Planning EAL/D support

English as an additional language or dialect can vary between schools, depending on the numbers of EAL/D students, their English language learning needs, their distribution in different classes and years and the number of specialist EAL/D teachers in the school.

EAL/D education should operate as an integral part of the whole school curriculum, with EAL/D teachers working in cooperation with class teachers and other specialist teachers to support EAL/D students. All teachers are responsible for establishing a class environment that promotes differentiated learning and values cultural and linguistic diversity.

In most schools, the key to effective EAL/D education lies in the careful placement of EAL/D students in appropriate classes. In general, it is preferable to place EAL/D students in classes with their age appropriate cohort, even when students have little or no English language skills or prior schooling.

As the EAL/D teacher is a limited resource, and is usually not able to provide direct support to every EAL/D student, it is important that support is planned and timetabled to enable the EAL/D teacher to provide effective instruction to as many students as possible, taking into account their relative need for support.

The English as an additional language or dialect – Advice for schools (PDF 627KB) provides guidance for the successful operation and management of EAL/D programs in government primary schools, high schools, Intensive English Centres and the Intensive English high school.

The EAL/D School Evaluation Framework (PDF 122 KB) is a matrix tool to support ongoing school-wide improvement of practices and processes to support EAL/D students. The framework gives EAL/D teachers, and their schools, a tool that can support them to identify the areas of EAL/D support that are operating well in the school and the areas that need strengthening. Schools consider each area and identify a level of operation. Once these areas are identified, schools can use the framework to plan a pathway through the levels.

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