National experts meeting on education of migrants 1 3 14 october 2008
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Language and Literacy support strategies for migrant children in Australia PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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National Experts Meeting on Education of Migrants, 1 3-14 October 2008. Language and Literacy support strategies for migrant children in Australia. Starters: some quick observations…. Some 30% of our students speak a language other than English at home.

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Language and Literacy support strategies for migrant children in Australia

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National Experts Meeting on Education of Migrants, 1 3-14 October 2008

Language and Literacy support strategies for migrant children in Australia


Starters: some quick observations…

  • Some 30% of our students speak a language other than English at home.

  • Yet no discernable difference in education performance at age 15 between Australian students from English-speaking backgrounds and Non-ESBs (PISA)

  • In fact, Australian students from English-speaking backgrounds are less likely to complete Year 12 than NESBs…. (LSAY)

  • The post-school outcomes of ESBs are as good, if not better, that NESBs.


  • Does this mean …

  • ….that we don’t have a problem?

  • …. or that we need to frame our policy questions differently?


  • The policy pragmatist’s approach :

  • What matters and how can we fix?

  • A two pronged approach:

  • We know that competency in the language of instruction matters – for both children and parents.

  • Priority: English immersion and ongoing support

  • We know that literacy is a good predictor of education outcomes – for all students.

  • Priority: Monitoring, prevention, early intervention, scaffolding for all at-risk


English as a Second Language – New Arrivals (ESL-NA) program

  • Australian Government provides funding under the ESL-NA Program to States and Territory Governments to assist with the cost of delivering intensive English language tuition to newly arrived migrant and refugee school students.

  • Minimum of 6 months intensive English language tuition for newly arrived migrant school students and 12 months for refugee school students.

  • Intensive English language tuition is provided in Intensive English Centres in metropolitan areas or within schools.

  • Where tuition is provided in schools, students are expected to receive a minimum of 10 hours of ESL assistance per week.


Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program (LLNP)

  • Available to job seekers aged from 15 years.

  • Assists with language, literacy and numeracy skills to enable participants to achieve sustainable employment or undertake further education and/or training.

  • LLNP provides up to 800 hours of contextualised training tailored to meet the individual needs, aspirations and circumstances of the client.


  • Adult Migrant English Program – AMEP

  • education and settlement program

  • “basic” English skills - reading, writing, speaking, listening

  • Up to 510 hours tuition for adults, but also available to 16-18 year olds who are unable to attend English classes in school.

  • Up to 400 additional hours English language tuition is available for some humanitarian entrants under the Special Preparatory Program.


States provide a range of language support programs also …

  • Time to Talk (Western Australia)

  • Oral language package for NESBs and Indigenous students in early school years to build on English native language skills


ESL specialist teachers

  • Recognised courses at graduate and post graduate levels.

  • There is no unmet demand in our universities…

  • …but do we have adequate numbers opting for these courses?

  • How well do we provide for ongoing professional support?

  • … what about mainstream teachers – all teachers are teachers of English and literacy ?


  • But by far the focus is on literacy skills…

    • $577.4M in 07/08 Federal Budget to fund a range of literacy support projects across states and territories – some specifically targeted at migrant students

    • Reading Recovery including vouchers for one-to-one tutoring for primary and secondary students with low literacy skills

    • Assessment tools and teaching resources

    • State Literacy strategy for whole-of-school approach to literacy (NSW)

    • Professional development in literacy teaching (NSW, Qld, Vic, NT…. )

    • Extra specialist literacy support for teachers (ACT)

    • Parents as Tutors (ACT)

    • …… and the list goes on…..


    Outside the school…

    • A big emphasis on reading resources:

    • Significant investment in children and family friendly library services

    • Early Childhood Learning Resources for parents, carers and practitioners to introduce and develop early literacy and numeracy learning to young children

    • Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY)


    And the final word is on …

    • monitoring, assessment, reporting…


    We monitor general progress of our immigrants…

    • Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA)

      • Respondents from an administrative Settlement Database and followed over time

      • Topics covered include English language proficiency and learning, education and qualifications, employment, health, labour force activity and more.

      • First two (out of three) surveys completed included migrants at least 15 years of age


    ..And we are starting younger and staying longer with monitoring and assessment in schools…

    • Longitudinal qualitative information on our youth (15- 25yos) (LSAY), tied to PISA and maybe TALIS in future

    • Ministers agreed to standardised assessment in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in schools

      • Have we got balance between accountability and formative assessment right?

    • Now rolling out nationally Australian Early Development Index (AEDI)

      • Community-based school readiness tool

      • In the year before compulsory education

      • 5 domains (physical health and wellbeing, social competency, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, communication skills, general knowledge)


    Australian Delegation to the OECD


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