Meeting the needs of students for whom English is an Additional Language or Dialect

At East Kenwick Primary School we aim to support and assist our EAL/D students to gain proficiency in reading, speaking and writing English. Our classroom and specialist teachers offer students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, programs to improve their reading comprehension, language conventions, writing, and oral language and vocabulary acquisition.

Our EAL/D coordinator and specialist teacher, Zelda Mitchell, supports and works collaboratively with school staff in the planning, implementation and evaluation of appropriate programs within the school environment. Depending on the varying needs of our EAL/D cohort, this support may be include: whole class support, small group intervention and direct individual instruction.

Intensive instruction

Some of our EAL/D students are new arrivals to Australia. It then becomes the responsibility of the classroom teacher and EAL/D coordinator to assess a new student's English proficiency. If this student requires specialist intensive English language tuition, then they may be referred to an Intensive English Centre (IEC). Our local IEC is Thornlie IEC. Once a student attains a certain level of English acquisition, they will then return to East Kenwick Primary School to continue their education.

Another way East Kenwick endeavours to support our EAL/D families is by continuing to use various interpreting services. This service may assist our parents during the enrolment process, teacher interviews and meetings, incursion/excursion information and whenever information needs to be passed on from school to home. The EAL/D coordinator is the link between school and home at East Kenwick.

Embracing our cultural diversity

Harmony Day has been a big event at East Kenwick Primary School. We usually celebrate and embrace our cultural diversity with an evening picnic and concert night, around March 21st, on our school grounds. Covid had put a stop to that over the past two years, but this year we began the tradition again. Staff, students and families wore cultural dress or orange and brought along food from their own cultures to share with one another after a small concert.

The concert began with our own AEIO Elaine Hayden doing an Acknowledgement of Country. After a brief explanation of our cultural diversity, students were called onto stage holding a flag representing the nations we currently have at our school. The chorus of, I am Australian, was sung. Next was a Hindi song sung by a group of our Year 3-6 students, led by our LOTE (Languages other than English) Teacher, Mrs Ritu Grover. Our guest performers this year did an Indian Fusion Dance from the, Arya Hindi Vidyalay community. Many positive comments were given as feedback to this year’s event - please click on the link to watch a video of some highlights.

We look forward to next year’s Harmony celebrations!