Planning for teaching

Overview of planning differentiated support for EAL/D students including curriculum and lesson adjustment.

Planning differentiated support

Teachers identify students who are learning English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) by assessing:

  • what students bring to learning
  • their language and literacy skills in English.

Curriculum outcomes, key concepts, learning intentions and learning and assessment tasks must be unpacked to identify language and cultural demands in relation to the learner group. Teachers should plan differentiated support which allows access to learning and appropriate assessment of learning.

Pedagogical practices should include explicit teaching and teaching in context. Lesson design should include front loading, field building, planned and contingent scaffolding of learning, opportunities for practice and revision, "message abundance" and talk around the task. The language required should be taught explicitly with opportunities for guided practice.

EAL/D support is most effective where EAL/D specialist and classroom teachers are able to work together. This may be done through collaborative or team teaching programs. Or, alternatively, through the joint development of programs that provide explicit language learning support in the context of the curriculum.

Explore the teacher guides above to learn more about effective EAL/D pedagogy and how to implement these practices in the classroom.

Supporting EAL/D learners to write

The department’s preferred model of writing, Sedita’s Writing Rope, explores the aspects which weave together in skilled writing. As EAL/D learners are learning Standard Australian English while learning to write, they need further support to develop expertise in writing. The EAL/D elaborations on the writing rope allows teachers to consider the proficiencies EAL/D learners require to become skilled writers.

EAL/D elaborations on the writing rope.

[upbeat music]

Narrator: The writing rope. Sedita's metaphor of the writing rope describes the complexity of skilled writing in which five skills weave together. For a skilled writer, transcription skills become increasingly automatic, requiring less and less cognitive attention, while the compositional skills become increasingly strategic as the writer crafts the text according to audience, context, and purpose.

Learning to write. Becoming a skilled writer takes time. It draws on proficiency in Standard Australian English, including a wide and deep vocabulary appropriate to audience, context and purpose, knowledge of texts, their structures and features, as well as topic knowledge. Considerations for EAL/D students. How might learning to write look for a student who is learning English as an additional language or dialect? EAL/D learners can enrol in school in any stage of schooling at any age, and can be at any phase of the EAL/D learning progression. EAL/D learners develop English language proficiency across the four language modes of speaking, listening, reading, and writing at different rates influenced by factors including literacy in home language, level of prior schooling, and degree of explicit English language teaching in the classroom.

Learning to write in English. Some EAL/D learners will have learnt to write in their home language and can use this knowledge when writing in English. However, writing practices and purposes may differ across cultures and languages, and students may need to develop understandings about the social purposes of writing, text structures and features, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary knowledge, as well as transcription skills and page orientation in English. Students who have had limited exposure to writing will need to develop print concepts and the relationship between spoken and written language while developing their English language vocabulary and all other skills associated with writing. For EAL/D learners from cultural backgrounds or communities with strong oral traditions and practices, particularly high school-age students with limited familiarity with print, considerable cognitive load is expended in transcription, resulting in slower writing rates.

Talking to write. A talk-rich classroom in which students discuss ideas and experiment with English language use will build topic knowledge as well as the language features and vocabulary students need to write. All ideas and vocabulary should be transcribed by the teacher and made available when the students write, along with writing scaffolds to help reduce the cognitive load of composition. Conclusion. Writing is fundamental to school success and is both a way to learn and to demonstrate what has been learnt. Knowing the extra support EAL/D learners require to become skilled writers will assist them achieve equitable educational outcomes.

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  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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