Shivali Nayak, ABC Education
Thursday 21 November

The digital age presents some new and interesting learning opportunities for EAL learners. How can teachers harness the power of digital resources to engage students in the classroom and provide them with self-learning opportunities? ABC Education Learn English creates innovative digital content for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Find out how you can use these support materials in your classroom to complement EAL teaching and learning in this free online webinar.

Shivali Nayak is the senior content producer for ABC Education Learn English. She has led the development of creative digital content on a range of topics such as everyday English, weather, grammar, commonly confused words and daily conversations. Learn English is the ABC’s educational resource for people learning English as an Additional Language. Learn English has close to 5 million followers on social media, making it the ABC’s largest Facebook community.

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Professor Rhonda Oliver, Curtin University
Monday 28 October, 7-8pm (Australian Eastern Standard Daylight Savings Time)

Australian Aboriginal people interact in diverse ways and this is especially the case for those who grow up and live in rural and remote locations. In such locations Standard Australian English (SAE) is often not spoken as the residents’ first language or dialect, instead they may have either traditional Indigenous language(s) or an English-lexified creole as their first language (L1), or they may have Aboriginal English (AE) as their first dialect. In addition, most will also use AE as the lingua franca to communicate with other Aboriginal people who do not share their home language. For Aboriginal people, particularly those living in the rural and remote communities, the importance of language (i.e., traditional languages, creoles and AE), both for the maintenance of culture and as a marker of Aboriginality, should not be underestimated. For younger people in particular, their Aboriginal languages contribute in significant ways to the formation of their self-identity. At the same time, however, to fully participate in mainstream Australian society Aboriginal people also need to develop an awareness of and have skills in using SAE. This is especially the case for those studying in schools and universities. To address this need, Aboriginal students have been encouraged and, at times, explicitly taught to codeswitch – changing from their home language to SAE within the classroom. This has been implemented on the assumption that written literacy development will emerge from such a foundation. Yet despite this, educational outcomes (e.g., NAPLAN results) show they continue to achieve under the national standard in language and literacy (ACARA, 2012). While formal success in SAE seems elusive, many Aboriginal speakers, including children, demonstrate a complex linguistic repertoire. Rather than simply switching from one language to another they move fluidly between their various linguistic codes and do so as required by the context, audience, and the learning environment. In this presentation I will describe various observational data showing the diverse ways and various modes in which they do this and make suggestions for how pedagogy (including assessment) can move beyond our current monolinguistic hegemony to one that is Informed by a translanguaging perspective (Garcia & Wei, 2014).

Professor Rhonda Oliver is Head of the School of Education at Curtin University, Perth, Australia. She is widely published in the area of second language acquisition with more than 4,000 citations to her publications. Internationally she is best known for her work in relation to child language learners. As well as work within the interactionist paradigm, she has also conducted numerous studies on language learners in schools and universities. She has also undertaken work in the area of Aboriginal education, particularly for those students who have Standard Australia English as their second language or dialect.

Last chance to have your say- click here to complete the survey now! Survey closes this week- Friday 18 October.

The Department of Education and Training is conducting a survey of the professional learning needs of teachers of English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners.

The survey will provide teachers of EAL learners with an opportunity to tell the Department about the kinds of informal and formal professional learning activities and resources that most support them to meet the needs of the EAL learners in their classrooms. Feedback from teachers will inform the development of resources and programs to meet their professional learning needs and build their capacity to improve the learning outcomes of EAL learners. These resources and programs will also support schools to prepare for the implementation of the new Victorian Curriculum F-10 EAL.

Have your say-

We are looking for the insights of teachers who:

  • teach a primary school class with EAL students
  • teach a secondary school English class with EAL students
  • have EAL specialist expertise and teach dedicated classes for EAL students
  • have EAL specialist expertise and support teachers teaching EAL students.

If you match at least one of these descriptions, please have your say.

The short, online survey will take no longer than 15 minutes. The information you provide in the survey will be de-identified by our evaluation partner, Synergistiq, before a high-level report is provided to the Department.

The survey will close at 5.00 pm on Friday 18 October.

Have your say on your EAL professional learning needs!

The successful applicants for the 2019 VicTESOL Research Grant are Dr Anna Filipi, Prof Amanda Berry and Dr Minh Hue Nguyen from Monash University and Amy Kerwick and Sue Parlanti from Westall Secondary College, for their project on elucidating practices that assist EAL learners to acquire specialised science vocabulary.

