Tarneit P-9 College: Enhancing EAL support

Through its involvement in the Refugee Education Support Program (RESP) Tarneit P-9 College has enhanced its school-wide support for EAL learners. The college is a large, multicultural school in Melbourne’s outer west. With a significant population of students of refugee backgrounds, it already had strong practices in place for welcoming families before joining RESP in 2016.

It can take students many years to learn English for academic purposes. Effective EAL teaching is therefore vital for their education and career futures. The school has worked hard with the RESP team to strengthen staff understanding of and capacity to implement EAL. To achieve this, it has where necessary changed strategies, assessment guidelines and school structures.

The school formed an EAL working group that built a whole-school database tracking EAL students’ enrolment and assessment data. The database also records home languages spoken so that interpreters can be efficiently booked for families.

In addition, the EAL working group developed an EAL handbook for all teaching staff. It promotes best practice and consistency across the school, which EAL-focused professional development workshops have further supported.