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At Piara Waters Primary School, we celebrate that over 30% of our students speak in one or more languages other than English. We are a culturally diverse school and this makes our learning environment richer for everyone.

We value the first language of all of our students and encourage students to speak their first language up until they start school.

Australian Curriculum and EALD learners

In Australian schools, learning is accessed through English, and achievement is demonstrated through English. EAL/D students require specific support to build the English language skills needed to access the general curriculum, in addition to learning area-specific language structures and vocabulary.

Some EAL/D students will appear to have good interpersonal communication skills; however, as academic language demands increase in the curriculum, gaps in their English language skills will appear.

EAL/D students might require specific support to learn and build on the English language skills needed to access the general curriculum, in addition to learning area-specific language structures and vocabulary.

Oral Language Development for EAL/D Students

Competency with spoken language is a crucial prerequisite of learning. In most Australian classrooms, this competency is assumed as teachers use oral language to convey instructions, information and explanations for classroom activities. Even in the early years of schooling, new concepts are taught primarily through teacher talk and student response.

EAL/D students will have varying levels of oral language proficiency that will impact upon the degree to which they are able to participate in learning.

Sometimes EAL/D students can give the impression of fluency with English, but closer analysis reveals their proficiency may be limited to the more informal social and playground language contexts — and vice versa.

Piara Waters Primary School EALD support

A review of our school performance data in 2021 identified that our EAL/D students slowed in their progress and achievement in middle and upper primary due to their vocabulary gaps. From this time, we have put in place a specific EALD intervention and support program which has a strong focus on vocabulary.

Ms Anna Shavi is our EALD teacher and Mrs Lydia Lee is employed as our Education Assistant to support EALD learners.

Students are monitored and assessed through the EALD Progress Maps by classroom teachers. Through this process, students who would benefit from targeted vocabulary intervention are identified. These students attend two to three small group sessions a week with Ms Shavi or Mrs Lee. These sessions focus on developing oral language skills and extending student’s vocabulary.

EAL/D Progress Maps

The English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) Progress Map is a Western Australian planning, monitoring and assessment tool for all students requiring support in developing Standard Australian English (SAE) who come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds whether arriving from overseas or born in Australia.

Piara Waters Primary School teachers use the Western Australian EAL/D Progress Map to plan for, monitor and assess student achievement for those EALD learners developing English proficiency. Progress Map achievement for these students is reported to parents on the Semester 1 and Semester 2 student reports.

You can download a copy of the Progress Maps here;

Reference: Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority