English as an additional language or dialect education

Learning English is essential for success at school and for further education, training and employment for students who speak a language other than English as their first language.

Educating students with English as an additional language or dialect aims to develop their English language competence and improve their learning outcomes throughout the curriculum to a level where they can fully participate in schooling and independently pursue further education and training.

EAL/D education is provided in primary schools, high schools, Intensive English Centres (IECs) and the Intensive English high school (IEHS). In these schools, specialist teachers deliver EAL/D education in a variety of ways to meet the diverse needs of EAL/D students at different stages of learning English. They include intensive and post-intensive English language support to both newly arrived and continuing EAL/D students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

For more information see Supporting EAL/D students in schools.

EAL/D learners

Based on ACARA EAL/D Teacher Resource, EAL/D learners are students:

  • whose first language is a language or dialect other than standard Australian English
  • who require additional support to assist them to develop English language proficiency
  • with a diverse range of backgrounds and English language learning needs
  • who enter school with varying levels of education
  • born in Australia or have recently arrived as permanent or temporary migrants, refugees or international students
  • with the same amount of formal schooling in their home country as their class peers while others have had severely disrupted or no schooling due to war or civil disorder. Some have literacy skills in their first language while others do not.

Funding for schools

School funding to support students learning English as an additional language is provided through the Equity loading for English language proficiency. It is also provided through the targeted individual student funding component of the Resource Allocation Model (RAM) for EAL/D New Arrivals and for students from refugee backgrounds.

For more information visit the School Funding English language proficiency webpage.

Supporting documents

For information on planning and implementing EAL/D education in schools see:

EAL/D NSW statewide staffroom

The EAL/D NSW statewide staffroom is a trusted, online space for teachers of EAL/D students to connect, share ideas, ask questions, access resources and participate in professional learning. Join our staffroom today.

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