Meet the Assessors Online Jenna Gomes and Michael E Daniel 2 March 2023 from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm Summary In this online event, Assistant Chief Assessors Jenna Gomes and…

This content is available for VicTESOL members.
Log In or Become a Member

EAL Writing Strategies in a Primary Setting
Prachi Patkar and Selva Jayaram

22 February 2023 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm


Prachi Patkar and Selve Jayaram shared a wealth of knowledge and insight into strategies that can be implemented within the learning environment to support the language development of EAL/D learners. This professional learning session focussed on EAL writing strategies in a primary setting. Prachi and Selve presented a range of effective EAL strategies to encourage and develop expression, understanding and analysis within language learning. The presenters emphasised the value and importance of investing in the development of writing skills to enrich and enhance a learner’s ability to engage with language deeply and effectively within the classroom. A balance of both theoretical understanding and practical strategies equipped the audience with a rich understanding of approaches to the teaching and learning process to support primary EAL/D learners to succeed and progress with their writing and to meet the linguistic demands of their classroom.



Prachi Presentation

Download (PDF, 1.76MB)

Selva Presentation

Download (PDF, 2.09MB)

The new VCE English and EAL study design
Kellie Heintz

December 6 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm


Kellie Heintz, as the EAL Curriculum Manager of the VCAA, presented a clear and insightful presentation on the flexibility of Units 1 and 2, building on earlier presentations around the new English/EAL Study Design. She offered a specific focus on Unit 1, Outcome 1 – Personal response – and how this outcome allows students to explore identity and the self in relation to the text of study through inferences they make around key ideas or events. For Unit 1, Outcome 2 – Crafting Texts she reminded us of the role of the mentor texts to introduce ideas. She provided multiple examples of mentor texts and ideas around the types of written texts students can create. Of note, she drew our attention back to the role of VCE teachers as having significant agency in Units 1 & 2 – that we can make decisions around offering a broad range of assessment opportunities that scaffold EAL students whilst developing their voice through writing, speaking and listening.

The presentation revealed the significant work Kellie and the VCAA have invested in listening to EAL students and teachers in the new design of these outcomes. A wonderfully clear and insightful session that supported planning for both VCE English and EAL teachers.



Download (PDF, 3.1MB)

The following resources may be of assistance in your planning

The VCAA EAL website
Teaching and Learning
On Demand Videos

2022 VicTESOL Symposium
LWA and LMERC at the 2022 Symposium

Alfredo Landeros and Ruth Woolven


LWA were pleased to share a table with LMERC (Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre) at the VicTESOL Symposium on Friday 11th November 2022. It was great to showcase with LMERC resources that related to second language acquisition and language teaching methodology for all levels, from early years to adults.

The AMEP 3 new resources: the English Ready Booklets, AMEPOnline, and the Digital Literacies Framework, Guide, and companion Teaching Resources were of great interest to symposium participants and the participants are looking forward to their publication on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website (Adult Migrant English Program page).

Languages & Multicultural Education Resource Centre (LMERC)

The Symposium provided me with a wonderful opportunity to meet so many EAL educators and the sessions were very informative. Being new to LMERC, I enjoyed chatting about what we provide and what is important to you. We appreciate any suggestions/recommendations for resources.

LMERC is a specialist resource centre for educators across all sectors with both digital and physical resources to support EAL teaching and learning. This includes academic and practical teacher resources; culturally inclusive fiction and non-fiction; games and storytelling kits and realia (puppets, masks, clothes and toys).

We regularly provide bi-lingual dictionaries and picture books, readers and other resources to support your students in schools across Victoria. If you need any resources, you can visit us in Carlton, email for suggestions or look through our catalogue and request items. We have a growing collection of ebooks and audio books that you can access through the catalogue.

We send a newsletter once a term with information about our new resources, professional learning opportunities and relevant articles. Please email if you would like to receive the newsletter.

Telephone: (03) 9349 1418
Opening hours: weekdays 9am-5pm, including school holidays

How to Join LMERC and select Register in the top right-hand corner

How to get to LMERC

2022 VicTESOL Symposium
Panel of Experts: The ACTA EAL/D Roadmap

Margaret Corrigan (Carringbush Adult Education)

Dr Michael Michell (University of New South Wales), Mark Melican (Blackburn English Language School), Assoc. Prof. Rod Neilsen (Deakin University)


Summary and Resources to come


Recording to come

2022 VicTESOL Symposium
Unpacking of Keynote and panel sessions

Facilitated by various VicTESOL Committee Members


Following the keynote video presentation and panel discussion, symposium participants broke into four groups to unpack the ideas and concepts presented. This acted a teacher-sharing and networking session, facilitated by VicTESOL committee members, where participants worked in small, multi-sectorial groups to discuss their learnings and how this applied to their context.

