Skye Playsted Thursday 14 May 2020 When we think of the term ‘culture’, it can be easy to focus on concrete elements such as art, music, clothing or food. However, these visible aspects are only the tip of the cultural iceberg (Ting-Toomey & Chung, 2011). Deeper cultural assumptions are hidden from view and are not…
The ideas compiled here are from teacher comments and discussions during a number of professional learning sessions that VicTESOL has run since the move to online and remote learning began. The teachers who participated were from primary and secondary schools and from the adult education sector.
Like the teachers in this session, we hope the ideas and resources in this list help you to also feel more confident about supporting EAL learners remotely. This list includes the positives (what’s working), some challenges, tips, strategies and resources. We hope you find them both useful for, and affirming of your experiences and practices. Thank you to all the participants for sharing their ideas and to the session facilitators for compiling them.
EAL information for schools is outlined on the Department website at:
Click here to access information relating to:
- New EAL curriculum
- Program planning
- Assessment and reporting
- EAL in Victorian government schools
Online discussion forum and mini-presentations
Tuesday 5 May & Thursday 7 May, 4:00-5:45pm
- Clare Blackman & Jessie Sambell (Blackburn English Language School)
- Emily Tucker (Carringbush Adult Education)
- Nathan Chong (Brunswick English Language Centre)
- Jennifer Peck (Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre- LMERC)
VicTESOL provided an online space for teachers to come together to discuss their experience of teaching and supporting EAL students remotely during the COVID-19 crisis.
The session began with a number of mini-presentations with presenters sharing what they have implemented so far and their reflections on the experience of remote teaching and learning. This was followed by small group discussions between participants in which there was an opportunity for participants to share their experience and also hear what other teachers are implementing, sharing tips and advice for future learning. Librarian Jennifer Peck from the Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre (LMERC) then presented some of their multilingual and EAL online resources.
Click here to access the information shared by Jennifer Peck from the Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre (LMERC).
Click here to view the ideas and the resource list compiled from teacher comments and discussions during these professional learning sessions.
Click here to access information relating to the Department resources.
Wednesday 4 March
Functional Multilingualism/Translanguaging are currently popular terms being researched, discussed and adapted to diverse learning settings. This webinar was a practical response to the current interest in Translanguaging, suggesting ways this might look in EALD classrooms and what teachers might consider when developing Translanguaging activities. With the intention of bringing students’ linguistic and cultural knowledge to the fore through redesigning Australian Curriculum and SACE task, four tasks, along with samples of student work, were presented and discussed.
Janet Armitage currently works for the South Australian Department for Education in the role of EAL/D Hub Coach supporting teachers in professional development that recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander EALD learners. Janet undertook action research in a large secondary school in South Australia where she was an EALD teacher and EALD & Languages Coordinator. She is also a PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics with the University of South Australia and has been part of a team providing professional development to Languages teachers across the state.
Matt Rodger and Greg Gow from Foundation House introduced the Schools Support Program that their organisation provides. They then explained the research project and resulting report: School is where you need to be equal and learn. Gaining insights from students of refugee backgrounds was the aim of this project. Greg and Matt described how this was done through focus groups with students from three Victorian schools. One of the key findings of the report was the importance of teachers in creating a classroom where all students feel supported and are about to contribute. A copy of the report is available at: http://www.foundationhouse.org.au/
VicTESOL Symposium – August 2019
In this inspiring presentation, Carolyn shared her experience and insights into supporting newly arrived migrants and refugees in a school setting. She began with a look at what constitutes an “I can” rather than an “I can’t” mindset, then outlined ideas about how to gather information, value stories and build relationships with new families. She then introduced some practical resources for teachers to use in planning and implementing programs to support students in their settlement and English language learning. Positive and constructive, this session reassured teachers that they can make, and are making, a difference to each student every day.
Session Summary by Michelle Andrews, VicTESOL Committee Member
Greg Gow, Program Coordinator, Schools Support Program & Matt Rodger, Schools Support Officer West Region, Schools Support Program
‘School is where you need to be equal and learn’: Insights from students of refugee backgrounds on learning and engagement in Victorian secondary schools (2019)
This report presents the findings of a research project conducted by the Schools Support Program at the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (Foundation House). This project sought out the insights of students of refugee backgrounds on the barriers and facilitators to learning and engagement at school. Focus groups were conducted at three Victorian secondary schools, with 51 students (aged 13-19). The students were all from refugee backgrounds and had arrived in Australia within the past seven years. Through this project the Schools Support Program was able to learn directly from students of refugee backgrounds and position them, through their lived experience, as experts on ‘what works’ to support them at school.
In this webinar, Greg and Matt take you through the findings of this report and provide insights into how this report can inform practice at your school.
VicTESOL’s Teaching and Learning Cycle project, launched in 2018, was made possible by the generous support of a Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) Common Funding Agreement (CFA). VicTESOL has also contributed to this project.
VicTESOL enlisted the specialist Prof Beverly Derewianka, an expert in EAL and mainstream language education and literacy, to work with a team of teachers from various schools in Victoria. They spent several days studying the Teaching and Learning Cycle, then went back to their schools to produce a Unit of Work relevant for their specific context.
We are proud to share these Units of Work with the education community.