English as an Additional Language or Dialect Students Policy

  1. What is this policy about?
    1. This policy provides a framework for supporting English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) students’ English language acquisition in ACT public schools.
  2. Policy Statement
    1. The ACT Education Directorate provides a range of supports to ensure EAL/D students achieve equitable education and social outcomes.
    2. The supports available are outlined in the English as an Additional Language or Dialect Students Procedures (the EAL/D procedures).
    3. The Directorate recognises the diversity of students’ needs in the context of English language acquisition in ACT public schools.
    4. ACT public schools will comply with all operational requirements contained in the EAL/D procedures.
    5. ACT public schools use the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) EAL/D Learning Progression framework to describe EAL/D students’ phases of English language proficiency.
    6. EAL/D student definition - EAL/D students come from diverse, multilingual backgrounds. EAL/D students:
      • require specific support to develop English language proficiency; and
      • include but are not limited to:
        • all students whose home language is a language other than English; or
        • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students whose home language is an Indigenous language, including traditional languages, creoles or Aboriginal English.
  3. Who does this policy apply to?
    1. This policy applies to all Directorate staff, students, and parents and carers.
  4. Context
    1. The Education Act 2004 establishes the principle that every child has a right to receive a high quality education
    2. English language proficiency is required to access the school learning program; it is a key determinant of success within the ACT education system and social and economic participation in the broader community.
    3. EAL/D students from refugee or asylum-seeker backgrounds may have limited or interrupted education experiences and additional factors that may also impact on English language acquisition and the duration and type of support required to attain English language proficiency.
    4. EAL/D students’ needs may vary depending on their stage of schooling. EAL/D students entering a secondary school may require additional English language support due to the complexity and specificity of language required to successfully access the secondary curriculum.
  5. Responsibilities
    1. The Education Support Office is responsible for:
      • ensuring EAL/D practices are consistent with this policy and associated procedures; and
      • the monitoring of and reporting on implementation of this policy and associated procedure.
    2. Principals are responsible for ensuring:
      • school practices are consistent with this policy and associated procedures; and
      • the English language acquisition needs of EAL/D students enrolled in their schools are met.
    3. Policy Owner: The Director, Learning and Teaching branch, is responsible for this policy.
  6. Monitoring and Review
    1. The Policy Owner monitors the policy. This includes an annual scan of the policy’s operation. A full review of the policy will be conducted within a three year period.
  7. Contact
    1. For support contact the Learning and Teaching branch on (02) 6205 9204 or email EALD@act.gov.au.
  8. Complaints
    1. Any concerns about the application of this policy or the policy itself, should be raised with:
  9. References
    1. Definitions
      • Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA): is an independent statutory authority responsible for the development of national curriculum, assessment, and reporting process.
      • ACARA EAL/D learning progression: has been developed by ACARA to describe the progression of English language acquisition typical of students learning English as an Additional Language or Dialect.
      • Asylum seeker: An asylum seeker is someone who is seeking international protection but whose claim for refugee status has not yet been determined.
      • Education Support Office (ESO): refers to the strategic, policy and regulation divisions of the ACT Education Directorate. Staff based in the ESO provide advice, administrative support and guidance to ACT public schools.
      • English: in this policy refers to Standard Australian English (SAE). SAE is the spoken and written English language used in more formal settings, such as for official or public purposes, and recorded in dictionaries, style guides and grammars used in Australia. While it is always dynamic and evolving, it is recognised as the ‘common language’ within Australia.
      • English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D): replaces the term, ‘English as a Second Language (ESL)’ to align with the Australian Curriculum. EAL/D is the education acronym for students whose home language is a language or dialect other than Standard Australian English (SAE) and who require additional support to develop proficiency in SAE. The use of the acronym EAL/D recognises the English language learning needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who speak an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Creole, or a variety of Aboriginal English, as their home language, as well as those who speak a traditional or heritage Indigenous language, and migrant and refugee students who speak an English-based Creole, pidgin or dialect as their home language, as well as those who are learning English as a second or additional language (ESL/EAL).
      • English language acquisition: is the process of learning Standard Australian English for academic English language proficiency.
      • English language proficiency: is the ability to use the English language to make and communicate meaning in spoken and written contexts to participate in the curriculum and the life of the school.
      • Home Language: is the language predominately spoken in student’s home environment. Other terms may be used such as: mother tongue, heritage language or first language.
      • Refugee background: is someone who has been recognised under the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, (amended in 1967).
    2. Legislation
    3. Implementation Documents
    4. Related Policies and Information

English as an Additional Language or Dialect Students Policy: EALDS201706 is the unique identifier of this document. It is the responsibility of the user to verify that this is the current and complete version of the document, available on the Directorate’s website at http://www.education.act.gov.au/publications_and_policies/school_and_corporate_policies/A-Z/.