Groups captured their discussion using a shared Padlet page, guided by the following questions:
1) What’s the role of EAL teachers in your setting?
2) What is specific to your sector and what do you share with other sectors?
3) Was there anything that surprised you about what is happening in other sectors?
4) How can knowledge about other sectors
• help us support students who are transitioning to or from our sector?
• inspire us?
• inform our broad knowledge of TESOL?
• understand ourselves and our own sector?

After the Padlet activity, the small groups then reported back to the facilitator and larger group, which enabled a rich discussion that drew on a wealth of experience and knowledge. It was a valuable opportunity to explore and celebrate the similarities and differences across early childhood, primary, secondary and adult sectors, within local, state, national and international contexts. The aim is that this session will lead to the development of a shared resource, which will be published on the VicTESOL website. VicTESOL extends their gratitude to the participants for sharing their expertise and experience and their contributions to this resource.


2022 VicTESOL Symposium
Panel of Experts: Finding the Common Ground

Assoc. Prof. Russell Cross (Melbourne Graduate School of Education)

Rebecca Paic (Catholic Education Commission Victoria), Angela DiSciascio (Gordon Institute of TAFE), Mairead Hannan (Collingwood English Language School), Peter James (Richmond West Primary)

Prof. Ben Rampton (Kings College London), Dr Mel Cooke (Kings College London)


The symposium kicked off with an engaging panel discussion facilitated by Assoc Prof Russel Cross in response to the keynote presentation by Prof Ben Rampton and Dr Mel Cooke. Panel members from the primary, secondary, Catholic and adult sectors shared their insights on the role of EAL teachers in their setting, how much EAL teachers have in common across settings, how policy and curriculum shape the work of EAL teachers and what the important aspects are of an EAL teachers’ role in different settings. The discussion illuminated a shared passion across all sectors for the holistic needs of EAL learners and the unique and privileged role that EAL teachers play in the lives of learners that goes far beyond curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. The panel ended with thematic conclusions from Ben and Mel, who had watched the discussion via zoom from the UK.






2022 VicTESOL Symposium
Learning Through Languages: Plurilingual Pedagogy in the English Classroom

Michelle Andrews (Preston North East Primary school), Hien Webb (Collingwood English Language School), and Assoc. Prof. Marianne Turner (Monash University)


Summary to come



Download (PDF, 2.21MB)

2022 VicTESOL Symposium
Impacts of Traumatic Refugee Experiences on Learning and Behaviour

Allison Green and Matt Roger (Foundation House)


In their session “Impacts of Trauma on Learning and Behaviour”, Allison Greene and Matt Roger from Foundation House presented insight into the practical strategies and theories to support students impacted by refugee experiences. Allison and Matt began by providing some of the theory around refugee trauma and then invited participants to investigate 2 fictional case studies of students from refugee backgrounds. In small groups, teachers discussed some of the concerns that were evident relating to the students’ learning, engagement and behaviour and then shared some possible strategies to support them in their transition to Australian schooling.
The provision of knowledge and practical examples provided by Allison and Matt, along with the reflective discussion, assisted educators to develop their trauma informed lens. The session allowed for participants to explore connections between trauma reactions and supportive responses, and consider how our various educational settings can be a restorative space for students and families from refugee backgrounds. Participants in the session were given some excellent resources to take away which included further strategies and support for teachers when dealing with students’ trauma reactions and disclosures. For further information, resources and professional learning educators can visit the Foundation House website at

Presentation and other Resources

Download (PDF, 1.98MB)

Download (PDF, 1.6MB)

Download (PDF, 1.81MB)

2022 VicTESOL Symposium
Creativity and collaboration: Teachers’ approaches to integrating oral skills in beginner-level adult EAL classrooms

Skye Playsted (University of Queensland)


Syke Playstead (University of Queensland) offered a highly insightful session into new ways for EAL teachers to consider the role of pronunciation in their EAL students’ lives.
Having contextualised her PhD study, she argued for an understanding of the purposes of pronunciation from a material economic, cultural discursive and socio-political perspective. She then linked pronunciation to the idea of what it means to live a good life.
In the workshop, participants then discussed in small groups how they perceived these ideas and many came up with new ideas about how our students’ social, family and working lives shape the development and needs of pronunciation – that the relevance of pronunciation may relate to notions of identity and that an accent may be more or less acceptable in certain contexts. By making students aware of how differing social contexts shape their accent , identity and language development was one strategy that arose from the conversation.
A very thought provoking session for all in an area that is understudied but that is so important to support and develop in our students.


Download (PDF, 6.41MB)