Summary

ACTA has been undertaking a series of briefings on the release of the ACTA National Roadmap for EAL/D Education in Schools. ACTA has been concerned for some years at the erosion of specialist English language provision for over 600,000 Indigenous, migrant and refugee students in Australian schools. This erosion is due to Commonwealth devolving all responsibility for EAL/D education to State and Territory governments and these jurisdictions’ school autonomy policies diverting earmarked (Gonski) funding away from EAL/D learner support though flexible, global school budgets.

The Roadmap aims to ‘build back better’ English language and literacy provision for these students. It identifies key national policy problems and proposes solutions through twelve key actions aligned to the directions and initiatives of the National Schools Reform Agreement.

As Australia emerges from the pandemic and re-opens to the world, national leadership is needed to restore our former leading role and rebuild effective English language and literacy provision so that Australia’s English language learners, including its Indigenous learners, can participate successfully in school education and contribute to a cohesive and prosperous multicultural society.

At the online event for academics and researchers working in the field on the 16th of June, leading researchers in the field of TESOL, including Professor Constant Leung from Kings College, discussed the new ACTA National Roadmap for EAL/D Education in Schools.

At the online event for ACTA members on Monday June 20th, Dr Michael Michell encouraged State and Territory associations to contact political parties, representatives and Commonwealth and State and Territory Education Ministers to commit to implementing Roadmap actions.

At the online event for Professional Associations and Key Organisations in the EAL/D space on Monday 18th July, an extremely productive discussion was held with many suggestions for further actions being made.

Other briefings on the Roadmap have been presented to the Victorian and Queensland Council of Deans of Education, and other relevant parties.

Recordings

16 June 2022 – Academics and Researchers

20 June 2022 – ACTA Members

18 July 2022 -Professional Associations and Key Organisations in the EAL/D space

Documents

The Roadmap

Download (PDF, 896KB)

Media Release

Download (PDF, 169KB)

Presentation PDF: Knowing who you are: Heritage language, identity and safe space in a bilingual kindergarten, Dr Kerry Taylor-Leech and Dr Eseta Tualaulelei 

Download (PDF, 1.24MB)

Languages in Early Childhood Education: Launch of special TESOL in Context edition

May 5 from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Virtual Event

Editors: Dr Yvette Slaughter, Dr Anne Keary, Dr Gillian Pennington, Dr Gary Bonar

The special early childhood edition of TESOL in Context was launched via a webinair on Thursday May 5th. The launch highlighted the wide range of work being undertaken into pedagogical and policy practices that see multilingualism (including home languages, English as an additional language and additional languages) as lived and dynamic.

An outline was given of the work of Prof Shelley Stagg Peterson, Yvette Manitowabi, and Jacinta Manitowabi who in their paper discuss The Niichii Project: Revitalizing Indigenous Language in Northern Canada.

Assoc Prof Caroline Cohrssen on behalf of the research team including herself, Dr Yvette Slaughter and Dr Edith Nicolas presented on Leveraging Languages for Learning: Incorporating Plurilingual Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education and Care. Assoc Prof Jane Page and Assoc Prof Janet Scull presented on behalf of the project team on their study into Mothers as First Teachers: Exploring the Features of Mother child Interactions That Support Young Aboriginal Children’s Multilingual Learning at Playgroup. The final presentation was about Knowing Who You Are: Heritage Language, Identity and Safe Space in a Bilingual Kindergarten which was presented by Dr Kerry Taylor-Leech and  Dr Eseta Tualaulelei.

The presentations raised key questions about how to grow strong social and cultural identities of children. The importance of children participating in early childhood programs that engage with the rich repertoires of languages of families and communities was a key take away message from this sharing of research in this emerging field.

A PRESENTATION OF ONLINE EDUCATION RESOURCES FOR ALL STUDENTS OF ALL
AGES & BACKGROUNDS

Wed 10th June, 4.30pm AEST

TasTESOL has organised a free presentation by the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra showcasing their fabulous online educational resources.  Using Zoom, they will look at 4-5 pictures related to the theme of multiculturalism and identity and discuss how they could be used in class (for all ages).

The presentation comes highly recommended by our colleagues in ATESOL, ACT:
“The brilliant thing about the NPG is that the program can be designed in collaboration with their staff. There could be a focus on different themes, e.g. Indigenous Australians and their stories, women, Tasmanians, people in/from remote places, musicians, Australian history, democracy and more!”

PLEASE RSVP  TO contact.tastesol [at] gmail.com AND THE LINK WILL BE FORWARDED TO YOU LATER.

Put the date on your calendar now!