Supporting EAL students in Inquiry-based Learning
April Edwards & Michelle Andrews
Breakout room task
Watch the Youtube video:
Wednesday 5 May, 3:45-4:45pm
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.