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Learning in English as an Additional Language

The language modes and strands of the English as an Additional Language (EAL) curriculum are interrelated, and learning in one often supports and extends learning in the others. Each content description contains specific and discrete information identifying what teachers are expected to teach and students are expected to learn. The key knowledge and skills contained within the content descriptions are specific to the learning area and have been placed in the mode and strand related to the major focus of its learning. Classroom contexts that address particular content descriptions will necessarily draw on more than one of these modes and/or strands in order to support student learning. For example, students will learn new vocabulary through listening and reading and apply this knowledge and understanding in their speaking and writing, as well as in their comprehension of both spoken and print texts.

EAL students start at different entry points on Pathways A, B and C, depending on their different stages of learning in English and their previous knowledge, education, settlement and home language/s experiences. There will also be distinct differences between students in their home language/s, their literacy and their socio-cognitive development, and in the linguistic resources that they are able to draw on.

The EAL curriculum has been developed for all EAL students who require support with their English-language learning. While the implementation of the curriculum is the responsibility of all teachers, the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) specialist plays a leading role in its delivery, as the expert in the field. In some educational settings, the TESOL teacher will work collaboratively with all teachers (generalist, specialist or English) who teach EAL students in their curriculum areas to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to teaching programs. In this way, the EAL curriculum can be used to guide planning and is also a mechanism by which all teachers are supported, regardless of their field. To further support the effective delivery of the EAL curriculum, appropriate resources and opportunities need to be provided to all teachers of EAL students.

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