Professional learning

A range of professional learning opportunities are available to support teachers in meeting the needs of EAL/D including newly arrived and refugee students.

Select your professional learning pathway

The EAL/D professional pathways for teachers guide (PDF 103 KB) is for teachers of EAL/D learners. It asks reflective questions about your knowledge of EAL/D resources and pedagogy to guide you to select from 3 professional learning pathways.

Facilitator led professional learning

This course assists teachers newly appointed to EAL/D positions to identify EAL/D learners, organise effective EAL/D support, become familiar with EAL/D pedagogy and tools, and gain awareness about their roles and responsibilities in schools. Enrol at MyPL.

Suitable for all teachers, this offers an understanding of the needs of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Delivered as 6 x 2 hour modules, it helps teachers identify the language and cultural demands in their subject areas. Enrol at MyPL. Courses can only be delivered by a trained facilitator.

Schools develop an inquiry-based project from an evaluation of their school practices using the EAL/D school evaluation framework tool. They gather evidence and data to plan and implement their project to improve EAL/D teaching and learning or whole school EAL/D practices. Visit EAL/D Education: developing evidence-based whole school strategies to view schools who have successfully completed the course.

EAL/D connect network meetings are professional learning networks organised by EAL/D teachers and EAL/D mentors.

The meetings are locally held across NSW once a term or semester to build professional links across schools and share teaching ideas and resources.

Contact the EAL/D Education Advisor 7-12 for more details on

Saturday seminars for experienced and qualified EAL/D teachers who have been teaching in an EAL/D position in a primary, secondary or intensive English program.

Each year the Department of Education, in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney, presents three TESOL Seminars.

Teachers of Certificate in Spoken and Written English in intensive English sites must complete this two day training course. It is conducted once a year in collaboration with the Adult Migrant English Service. EAL/D teachers in Intensive English Centres or high school with students who have been in Australia less than 5 years are eligible for this training after 2 years of experience in Australian schools.

These courses are conducted once a year.

For additional information, please contact the Intensive English Program Advisor on 0407 025 086.

S.T.A.R.S. in Schools: supporting students from refugee backgrounds is a 5 hour NESA accredited professional learning course which supports schools in the successful resettlement of students from refugee backgrounds. Based on the STARS framework (Safety, Trust, Awareness, Responsibility and Skills), this professional learning will assist school staff in responding with sensitivity and awareness to provide effective teaching, learning and wellbeing strategies.

Teaching students from a refugee background is a 20 hour NESA accredited professional learning program that helps classroom teachers K-12 develop the skills and knowledge to effectively teach refugee students in mainstream classrooms. It also outlines specialist personnel, external agencies, training programs and resources available to support refugee students. Trained facilitators can assist in delivering training for schools.

Self access and recorded professional learning

This course examines the English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) Learning Progression. It has been developed for classroom teachers and EAL/D specialist teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of the EAL/D Learning Progression.

The course can be completed online as self-paced modules supported by a supervisor or delivered by an EAL/D facilitator. Completing the course provides 5 hours of registered training.

Schools are responsible for scheduling the course. Information on how to schedule the course on MyPL is available on page 3 of the Supervisors Booklet.

Access the online course from the link below:

Using the EAL/D Learning Progression

This course is a 3 hour NESA accredited online professional development course designed to develop key knowledge and skills to successfully engage students who are learning English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D). At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • explain key terminology related to EAL/D education
  • identify key documents used to support, plan and assess EAL/D learners
  • explain key EAL/D pedagogy and practices
  • explain the diversity and needs of EAL/D learners including those who are newly arrived and/or from refugee backgrounds
  • explain reporting and data collection requirements for EAL/D learners.

MyPL: Identifying and supporting EAL/D learners (AC00557)

The Classrooms of Possibility resource has been developed by academics from UTS in collaboration with the NSW Department of Education. The site provides professional learning resources based on the research 'Classrooms of Possibility: Working with students from refugee backgrounds in mainstream classes'. These resources can support primary and high school teachers who are working in mainstream classes with recently arrived EAL/D students, including those from refugee backgrounds. A series of videos demonstrate different elements of EAL/D pedagogy in the classroom with accompanying discussion questions, suggestions for professional learning activities and further professional readings. This is a staff only resource and can only be accessed using the login.

On demand professional learning

The EAL/D Effective school practices report (CESE) identified the teaching, leadership and school organisational practices that were characteristic of schools which produced sustainable improvements in EAL/D student learning. Based on the research, five effective practices were identified for successful EAL/D education in schools. These five practices provide the framework for the EAL/D effective school practices school resource, a practical guide where each practice is described in detail, with suggested strategies and resources to support schools.

This session will introduce participants to the EAL/D Effective School practices report and the school resource and highlight ways that schools can use this advice in school planning.


This session provides information for teachers about school obligations when reporting to parents of EAL/D students. The session outlines the policy requirements and explores best practice around assessing and reporting progress in English language proficiency of English language learners.


Adobe connect recording 2020

Provides teachers with an introduction to the EAL/D learning progression tool and how to use it to assess EAL/D students’ English language proficiency.


Examines the 2021 School Excellence in Action resource with a focus for students learning EAL/D.


Provides information for teachers to support the completion of the 2021 EAL/D Survey.


Deadly Dialects is a professional learning program designed to build the capacity of teachers and staff P-2 in the quality teaching and learning of Aboriginal students in areas of additional language and literacy. Topics include understanding Aboriginal English, developing proficiency in Standard Australian English (SAE) and developing culturally responsive teaching and learning through oral language and reading in the early years of school.


This recorded session will unpack the IEP CF allowing participants to see the relationship between the ESL Scales and the IEP CF and the components of the resource at each of the levels.


This recorded session will show participants how to use the IEP CF when teaching intensive English in KLA subjects.


This session provides an overview of the New Arrivals Program (NAP). It details the eligibility requirements and explains the process of identifying eligible students and applying for NAP funding.


The Aboriginal EAL/D Hub is an online professional development course for educators. It was developed collaboratively by experts from across Australia.

It is about providing high-quality education to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and in particular, those students who have first languages other than Standard Australian English and are learning Standard Australian English as an additional language or dialect.

The EAL/D Hub supports teachers to build their knowledge and capabilities in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and the Capability Framework – Teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander EAL/D learners.


A guide for classroom, subject and EAL/D specialist teachers to identify and meet the needs of K-12 EAL/D students Learning from Home in 2020.


The 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.


  • Teaching and learning
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