In South Ballajura Primary School, approximately 120 students have been identified as EAL/D students (English as an Additional Language/Dialect). Their families have come to Australia from many different countries including Afghanistan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Burma, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Sudan, Kenya, Eritrea, Burundi, Mauritius, Romania, Serbia and Cyprus. There are many different languages that the students speak at home.
English as an Additional Language/Dialect Program
The EAL/D program in South Ballajura Primary School is tailored to support the classroom teacher in assisting the EAL/D students in class. The EAL/D teacher works mainly with teachers of Years 1&2, thus targeting students who are in stage 1&2 of the English language acquisition process. The EAL/D teacher works ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with classroom teachers to model and scaffold best practice strategies in the 4 macro skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading/Viewing and Writing. Other duties include working collaboratively with all staff to enhance the implementation of appropriate programs to meet the needs of the EAL/D students. Assisting with the monitoring and assessment of EAL/D, students using the EAL/D/ESD Progress Maps in collaboration with class teachers is another important role for the EAL/D teacher in the consultation between the EAL/D and classroom teacher resulting in various teaching strategies being implemented. There is a strong focus on teaching genre or text types as is required in the Australian Curriculum.
A Vietnamese education assistant is available to act as a liaison between the school and parents of Vietnamese students who attend South Ballajura Primary School. One of her roles is to translate letters and documents when required as well as offering one-on-one informal learning time with students before, during and after school. There is also an Arabic education assistant in the school one day a week to act as a go-between for the school and Arabic speaking parents and students.