EAL/D literacy and numeracy

Who are EAL/D learners?

In NSW Public Schools, more than one third of students come from a Language Background Other Than English (LBOTE). This means that a language other than English is spoken at home. The student, one or both of their parents, or another primary caregiver may use the language. EAL/D learners are a subset of LBOTE students. Around one quarter of all students are learning English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D). These students require additional support to access the curriculum and develop the academic English language proficiency required for success at school. EAL/D learners include Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students who speak Aboriginal English or an Aboriginal language at home, students who were born in Australia or come from overseas as migrants, international students and students from refugee backgrounds. EAL/D learners may begin school in Australia at any age.

Literacy and numeracy for EAL/D students

Literacy and numeracy are important because they form the basis of our learning. They are required to learn other skills, as well as for participation in everyday life. For EAL/D students, extra support is usually needed to develop literacy and numeracy skills in English as this is not their first language. Cultural differences, disruption to schooling and other factors can also influence the development of a student’s literacy and numeracy development.

On this page you will find resources and information to support EAL/D students and students from refugee backgrounds particularly with the development of their literacy and numeracy skills. Further information on EAL/D students and resources to support them can be found at the Department’s Multicultural education English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) webpage.

EAL/D resources

The following webpages provide additional resources relating to:

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