Summary

On 8 June, the second in VicTESOL’s popular adult sector EAL Framework 101 series was held. 328 attendees from all across Australia were able to learn from a range of presenters experienced in designing programs using Victoria’s EAL Framework curriculum.

Cathy Gill from Carringbush Adult Education presented on how their organisation plans and delivers programs to beginners. This was followed by Lyudmila Theodore from Holmesglen TAFE who spoke about Cert I and II levels and finally Frances La Riccia from Melbourne Polytechnic shared their delivery plan for a Cert III level program.

Attendees were very engaged with the speakers with lots of great questions that led to engaging discussion. Many thanks to the presenters who were so willing and open to share their experience and expertise with attendees. The final session in this series will focus on assessment…stay tuned for more details!

Recording

Summary

The VicTESOL professional learning event ‘Supporting young people from a refugee background in the education system’ offered participants valuable insights into working with refugee-background students.  Allison Greene and Madeleine Giummarra from Foundation House (Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture and Trauma) explored identifying and responding to trauma reactions and trauma disclosures with students, and how supports connected to the recovery goals can benefit children and young people.  Simone Cassidy and Bojana Popovic from Refugee Minor Program (Dep. of Families, Fairness & Housing) built on this understanding of the refugee experience by walking the audience through a case study, unpacking approaches and strategies that can support and empower young people within the education system.  Bojana and Simone guided the group in focussing on how we as educational professionals can work with students as they navigate educational pathways.  Allison and Madeleine also addressed the important and often under emphasised topic of self care.  They equipped the audience with a picture of what it can look like to become over or under involved within this area of work and how we can aim to achieve a balance in our work with students.  This event provided the audience with ideas that they could implement in their schools immediately, thoughts and considerations for future planning, and also ideas about how educational professionals can balance their involvement and be conscious of self care and caring for colleagues within our work.  VicTESOL would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to Allison, Madeleine, Simone and Bojana for providing the opportunity for us to reflect on this aspect of our work within education.

Recording

Presentations

Foundation House

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Resources

Foundation House

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Refugee Minor Program

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Dr Julie Choi and Ms Kailin Liu presented a session on 24 March entitled: Enacting translation and translanguaging collaboratively between teachers and learners for knowledge building. In this session they prompted us to consider translation and translanguaging as a collaboration and explained that this can take place on a number of levels. Talking about it in relation to learning, we were shown texts in which there were examples of a number of translation strategies used by learners. One was a reading text, where students had not only written words they had translated in the margins, but had also made notes about their translations of larger concepts that appeared within the texts. They also showed us a student notebook explaining that these kinds of texts are intricate spaces where we can observe students and the ways they use translation. They demonstrated that translation isn’t simply a case of converting a word or phrase from Language Code A to Language Code B but is a more complex process involving moving back and forth between languages to find the best fit for meaning. As I understood, this is where translation engages with translanguaging whereby learners and other plurilinguals bring to the fore their knowledge of all languages, or their combined language repertoire, in order to make meaning.

The presenters emphasised the value of collaborative dialogue in which speakers “[engage] in problem solving and knowledge building” (Swain, 2000) involving negotiation of meaning and knowledge building. They then shared with us their own experiences of collaborative dialogue that they themselves had engaged in as part of exploring a language translation issue related to the word “besides”  – a vocabulary item in English often inappropriately used by students in their writing.

The session was highly engaging and informative and offered many practical ideas for teachers for working collaboratively with language learners to explore and develop skills in translation and translanguaging. Thank you Julie and Kailin!

 

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On Wednesday 9 March, 373 EAL practitioners from the adult sector participated in a webinar hosted by VicTESOL. Attendees zoomed in from all states of Australia, from both regional and metropolitan regions. Recent changes to the Adult Migrant English Program has lead to the Victorian EAL Framework curriculum being mandated for use. VicTESOL decided to develop this webinar as a “101” introduction to the curriculum for those new to it.