Research Team Members: Dr Anna Filipi, Prof Amanda Berry, Dr Minh Hue Nguyen, Amy Kerwick & Sue Parlanti

Elucidating practices that assist EAL learners to acquire specialised science vocabulary

Project Outline: This project will extend an existing study with a science and an EAL teacher at Westall Secondary College. The project aims to investigate and document how these teachers interpret and utilise the Victorian Curriculum (VC) Science 7-10 and the New Victorian EAL Curriculum 2020 to support EAL students’ development of critical scientific understandings required in order to progress through both the science achievement standards and the EAL standards. The importance of this project lies in its timeliness as it seeks to provide empirical data for the revised EAL curriculum. Additionally, findings from the study can inform the design of pedagogical practices based on the relevant VC frameworks to show how the VC Science Curriculum can be aligned with the New Victorian EAL Curriculum. This could serve as a model for other curriculum areas.

Click here for further information about the VicTESOL Research Grant.

-Join VicTESOL for the next 6 months-


2019 VicTESOL Memberships cover the period from 1/4/2019 until 31/3/2020.  A 6 month membership is now available to cover the period from 1/10/2019 to 31/3/2020.

  • Concession Membership: was $55 now $27.50
  • Individual Membership: was $88 now $44
  • Institutional Membership 1-4: was $265 now $132.50
  • Institutional Membership 5+: was $460 now $230

Click here to join VicTESOL!

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Elena Di Mascolo & Liaqat Gulzari

Dandenong High School

Wednesday 4 September, 4-5pm

In this workshop, Elena and Liaqat shared their experiences establishing and implementing specialised programs for recently-arrived EAL students in a culturally-diverse secondary school setting, from Year 7-10. They explained the features of the various academic and non-academic programs, including both embedded and parallel EAL academic programs, community programs and transition processes. There was a particular focus on the “Connect” program, designed to support recently-arrived EAL students over 16 years of age. They shared their pedagogical approaches and the related strategies they employ and look at measures of success. Resources and processes were also shared in order to assist schools to develop programs tailored to their own settings.

Elena is a Learning Specialist at Dandenong High School. She has been teaching in the areas of EAL and Learning Difficulties for about 20 years and has worked at Dandenong High School for ten of those years. She is interested in school structures and pedagogical approaches that support the learning of recently-arrived EAL students who require specialised support to thrive in mainstream secondary school settings.

Liaqat is a Learning Intervention Officer at Dandenong High School. He has been supporting students at the school for two years. He is interested in supporting the learning of students in a mainstream secondary school setting.

Nominations are now open for Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2019. Nominations close Sunday 29 September.

Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence recognise the outstanding achievements of people and organisations who strengthen multiculturalism across 10 categories.

The Multicultural Education and Early Childhood Award recognises outstanding school education and early childhood practice which enhances intercultural understanding and meets the needs of children and young people from diverse communities. Please click here for further information.

The VCAA is consulting practising teachers of VCE English and English as an Additional Language through a series of focus groups to provide monitoring and feedback for a major review of the VCE English and English as an Additional Language Study Design. Click here for further information.

To gain feedback on the current VCE English and English as an Additional Language Study Design and future directions for the study, focus groups will be held on:

Wednesday 28 August 2019, 4pm to 5.30pm
Elisabeth Murdoch College
80 Warrandyte Road

Thursday 29 August 2019, 4pm to 5.30pm
Yarra Valley Grammar
The Pavilion Room
Kalinda Road (Enter Gate A)

Thursday 12 September 2019, 4pm to 5.30pm
MacKillop College
1-29 Russell Street

Tuesday 17 September 2019, 4pm to 5.30pm
Assumption College
Fourviere 001 Room
Sutherland Street

Thursday 19 September 2019, 5pm to 6.30pm
Level 7, 2 Lonsdale Street

Registrations will close three days prior to each focus group.

Spaces are limited to 12 participants. Participants will be selected to ensure that there is appropriate representation across regions and sectors.

Teachers in regional areas are strongly encouraged to register and will be able to participate via video conference.

Registered participants will receive additional information about the session via email after this date.

For enquiries, contact:
Annelise Balsamo, VCE English Curriculum Manager at
Kellie Heintz, VCE English as an Additional Language Curriculum Manager at