High-challenge Teaching for Senior English as an Additional Language Learners in Times of Change

Alford, Jennifer; Jetnikoff, Anita
February 2011
English in Australia (0155-2147);2011, Vol. 46 Issue 1, p11
Academic Journal
This paper will present a brief overview of the recent shifts within English and EAL/D (English as an additional language/dialect) curriculum documents and their focus on critical literacy, using the Queensland context as a case in point. The English syllabus landscape in Queensland has continued to morph in recent years. From 2002 to 2009, teachers of senior English and English as an Additional Language (EAL/D) have witnessed no less than four separate syllabus documents that impact on their daily work. The Australian Curriculum, when finally implemented, will also require teachers to navigate through and grapple with its particular obligations and affordances. The combined effect of the shifts and tensions between recent policy documents has led to confusion about exactly how to cater for EAL/D learners in mainstream English. We discuss the possible effects of this on teachers as the agents of policy implementation and argue that in spite of such contradictions, EAL/D teachers can productively use syllabus frameworks to craft pedagogy to cater for their EAL/D learners' language and literacy needs. Following this, we present aspects of the teaching practice of four teachers of senior EAL/D, who provide intellectually-engaging, critical literacy pedagogy that takes into account the language proficiency level of their learners, within the required curriculum. Such practice provides teachers with valuable pedagogic possibilities to meet EAL/D learners' needs within continually varying policy terrain.


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