English as an Additional Language or Dialect
Burrendah Primary School has a comprehensive English program for both newly arrived students and those who are born in Australia, but speak English as an additional language. The Program caters for students from Kindergarten to Year 6, with a focus on oral and written competence in Standard Australian English. The English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) team implements support programs, working in collaboration with classroom teachers. We also support parents, enabling them to fully engage in their child’s education in their new school community.
We adhere to the principles of equity and access to the curriculum through the provision of high quality English teaching, to ensure our EAL/D students reach their full potential.
Burrendah Primary School is a culturally diverse community with over 60 languages spoken by our students. We recognise this wonderfully rich cultural and linguistic diversity and take every opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate this. For example, the whole school engages in Harmony Day festivities every March. As our students learn about different cultures, they become very accepting and learn to value each other’s culture.
A Parent Network Group successfully meets every fortnight in the EAL/D room. This is a wonderful opportunity for parents to meet and share concerns, learn about curriculum issues through workshops and talks, as well as learn about Australian culture.
We recognise the importance of first language skills in learning a second language and encourage students to maintain their home language. The EAL/D team consists of specially trained teachers and ethnic education assistants, who use their different bilingual skills to support students, as well as interpret/translate for parents, teachers and the school community. Their knowledge and understanding of different cultures is paramount in nurturing a good rapport with parents and students, as they adjust to their new school environment.
A priority of the Australian Curriculum is for all students to become ‘Asia literate’. At Burrendah, our students are building their skills and capacity to operate effectively in a globalised world, focusing on the Asian region. Teacher exchange programs to Asian countries are an integral part of this priority, which supports better understanding for teachers and students of our nearest neighbours. A new project resulting from this priority is the Burrendah Culture Club.