Kagan Structures for English Language Learners

Interaction, Comprehension and Fluency!

Oral Language

Multiple opportunities to talk

Supportive Context

Create the right environment

Range of Structures

Tools to provide practical learning experiences

Engage Every Learner

Engage all ELL students at their level


Kagan Structures are cooperative and communicative teaching strategies—wonderful tools to promote English fluency while improving mastery of academic content. Through interactive structures, students are exposed to more functional language and radically increase their opportunity to practice language. Creating the right environment is crucial for effective learning to occur and Kagan’s apporach to this ensures safety and inclusion for all students.

Many NZ teachers and schools now use Kagan Structures to raise academic achievement, increase student discourse, support Priority Learners, reduce discipline problems, develop students’ social skills and character virtues, and create a positive and inclusive classroom atmosphere.

Kagan is the best vehicle to develop and provide multiple opportunities for every student to share and contribute every time.

“Outstanding. I especially loved learning about the developmental stages of language acquisition. I now have a deeper understanding of how to help our ESL students”

While we have events coming up, you can also book us for your school TODs or as after-school modules.

Workshop Outcomes

At this practical workshop you will learn:

  • the stages students go through to learn English
  • Kagan Structures to best help your English learners at each stage
  • adapt Kagan Structures for your ESOL students
  • how to create a safe and supportive room for all your students, but especially your ESOL students
  • how to engage students who are at every stage of language learning
  • use Kagan Structures to further enhance your culturally-responsive classroom
  • to teach language skills in context using rich team and pair interactions
  • develop and practice oral language skills for all students
  • build an inclusive and safe environment where students feel a sense of belonging
  • experience how your ESOL students feel

Ideal for all classroom teachers, primary to secondary, SENCOs, and Teacher Aides


Workshop Materials

You will receive:

  • Second Language Learning through Cooperative Learning
  • Workshop handout or binder insert
Promo Material
Upcoming Events


Auckland – National Library of NZ

English Language Learners Day 1     11.03.17     9am-4pm

English Language Learners Day 2      25.03.17     9am-4pm

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Host a Kagan Workshop at your school

1-20 participants $1500 plus

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21-50 participants $1500 plus

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51-99 participants $1600 plus

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  • These prices are for school-hosted workshops (school provides venue, catering, and covers trainer travel expenses where applicable)
  • All teachers are expected to purchase the Second Language Learning through Cooperative Learning text valued at $53 (10% discount for school workshops)
  • Teacher Aides attending training with their school are not required to purchase the Second Language Learning through Cooperative Learning text
  • All prices include the workshop workbook
  • Prices details: Base-fee plus the per person price, plus the Kagan text (where applicable – usually on the first day only)
  • Book more than one day for the year (ie Days 1 and 2) and receive 10% discount
  • All prices are exclusive of GST (NB Second Language Learning through Cooperative Learning at $53 is GST inclusive)

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm new to Kagan - where do I start?

No matter what year level you teach, we would always advocate that teachers start with Day 1 Kagan Structures for Active Engagement Level 1, Cooperative Learning. We believe that full engagement for all students along with a safe, brain-friendly and inclusive classroom, are crucial to student achievement, so Day 1 is all about setting up your room for that to happen.

If you have the opportunity to do Days 1 and 2 together, that would last you for a year – unless you’re so passionate after Day 1, you just can’t wait to do them all! We have quite a few teachers hanging out to do just that.

Once you have done at least Day 1, there are numerous curriculum specific workshops, along with Win-Win Discipline and Brain-Friendly Teaching you might consider, as the last two in particular are right up there with Kagan Cooperative Learning. Actually, all our workshops are amazing – we are totally addicted!

I'm a Beginning Teacher. Will attending this workshop be useful for me?

Yes it certainly will! We have had many new teachers attend our trainings and say they learned more practical ideas with us in a day than during their training. The great thing about new teachers, is there is no unlearning to be done!

We are so convinced that Kagan is the best thing for new teachers, we are setting up a 2 year PRT programme where we will cover the following:

Student Engagement; Cooperative Learning; Classroom Management; Behaviour Management; Learning Teams; Assessment; Planning; All NZC Curriculum Areas esp Literacy and Maths; Key Competencies and Values; Reporting; Time Management; Managing Parents; Supporting Priority Learners; IT; Brain-Friendly Teaching; plus more…!

Kagan Coaching and mentoring will be part of the programme, including Tutor Teacher selection and training.

If you’d like to be kept up-to-date on developments, email: jennie@kagan.nz

I'm a Junior teacher - can I use Kagan with Juniors?

As a junior teacher, these strategies will help you with all your students – not just your ELL students. As you will know, often children are arriving at school with very low levels of oral language. This wriskhop will definitely give you ideas to encourage and create ,amy opportunities for sharing verbally.

I work in an MLE - how does Kagan work in that context?

Can I say fabulously?

Let’s think of what happens in an MLE. Students are assigned to a ‘home room’ and may shift throughout the day to other teachers, work in groups or pairs or move to break out spaces. We areb’t here to tell you how you must set up your MLE to fit with Kagan. What we do say, is any time you want students interacting, you can use a Kagan Structure to ensure their is equal participation and individual accountability.

Ideally, all teachers have been trained in Kagan, allowing curriculum delivery to be consistant across the MLE, which makes for smooth transitions and provides great support for Priority Learners. If every teacher is using Kagan teams and structures, along with classbuilding and teambuilding, the whole MLE becomes a very cohesive and connected space. Where some students might become invisible within a large number of students, Kagan will ensure they are supported, scaffolded, and visible.

We can’t express enough how important it is that teacher expectations around social and communication skills, and behaviour are the same across the MLE, and Kagan is an approach that will facilitate that.

Having interviewed students in an MLE about Kagan, they appreciated the fact that they worked with students they would normally never choose to work with and developed respect, empathy and tolerance because of that. Allowing students to choose who they work with, does not ensure diversity and create an inclusive environment. Many teachers are surprised that students they thought had excellent social skills, actually don’t once they are placed with ESOL or Special Needs students for example.

Finally, as we know, no MLE is the same as the other, so there will always be things you will need to problem-solve with your team, but we are more than happy to help in any way we can.

We are a digital environment - does Kagan work in that situation?

Yes. In a nultshell, digital fluency requires students to be able to discuss choices and justify decisions, communicate with each other, work collaboratively, present and share their work, and be appreciative of others opinions and ideas.

Any time you have students interacting with each other, that is where Kagan comes in. Kagan Structures are communication regulators designed to ensure every student particiates and contributes every time. We also set up the learning environment so that students feel safe to voice their thoughts and opinions, ask for help, take risks, work with anyone, and develop key values and social skills.

Teamwork, and being able to work with others despite their ability, language, sex, or culture are fundamental components of a 21st century work environment. Isn’t it up to schools to create that same environment for our students before sending them out into the real world? Kagan can help with that.

Is this workshop suitable for the Secondary sector?

In a nutshell, yes! Kagan Structures are content-free so you will add your own content to the structures. While some of the resources may be simplistic, you will be able to adapt them to a harder level for your students.

As you know, teenagers also have very different emotional needs from primary students, making it even more important that we quickly give them the skills to create positive relationships with their classmates and teachers, and develop the confidence to share, ask questions, seek help, and fully participate in activities with their classmates – aside from all the academic benefits!

What other support do you offer?

We would always advise you to attend our foundational workshop, “Structures for Active Engagement, Level 1, Cooperative Learning” as this covers everything in detail.

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