Catholic Education South Australia

EAL focus teacher role & responsibilities

  • It is important to actively maintain a connection - via video or phone calls - with each EAL learner to support and monitor their wellbeing and learning   
  • Determine which students have online access at home, the nature of that access, and who will need resources provided to them on USB or in printed form 
  • Continue to collect evidence of language, where possible, and continue to assess in order to identify language learning goals 
  • Work closely with classroom teachers to ensure that an EAL cultural perspective and specific language learning elements are incorporated into learning plans and resources  
  • Design specific individualised and scaffolded learning tasks that are appropriate for the student’s EAL learning phase and support achievement of language learning goals, especially for Beginning EAL learners such as New Arrivals   
  • Arrange interpreters and/or use Microsoft Translator for Education or Google Translate to support effective communication with families and utilise other technology, such as Microsoft Immersive Reader to support the teaching and learning of EAL students 

Considerations for online and remote learning for EAL Learners

  • Online and remote learning places a greater demand on the EAL learner to comprehend and produce language and texts independently in the absence of immediate scaffolding.  It also limits EAL students’ opportunities to seek clarification and feedback; therefore, it is important that teachers 
    • Provide concise task instructions that are broken down into small steps   
    • Build in scaffolding with visuals, audio, content presented in multiple ways, and home versions translated into the home language   
    • Utlise learning tools such as Immersive Reader  to help students who find reading and comprehending text difficult. Students can also edit their writing using the Dictation tool.  Word also has a ‘text to speech’ tool. 
    • Prepare students for reading or viewing tasks by providing a brief overview or summary (graphically or verbally) of the ‘text’ beforehand as well as key vocabulary   
  • Find out what technology students have access to at home, for example: the family may have a mobile phone but no computers and/or internet access.  Some students will need learning resources saved on USB or printed and provided to them. 
  • Do not assume that parents will be able to support EAL learners with the English language and literacy requirements of the tasks.  This may provide an opportunity to draw on the home environment for development of the home language, concepts and content knowledge.   Encourage students to use their home language with family members in order to seek clarification and develop conceptual understanding and alternative perspectives on issues and experiences.  See the section on Multilingual Resources