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Summary

A wonderfully thorough and informative presentation about the changes to the new English/EAL Study Design was offered by Kellie Heintz from the EAL Division of the VCAA.

She began with an important reminder of the eligibility criteria and Special Circumstances that determine whether students can be assessed in Units 3 & 4 before elaborating how the consultation process undertaken in 2021 together with key EAL principles informed the new Study Design. Many fundamental curricular and assessment differences for EAL students were higlighted, especially around the new Outcomes such as the Personal Response and Writing outcomes as a means to elevate student voice and agency. The role and types of mentor texts were considered as means to explore ideas and Kellie offered wonderful examples of how to plan for use of the Frameworks to inspire future planning. A fantastic resource overall that supports both EAL and English teachers in implementation of Units 1 & 2 in 2023.

Note: A complementary presentation that builds on this presentation and links to assessment will appear later in the year. Also, further VCAA resources relating to the Study can also be viewed below.

VCAA Resources

Click here to view on demand videos relating to VCE English and English as an Additional Language (EAL)

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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!

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 by Stephanie Georgiou, Mckinnon Secondary College. It focuses on a Membership Grid activity which she uses with secondary-aged EAL students. We thank Stephanie 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, idea or resource you find to be effective in the classroom, please email plcoordinator[at]victesol.vic.edu.au

These resources have been created as scaffolding tasks to support initial comprehension through to critical analysis via collaborative meaning-making activities for Units 1 and 3, Outcome 1. Students are encouraged to use both English and their common home language to complete these tasks. It is important to note that these documents are not stand alone supports – they should be used in conjunction with a synopsis, extensive discussion about visuals relating to the time and place as well as a range of graphic organisers and models to scaffold writing. However, the nature of the tasks can be adapted for multiple year levels and cohorts when analysing novels, films or plays that are considered challenging for your EAL/D or low SES and multiculturally diverse learners.  

Resources contributed by April Edwards.

Burial Rites Quiz

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Class Reading Grid

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Group Reading Task Example 1

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Group Reading Task Example 2

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Theme Task

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Character Quotes Task

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Symbolism Task (Class generated)

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Pre and Post Reading Task

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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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Glynis Rose & Rosemary McLoughlin Tuesday 16 February 2021, 4-5:30pm, Online event In this session, Glynis and Rosemary provided feedback on student performance in the 2020 VCE EAL exam, including analysis of student performance in each section and examples of student responses. There were opportunities for participants to ask questions and gain valuable insight into…

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Stephanie Georgiou & Maddy Oh Tuesday 9 February, 4-5:30 pm Online Event Presenters: Stephanie Georgiou has more than 18 years of experience in teaching EAL. She has worked in the adult, Catholic and government sectors, continuing her ongoing tenure at the Department of Education and Training. She has managed and coordinated multiple programmes throughout her…

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Jacky Springall Tuesday 10 November 2020, 4:00-5:30pm AEDT Online Workshop   This practical workshop was based on the premise that EAL teachers need to be pro-active in integrating a focus on pronunciation at all levels of teaching with the main goal of instruction being achieving intelligibility.  The session gave a brief overview of the different…

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