As an EAL teacher, you know that students learning English as an Additional Language (EAL) are a significant group in Victorian government schools, accounting for about 12 per cent of all students. All Victorian schools are committed to ensure these EAL learners are equipped with the English language and literacy skills they need to participate in education, the workplace and community life in the 21st century.
Newly arrived students are able to access an intensive full-time program or targeted support to help them in the initial stages of learning English. EAL learners in mainstream schools are also supported to learn English in mainstream classrooms. Advice regarding how schools can plan and implement programs for students learning EAL can be found in the EAL handbook.
There are many resources for teachers to support schools to plan and deliver effective programs, including support for refugee students and professional learning for EAL teachers (including the professional learning modules on this TEAL website.)
EAL learners’ progress in English should be assessed using the EAL Companion to the AusVELS (also known as ‘the EAL standards’). Evidence-based indicators of progress, linked to teaching strategies, can be found in a second document to be used for planning and assessment purposes: the EAL Developmental Continuum P-10.
Resources to help teachers to assess upper primary and secondary newly arrived students’ reading and writing skills in Arabic, Khmer, Somali, Turkish, Vietnamese and Chinese can be found at the FUSE web site.
There is an abundance of resources at the Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre (LMERC) in Carlton. The video on the main page of their web site gives an overview of their services.
For a brief history of assistance to students from language backgrounds other than English offered in Victorian government schools from 1960 to 2006, see Lessons learned: A history of migrant education in Victorian government schools 1960-2006.