The Department of Education provides a range of courses, programs, services and support for school-aged English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) students to engage successfully in public schooling and in the acquisition of Standard Australian English (SAE).
Intensive English Centres (IECs) provide a specialist 12 month English language program to eligible Stage 1 students who are in the early stages of English language acquisition - primarily those who are newly arrived in Western Australia. IECs have continuous enrolments and exit students into mainstream schooling at the end of each term (primary) or the end of each semester (secondary).
This may be extended by an additional 12 months for students holding refugee and humanitarian visa subclasses.
Best practice for a quality IEC program shows that the teacher student ratio for an IEC class should be close to 1.0 FTE to 16 students. Where an entire IEC class consists of limited schooling background students, consideration should be given to the students’ complex learning needs and reflected accordingly in the student teacher ratio. Humanitarian entrants may have fled from conflict, persecution or violence and may be suffering from physical and emotional trauma along with other health issues. The IECs are therefore best placed to provide the specialist support these students require.
Students are taught Standard Australian English (SAE) across all learning areas in the Western Australian Curriculum.
The Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline sets out the knowledge, understandings, skills, values and attitudes that all students from Kindergarten to Year 10 are expected to acquire.
The English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) Progress Map is used to assess EAL/D students’ skills and understandings of SAE.
The EAL/D Progress Map is an integrated teaching, monitoring and assessment support resource that can be used with EAL/D students from K-12. The map applies to the learning of English as an additional language or dialect in all learning areas and across all curriculum contexts and allows for the differentiation of the curriculum to support student academic achievement.
The Western Australian Certificate of Education English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) course is offered for Year 11 and 12 students in a number of schools. The EAL/D Foundation, General and ATAR course is designed as an alternative to “English” for students who speak a language or dialect other than English as their first or ‘home’ language. Each course comprises of 4 units with students completing a unit each semester.
This allocation is provided to help schools address the learning needs of eligible students who are learning Standard Australian English as an additional language through:
• Intensive English Centres (IECs)
• Mainstream primary and secondary English as an additional language (EAL) support programs
For further information refer to the Student-centred funding EAL language allocation
Kindergarten and Pre-primary students do not attract EAL funding. Mainstream Kindergarten and Pre-primary classrooms provide rich opportunities for children to learn English language skills, knowledge and understandings. In these settings, children use and practise the skills of language and literacy that have been systematically taught.
The three Pre-primary intensive English programs at existing IECs located at Koondoola, Nollamara and Eddystone primary schools are an exception. These centres provide support to meet the specific needs of humanitarian entrants facing challenges associated with trauma.