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2011 Doctor of Education, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland
2003 M A Applied Linguistics (with distinction) - Victoria University, Wellington
1994 Graduate - Levels 1-3 Systemic Functional Linguistics Summer School
1985 Diploma in Teaching - Faculty of Education, University of Auckland (formerly Auckland College of
1984 Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language (with distinction) - Victoria University
1972 New Zealand Certificate in Science (Biochemistry and Microbiology) – Auckland University of
Technology (formerly Auckland Technical Institute)

Dr. Jannie van Hees

Socio-linguistic-cultural theory and practice has shaped my strong interest in addressing the on-entry and persistent language gaps of many learners attending low socio-economic schools (in New Zealand), and learners who are learning in and through English as an additional language. It has developed my commitment to the role of practitioner-researcher and working closely with teachers in the realities of classroom practice.

Classroom interactional and expressive patterns, developing orally rich dialogic classrooms so cognitive and linguistic expansion of learners can occur, reading mileage and depth, vocabulary expansion and crafted writing, are core attentions in my work. Through in-depth development of teachers’ evidence-based and pedagogical knowledge, optimizing conditions for students’ quality and quantity of language use and acquisition can become a reality.

As Project Director, trainer and facilitator, I have developed and been responsible for a number of Ministry of Education national professional development programmes, including The Home-School Partnership Programme, English Language Assistants’ Professional Development Programme, and Bi-lingual Assessments and Training. Resource and programme development has been a passionate part of my work over many years. Applied classroom resources include The All-ready Language Packs, a wide range of curriculum- based digital resources with language in abundance to the fore, multiple language- curriculum hands-on packs, and the Baseline English language resource and programme.

I was awarded a NZCER Beeby Fellowship in 2005 resulting in my book, Expanding oral language in the classroom (van Hees, J. 2007). What every primary teacher should know about vocabulary (van Hees, J. & Nation, P. [2017. NZCER]) is my most recent publication, which captures my strong focus on learners’ vocabulary knowledge as being central to their meaning-making power.

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My educational expertise is the result of years of experience as a classroom teacher and teacher educator, nationally and internationally. At the heart of all my work is language, central to self, and fullness of meaning making and participation so that all learners and families, diverse culturally and linguistically, can access and participate fully in education and society. Cultural responsive pedagogy is the lens through which word power, meaning power and text power transforms learners as knowers and enables a strong sense of involvement, engagement and agency to develop.
My work in schools, with teachers and school communities, is in large part contextualized in Pasifika and diverse cultural and linguistic communities, with the majority of the families, low-income households. This presents them with challenges on a day-to-day basis that can impact on the schooling outcomes of the children of the families. They are also endowed with immense cultural and language riches. It is privileging and an honour to be involved with school staffs, learners, their families and other people in these school communities and local area, and to create pathways of enablement. I learn so much by being involved.


Some recent examples 

- Engaged as language expert in the Manaiakalani COL (Community of Learning) – 11 schools within the Pt England, Glen Innes, Panmure area

- PLD provider in Wesley Primary; St Joseph’s Catholic School, Onehunga; Chaucer School; Bermaphore Primary; Holy Cross, Miramar – all schools with high Pasifika
learner numbers and other ethnicities’ diversity

- PLD provide in Kelston Intermediate – pre-dominantly Pasifika and Maori learners and families

- Project Director of the English Language Assistants Professional Development programme with 15 participating schools, all of whom have significant numbers of
second language learners receiving MoE ESOL funding, a high of whom are Pasifika learners

- In partnership with Chaucer and Pt England Primary providing parent/family sessions about oral language and growing children’s vocabulary, concepts and
language complexity by providing language in abundance

- A team member of Talking Matters - a campaign focused on families and babies and toddlers engaged in quality talk and interaction

- PLD provider in Maori communities – Ngataki and Te Hapua Primary Schools – 2016 and on-going PASIFIKA LEARNERS and WORK IN the PACIFIC

- Work in the Pacific: Two major educational pieces of my work in the Pacific have been a) my role as education consultant in Niue (2015-2017), and b) two years on the outer island of Atiu, the Cook Islands (1980-81), as a Volunteer Service Abroad teacher and education trainer and resource developer. The two years I spent on Atiu were life changing – personally and professionally. Living on such a small island taught me so much about island life, about Cook Islanders and Pasifika cultural ways and beliefs, and about living a simple life within a microcosm society. It has shaped my thinking and being since, and given me a deep-level appreciation for peoples of the Pacific.

Between my time on Atiu and my consultancy work in Niue, I have been privileged to travel and stay for an extended period in Papua New Guinea, and enjoyed visits for shorter periods to Fiji, Tahiti and Vanuatu. My time in Papua New Guinea in particular was life affecting. Three months living in a remote village on the coast of this amazing country and travelling into the highlands, opened my eyes to a vastly different cultural context than the South Pacific.

My consultancy work on Niue has spanned over three years (2015 – 2017), with a total of seven one or two week visits during this period. Major focuses have been optimizing language acquisition conditions for learners at ECE, primary and high school levels, bilingualism and maintenance of Vagahau Niuean, and communicating with families about educational and language learning matters. I have worked intensely with teachers in the classroom and learning centres, conducted a series of workshops and staff meetings, focused strongly on language across the curriculum across all levels of schooling, and supported the development of high quality teaching materials. Reports, meetings and conference presentations have also been at governmental and policy levels. I have worked intensely with members of the Education Department on a variety of programme, policy and resource production matters.

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