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 Pre-Primary 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.
Authentic parent engagement, where parents are leaders of learning, is held in high regard at our school. Parents and the EAL/D team offer lunch time “Culture Club” for students from Term 2-Term 4 that features different cultures. The content is planned and delivered by the parents with the support of the EAL/D team.
A Parent Network Group meets three times a term in the EAL/D room. This gives parents the opportunity to meet, learn about our curriculum through workshops and talks, as well as learn about Australian culture. During these meetings, one of our education assistants provides interpreter support for our Chinese speaking parents. Most of these meetings are informal gatherings where parents can get to know each other and learn from one another.
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.
This year, through the ASEAN Bridge Program, we were matched with a Brunei school -Sekolah Rendah Panchor Murai to be our partner school for at least 2 years. Partner teachers from each of the schools are provided with the opportunity to visit each other’s school to learn from each other and be immersed in the local culture.
All teaching staff at Burrendah Primary School continually work at developing their skills to cater to our culturally and linguistically diverse students.