English as an Additional Language or Dialect curriculum (EAL/D) is used at WASS for students that are not proficient enough in English to join the mainstream Western Australian School system classes. Created by the Australian Department of education based on the Western Australian Curriculum EAL/D is designed to incrementally build students English proficiency in order to return to their mainstream classes. EAL/D students generally need additional support and the curriculum is designed to give them this support.
The EAL/D is designed to recognise and acknowledge the prior learning, experiences and cultural conceptions that students bring with them to a classroom. This will allow the students to feel validation of their own identity and understandings, while enabling them to engage with the new cultural and linguistic concepts being learnt.
Most EAL/D students have not studied in an international environment before so they need to learn more than just a new language. They also have to learn the culture of the classroom, and the Western Australian School System as a whole. Teachers of EAL/D students consider how concepts related to learning an additional language and the associated cultural and social understandings that will impact on their students’ learning.
EAL/D learners at WASS:
- are given time, support and understanding to adapt to the many aspects and routines of school life at an international school that may differ from their previous experiences of school
- are given appropriate EAL/D support including modelling and scaffolding of language and concept learning across the curriculum
- are given extra time to process new language and concepts
- are taught explicit vocabulary and language structures with awareness of task expectations and learning purpose