Learning Is Accessed Through English Essay
Students for whom English is an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) may be defined as those students with diverse linguistic, cultural and educational backgrounds “whose first language is a language or dialect other than English and who require additional support to assist them to develop proficiency in English” (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2014, p. 6). As learning is accessed through English in Australian schools, without specific linguistic support these students may be excluded from accessing and participating in the curriculum. Moreover, the lack of an empathetic and inclusive learning environment which values the distinctive cultural backgrounds of all students may lead to difficulties with communication and social interaction, resulting in further exclusion within the educational setting (ACARA, 2014; Miller, 2013).
The distinct challenge facing these students is that they are required to “concurrently learn English, learn through (or in) English, and learn about English” (ACARA, 2014, p. 9). According to Paradis (as cited in Berk, 2013, p. 396), school-aged children acquiring a second language “generally take five to seven years to attain speaking and writing skills on a par with those of native-speaking agemates”. As a result, these students require personalised and targeted support in order to gain and develop the English language skills and area-specific language structures and vocabulary…