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Rationale and Aims

NOTICE: Familiarisation and optional implementation in 2020

The new English as an Additional Language curriculum is now available for familiarisation purposes and optional implementation. For 2020, schools can choose to implement the new EAL curriculum or continue to use ‘EAL companion to AusVELS’. All schools are expected to implement the new curriculum from 2021.

Further advice and resources are available from the VCAA and from DET and the Catholic education offices’ websites.


Rationale

The English as an Additional Language (EAL) curriculum is central to the learning and development of all young Australians for whom English is not their home language. Through learning EAL, students build their capacity to communicate confidently and effectively. This learning also strengthens their understanding of the nature of language and culture, and the way that language changes according to purpose, form and audience. By learning to use and adapt language according to specific contexts, EAL learners build relationships with their peers and the wider world around them. The study of EAL equips students with the skills to become lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and active and informed citizens.

Through the EAL curriculum pathways, students develop English language competence in the modes of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Viewing, and Writing. Students are provided with a range of opportunities to expand their linguistic repertoires, and one of the main ways to do this is through critical engagement with print and digital texts, including visual, multimodal and interactive texts. The study of various texts supports the development of communicative skills, linguistic knowledge and cultural understandings.

Although Australia is a linguistically and culturally diverse country, participation in many aspects of Australian life depends on effective communication in Standard Australian English. The development of functional literacy skills is at the core of the EAL curriculum as a means of developing proficiency in English. The EAL curriculum provides opportunities for students to draw on their knowledge of the language/s spoken at home as a way to enhance their developing understanding of the English language. The inclusion of plurilingual awareness in the curriculum acknowledges the value of competence in multiple languages. A student who develops plurilingual awareness is able to integrate their knowledge of multiple languages in a way that enriches their communication and learning in all languages. This inclusion in the curriculum validates the importance of language and the role it plays in an individual’s sense of self and identity.

Aims

The EAL curriculum aims to ensure that students:

  • develop fundamental functional English language and literacy skills
  • learn to listen to, speak, read, view, write and create spoken, print and digital texts, including visual, multimodal and interactive texts, across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
  • understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and print forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning
  • appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of the ways it can be used to evoke feelings, convey information, form ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue
  • develop their plurilingual awareness of the ways they use different languages and the roles of these languages in their lives and identities
  • develop their communicative skills, linguistic knowledge and cultural understandings in English and their other language/s, to enable their full participation in Australian society.
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