Teaching in linguistically and culturally diverse secondary schools
How far have we come?
Thirty years ago Australian researchers led the development of language and content integration in schools, advocating systematic teaching of language across the curriculum to meet the needs of English as an additional language (EAL) students. However, despite significant improvements in initial teacher education, targeted professional development and language-specific curriculum and assessment, this paper suggests that secondary teachers have gained only a superficial understanding of the language knowledge necessary to teach EAL students. Drawing on questionnaires, interviews, and observations, this case study of two secondary schools in Sydney reveals the majority of teachers report their perspectives and experiences of good teaching have equipped them with a repertoire of sufficient strategies to meet EAL needs, and they see little difference between teaching EAL and learners with low levels of literacy. This paper concludes a renewed focus on integrating language and content teaching and partnership models of professional learning and evaluation are needed.
Keywords: English language learners, content and language integrated curricula, subject teachers, content teachers, teacher professional development
Published online: 18 October 2019
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