will improve students speaking skills by playing fun games.

  • If students preparing IELTS test WIE has Cambridge pre-test and mock test to help students’ exam skills.

Study Activities

Students can join WIE study activities every Monday. They may visit Hamilton city council and meet our mayor or they may visit Hamilton Museum and learn about Maori Culture. Waikato University is one of the popular destinations. Sometimes New Zealand policemen will visit us at our campus and tell our students about safety in New Zealand. If you are lucky you can meet rugby players from the famous local Rugby teams, the Chiefs. There are so many more activities. Come and join us every Monday!


New Zealand is famous for fresh air, blue sky and great outdoor activities. All Students are welcome to join WIE Tuesday activities with their friends. They will play soccer, cricket and badminton, visit Hamilton gardens and Hamilton lake. Sometimes students will have Billiards or Ping Pong competitions. Students play in groups with their friends from different countries. Not only do students learn about team works but also improve their communication skills with students from multiple different L1 backgrounds.

English Corner

There are no students who don’t want to learn English by playing fun games. WIE provides great opportunities for our students to improve their English every Wednesday in English Corner. Students will play Pictionary and Jenga, Headbanz, Concept, Duck, Duck Goose, Music Chair and any fun game you can think of. All games are designed especially for students learning English.

Cambridge Pre-test

WIE has been one of the Cambridge Pre-test Centres since 2014. WIE receives test papers from Cambridge Assessment, administrates the tests and returns the test papers back to Cambridge Assessment. Pre-tests give students the opportunity to practise taking a Cambridge English exam using genuine questions under exam conditions. Pre-test also helps students know which areas they need most practice in and gives them experience and confidence in taking tests. There are only limited spaces for WIE pre-tests. Make sure you book your spot in advance.

IELTS Mock Test
WIE also has IELTS Mock Tests every Thursday. Mock tests give students additional practice for preparing for the IELTS exam. Teachers answer students’ questions and give students suggestions on how to improve their exam skills. Mock tests are also a great way to test students’ English level and help them to use more suitable materials to prepare for the exam.

Social Club

WIE runs Social Club every Friday which helps students’ speaking in authentic environments. Students may go to local cafés and try different types of coffee. Students may also go to local restaurants and try their special drinks and food. There are also many snack bars around Hamilton, students love the unique environments and sharing their experiences with their friends.

Pronunciation Class

NZCEL Course Fee Information

For details on course fees please see Courses & Fees.



Waikato Institute of Education
Address: Level 1, Tower Building, 48
Ward Street,
PO Box 773, Hamilton, New Zealand
Phone: 64 - 7 - 8382450   Fax: 64 - 7 - 838 2453