Many students in our school are learners of English as an additional language (EAL). Learners of EAL are students whose first language is a language other than Standard Australian English and who require additional support to assist them to develop English language proficiency. While many EAL learners do well in school, a significant group of these learners leave school without achieving their potential.
EAL learners enter Australian schools at different ages and at different stages of English language learning and have various educational backgrounds in their first languages. For some, school is the only place they use English.
The aims of AusVELS English are ultimately the same for all students. However, EAL learners are simultaneously learning a new language and the knowledge, understanding and skills of the English curriculum through that new language. They require additional time and support, along with informed teaching that explicitly addresses their language needs, and assessments that take into account their developing language proficiency.
How are EAL students identified?
EAL students are those whose first language is a language other than English and who require additional support to assist them to develop proficiency in English. EAL students come from diverse, multilingual backgrounds and may include overseas and Australian-born students whose first language is a language other than English, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students whose first language is an Indigenous language.
How are students assessed for inclusion in the EAL program?
Comprehensive assessment data is gathered through a variety of assessment strategies including the analysis of student writing, observations of oral interactions, interviews with the students, reading logs, student self-assessments and classroom learning activities.
What does the EAL program involve?
The EAL students are involved in an intensive 60 minute session, once per week, which includes:
- listening to stories being read to them in English
- using specific vocabulary to write about familiar objects or events
- practising reading fiction and non-fiction books aloud with fluency and comprehension
- revising grammar concepts such as past and present tense, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, etc
- using ICT such as computers, iPads and Smartboards to play interactive games which reinforce the language concepts covered