The Victorian Curriculum Maintenance Manager responsible for the EAL Framework, Nadia Casarotto,  presented a thorough overview of the curriculum, its rationale and structure. A back-to-basics explanation of Units of Competency was presented by VicTESOL Vice President Angela Di Sciascio who highlighted some of the particular features that appear in Units from the curriculum.

This was then followed by a dynamic panel discussion, with panel members drawn from a range of providers across Victoria: regional and metro, large and small, TAFE and ACE. The panel members shared their experiences of designing programs using the Framework in a spirit of openness that was greatly appreciated by attendees. There was lots of chatter in the chat room and a broad range of questions asked.

Stay tuned for further PL events on the Victorian EAL Framework Curriculum!

VicTESOL will be running a webinar for teachers new to the Victorian EAL Framework curriculum for Adult TESOL in Week 6 of Term 1, 2022. Stay tuned for more details. We look forward to seeing you there.

 

Edwin Creely, Katrina Tour, Peter Waterhouse & Elizabeth Keenan Thursday 4 November, 4-5:30pm, online  https://youtu.be/PTUJFmc2CWA During the session participants contributed to these documents in their discussions. Flipped Learning : https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iINgmm2ub4pkS-nG_OsXAYP0H9r_L0GUUgvhuAirBtg/edit?usp=sharing Hybrid Learning: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KYkyRh08-sxbCm9e9L6ljjBzRPmaixn-4Uum2mUdR1Y/edit?usp=sharing The script used by Elizabeth Keenan in the Carringbush part of the presentation is available here: The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have…

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Tuesday 19 October, 4:00-5:30pm (AEST) Online Webinar The arrival of the pandemic saw a fast and impressive pivot to remote learning for all sectors of EAL. But as we move our way forward into a new normal, has the pandemic led to a re-imagining of the future of adult EAL delivery? In this event, a range of adult…

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Thursday 3 June, 2021, 4-5pm

Online Event – Presentation and Conversation Rooms

This was an opportunity for teachers who are at a similar stage of their careers to share practice with teachers from other schools and institutions. A big part of this session was EAL resource sharing with Jennifer Peck from the Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre (LMERC) and and Eileen Wan (Blackburn English Language School). They presented on LMERC’s online and physical resources. This session was for pre-service teachers and early-career teachers (0-2 years) of EAL students, and teachers who are new to teaching EAL students.

Click here to access LMERC’s website.

 

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Some suggested resource links from participants in this session included:

Wednesday 5 May, 3:45-4:45pm

Online Event 

Once upon a time, a good learner was one who could just recall and repeat knowledge. However, in contemporary education we expect learners to do so much more – to locate, evaluate, articulate and create information individually or collaboratively. Reflecting this, Inquiry-based Learning (IBL) has become a popular pedagogical approach in Australian schools. Yet IBL presents unique challenges for EAL/D learners due to the complex language demands involved in problem solving and higher order thinking, as well as those required to work cooperatively with others. This workshop explored how to help EAL students participate and engage in IBL through effective planning and targeted teaching strategies that scaffold understanding, organisation and expression of ideas.

Following 14 years as a NAATI accredited translator then tertiary Spanish lecturer, April Edwards went on to gain a Master of Teaching as an EAL/D and English secondary teacher. She later took on roles as an EAL Coordinator, EAL specialist mentor to English teachers and Teaching and Learning lead teacher. She is currently training undergraduate and postgraduate pre-service teachers in the School of Education at La Trobe University as well as having worked as an EAL consultant to both the DET and the VCAA. April thrives on sharing her knowledge about 1st and 2nd language acquisition with colleagues and students alike. She does so in the belief that when Culturally and Linguistically Diverse students are supported to use their whole linguistic and cultural repertoire they can participate fully in any classroom setting.

Michelle Andrews is a Primary EAL specialist, currently coordinating the EAL program at Preston North East Primary School. Before moving to the mainstream in 2017, she worked for many years in the New Arrivals Program at Blackburn ELS, taking on a variety of roles including student wellbeing coordinator and Primary curriculum leader. She is passionate about supporting English Language learners to engage, learn and thrive in Australian schools.


Click here to access the resources used in the group activity.


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