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 July 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. Other briefings on the Roadmap have been presented to the Victorian and Queensland Council of Deans of Education, and interest groups (forthcoming).

Recordings

16 June 2022 – Academics and Researchers

20 June 2022 – ACTA Members

Documents

The Roadmap

Download (PDF, 896KB)

Media Release

Download (PDF, 169KB)

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

Download (PDF, 559KB)

Resources

Foundation House

Download (PDF, 400KB)

Download (PDF, 3.53MB)

Download (PDF, 1.6MB)

Download (PDF, 356KB)

Refugee Minor Program

Download (PDF, 146KB)

Summary In this informative and practical session, Rebekah Jones (Primary Curriculum Leader) and Barbara Dahlsen (Primary Learning Specialist) from Blackburn English Language School walked participants through a range of activities that they use to assess the language level of newly arrived students. They explained how the tasks are administered and differentiated according to student responses,…

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

On Thursday 19 May, Gurmeet Kaur, the Education Programs Producer at Immigration Museum, shared how the museum’s resources can be best used to engage EAL learners from primary to adult. Gurmeet introduced participants to a range of fantastic resources, both digital and at the museum, including migration stories, cultural stories, objects, timelines and personal stories investigating a myriad of Australian identities. Elsa Brissenden from Bethal Primary School detailed her own experience of taking primary new arrivals students to the museum and how this enhanced a unit of work on identity. Many of the resources highlighted are interactive and enable a high level of engagement. They also provide learners with an opportunity to connect their own story with similar stories of migration to Australia. Participants looked at a range of digital resources and discussed the rich learning opportunities for exploring culture and identity with EAL learners that these resources provide.

Presentation

Download (PDF, 1.44MB)

Don’t forget that teachers are eligible for membership with Museums Victoria.  This is a free online subscription service for teachers in Victorian schools and education institutions, as well as homeschool teachers designed to give you easy access to all Museum Victoria museums and education services in order to help you plan school group excursions to our venues.

For more information, go to the Museums Victoria website here.

Download (PDF, 4.07MB)

Download (PDF, 29.53MB)

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!

https://youtu.be/UJ1upapjqXM Thursday November 18, 4-5pm Online Panel Discussion What does effective assessment look like? How do we give feedback that shows students their strengths and assists them to improve? How is assessment practice changing to meet current research? In this session, we looked at the big and small questions about assessment and reporting as it…

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

VicTESOL, the state association for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) & Multicultural Education, held our annual Symposium on Tuesday 31 August. This was live online event from 4-5:30pm AEST.  For this event, we had a panel of speakers, experts in TESOL and multicultural education and related fields who discussed what they see as implications of the COVID pandemic for the field of teaching English as an Additional Language (EAL) in Victoria and Australia.

They discussed what TESOL might look like in the next few years and in the longer term as a result of what we are currently experiencing. With the pausing and slowing of some programs during the pandemic, is there a chance that TESOL and other programs may change?  Is there a chance that while there are no new arrivals that existing programs and services will be affected, not only in the short term, but also in the longer term? How might this look? What might be some of the advantages of possible changes? What might be some less positive consequences of change during and post COVID? What can we do to prepare ourselves for ensuring we maintain and build on the quality of EAL and associated learning and support that has been established over many, many years?

You can view the recording of the event here:

Panelists:

Jessica Bishop, Migrant Information Centre (Eastern Melbourne)

Margaret Corrigan, CEO of Carringbush Adult Education and President of the Australian Council of TESOL associations

Dr Susan Creagh, Honorary Senior Lecturer, School of Education, The University of Queensland

Associate Professor Russell Cross, Language and Literacy Education, Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Carmel Guerra, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Multicultural Youth

Mark Melican, Principal of Blackburn English Language School

Matt Rodger, Senior Schools Support Officer – RESP Education & Early Years Program Practice & Sector Development, The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture

Chermaine Thomas, Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools Ltd (MACS)

The panel was chaired by Dr Shem Macdonald, VicTESOL President and Lecturer at La Trobe University.

To view the collated comments of participants from the registration process, see below. Participants were asked to identify one positive and one negative coming out of their experience of working in the TESOL field during the pandemic. .

Download (PDF, 122KB)

During the session there was great engagement in the chat and Q&A. We have collated and edited the responses which can be viewed here:

Download (DOCX, 38KB)

The recent issue of TESOL in Context contains an editorial related to the topic covered in today’s session. It is referred to within the symposium event.

Teaching and learning English in the age of COVID-19: Reflecting on the state of TESOL in a changed world

To access this, click here:

https://ojs.deakin.edu.au/index.php/tesol/article/view/1427

Many thanks to all who were involved in this event.

A lot of professional learning quite rightly focuses on the global, big-picture ideas of teaching and learning, but what about a small, everyday practice of successful teaching. In this series of vignettes, EAL teachers showcase a single activity, idea or resource that they find to be effective in the EAL classroom, and discuss how and why it works. This vignette is generously contributed from Rosemary Abboud, Dandenong North Primary School. It focuses on an Arrange and Describe activity which she uses with primary-aged EAL students. We thank Rosemary for donating her time and expertise.

There is a wealth of EAL expertise out there! Why not share it with the EAL community? We are keen to showcase this practice of teachers in primary, secondary and adult sectors. If you would like to contribute a vignette about an activity you find to be effective in the classroom, please email plcoordinator[at]victesol.vic.edu.au

Download (PDF, 177KB)

Please note that this arrange and describe activity is widely and freely available from a variety of online sources.

Dr Anne Keary has generously shared a number of recordings used in the education of pre-service primary school teachers at Monash University.

They cover topics including advice for planning and programing, getting to know learners, behaviour management and how schools have adapted to remote learning.

Michelle Andrews, EAL Teacher Preston North East Primary – Planning

Michelle shares with us an insight into the planning of teachers at Preston North East Primary School. She shows the viewer her school’s Individual Learning Improvement Plan document, highlighting the importance of setting goals and planning lessons in a way that involves students and families.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Mairead Hannan, Assistant Principal, Collingwood English Language School – Getting to know your learners

Mairead discusses the processes in place for getting to know newly-arrived students at Collingwood English Language school. She takes the viewer through the student profile documents used, highlighting information that can be useful to gather, such as: socio-lingual context, language background, visa codes, nationality, cultural group, position in family, siblings, religion, prior learning, settlement services involvement, and well-being. Mairead also reflects on the need for teachers to not assume anything about their learners and emphasises the need to ask questions to get as good a picture of the student’s prior learning as possible.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Rosemary Abboud, Dandenong North Primary School, Developing Programs

Rosemary describes the range of programs running at Dandenong High School, including the EAL program and the transition program.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

David Rothstadt, Principal, Noble Park Primary School

David talks about how he and the staff at Noble Park Primary School have adapted to remote learning over the last 18 months. He highlights the flexibility and sheer hard work of teachers to get online programs up and running in a short amount of time, and how teachers supported each other in the transition. David concludes that one of his key learnings from these uncertain times is that the value of face-to-face teacher/student relationships cannot be underestimated or replaced by technologies.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Various Presenters on Behaviour Management (edited version)

VicTESOL acknowledges and thanks the Faculty of Education, Monash University, for providing these videos.

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.

 

Download (PDF, 3.56MB)

 

Some suggested resource links from participants in this session included: