New Arrival EAL learners
Who are New Arrival – Beginning EAL learners?
New Arrival learners are EAL students who have recently arrived in Australia from another country and who speak a language/s other than English at home. They may be refugees, asylum seekers or migrants.
New Arrival learners in our schools come from a range of linguistic, religious and cultural backgrounds. They may:
- have had previous schooling in their home country or in other countries before arriving in Australia
- have had some experience with learning written English, but need to develop oral English for both social and academic contexts
- have had no or little previous schooling experience, or interrupted schooling
- have excellent literacy skills in their first language (or another language/ dialect)
- have limited written literacy skills in their first language
- be experiencing ‘culture shock’ which may include feelings of loss, grief and isolation
- be experiencing trauma
What is the ‘silent period’?
Sometimes, when students first encounter a dominant English speaking environment, e.g. school, they experience a ‘silent period’. This may last from a few days to months. During this time, students are listening, watching and learning about their new environment. They are working on making sense of what’s happening around them, acquiring receptive language day by day through the interactions of those around them. Students who are in this ‘silent’ period should not be forced to speak. To best support them, teachers can create opportunities for students to participate in class activities, demonstrating understanding through the use of visual, practical and physical means.
CESA Funding support for EAL New Arrivals
New arrival students often require informed EAL intervention for acceleration of English language learning of at least 2 levels per year. CESA provides co-responsibility funding to assist with the initial cost of ensuring that EAL learners who have recently arrived in Australia receive intensive English language learning support that will enable them to develop their English language skills for successful participation in learning with their peers in mainstream classes. This funding will be available for students who meet the eligibility criteria and on provision of a documented intensive English language learning program. The application form outlines the purpose, outcomes, eligibility criteria, and accountability.
Should you require advice or support to assess and develop an intensive English language learning program for a newly enrolled EAL student, contact the EAL team – phone 83016613.
For further information about New Arrival learners, please proceed to these links:
- Online professional e-learning module Beginning and Emerging EAL Learners
- Language Acquisition – How long does it take to learn English?
- What is the role of a student’s first language?
- What does language progression look like for EALD students?
Department for Education Intensive English Language Centres and New Arrivals Programs
Upon arrival (within 12-18 months) in Australia, it is recommended that new arrival students attend a DepEd Intensive English Language Centre or New Arrivals Program before attending a Catholic Education SA (CESA) school. These programs help students by providing:
- intensive English language support in smaller classes from specialist teachers of English as an Additional Language
- a modified curriculum for school aged children
- a variety of activities within the school and local community, including excursions and social events
- bilingual classroom support
For more information, please refer to Intensive English Language and New Arrival Program Centres for a list of Centre locations and information brochures translated in a range of languages.
Use of interpreters
See Support agencies
Bilingual dictionaries can be hard copy or online and can be useful for learners who can already decode.
Picture Dictionary is designed for newly arrived EAL learners to use at school and at home to support their English language acquisition. It enables users to see and hear commonly used words with an Australian pronunciation. It may be used on a desktop computer or mobile device.
Resources for Schools
ACARA EAL/D resources for advice, English language learning progressions, teaching strategies.
CESA New Arrivals resources for downloading – programming templates, information, strategies.
book with practical strategies for classroom teachers
Catholic Education Office, Sydney: online Bookshop
by Margery Hertzberg (PETAA publication)
by Pauline Gibbons (PETAA publication)
Getting Started with English Language Learners
By Judie Haynes (ASCD publication)
NO ENGLISH, Don’t panic A handbook for teachers of English as an additional language learners in their first few weeks at school in Australia. pdf Victoria DEECD