Learn smart - Learn online. Upto 88% off on courses for a limited time. View Courses
Error goes here
Please upload all relevant files for quick & complete assistance.
ISSN 1030-8385© 2017 ACTA
RHONDA OLIVER (a), JUDITH ROCHECOUSTE (b)AND BICH NGUYEN (a)(a) Curtin University,
(b) Lingwa ConsultancyAbstract: A histo ...
ISSN 1030-8385© 2017 ACTA
RHONDA OLIVER (a), JUDITH ROCHECOUSTE (b)AND BICH NGUYEN (a)(a) Curtin University,
(b) Lingwa ConsultancyAbstract: A historical perspective of English as a second or additional language (ESL/EAL) in Australia reveals the field as in a constant state
of flux, in spite of Australia™s status as a nation of immigrants. This paper
provides a contemporary review of the various phases of English language
teaching in Australia for both adults and school-aged learners. It does so
in the context of earlier pro-British monolingual attitudes, external global
forces, ongoing changes in education policy, more recent national assessment
regimes and the various global and local developments in the teaching of
second languages.Historically the impetus for teaching English as a Second Language
came with large-scale post-World War II arrivals from Europe. Language
support for child migrants was only introduced some time later and has
continued, although decreasing in availability in recent years. From the
1970s, more focussed programs were instigated with the arrival of refugees
from war-torn countries. In this paper we describe the constant changes
experienced by the providers and the recipients of English language
instruction in Australia.
Theoretically, the development of ESL instruction in Australia began
with an essentially post-colonial perspective whereby the process of assimilation
focussed on normalising the difference and/or deficit of non-English
speakers and attaining the language skills of normative white middle-class
native speakers (Pavlenko, 2003). Despite various investments in
multiculturalism, the non-native English speaker in Australia remains the
‚other™, subject to sometimes intermittent and ad hoc funded assistance.
Keywords: ESL history; EAL/D; child migrant education; AMEP
From the end of World War II in 1945 to the present day, Australia™s
population has risen from 7 million to 23 million and much of this
increase is largely attributable to migration. Migration in this ESL in Australia Œ A chequered history
TESOL in Context, Volume 26, No.1, pp. 7-26
context, from the post WWII decade until today, has remained the
focus of considerable social concern and government policy
enforcing a ﬁnormative Australian-nessﬂ (Faine, 2008).The influx of immigrants has included large numbers from non-English speaking backgrounds not only seeking a better life,
but also those seeking refuge from numerous socio-political,
economic and historical forces. In spite of this, the widespread
introduction of ESL teaching was considerably delayed due to post-
war monolingual, pro-British sentiments. The lack of English,
Australia™s de facto official language, only became regarded as a
ﬁmajor barrier to effective participation in Australian societyﬂ
(Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs, 1980, p. 13) in the
1970s. At this time ESL teaching became more widely available to
help migrants overcome communication and integrative obstacles.
However, continual modifications to policy, provision and pedagogy
have resulted in a somewhat chequered history for teaching ESL in
Australia. In this paper we draw on existing literature providing a
historical account and examination of the shifting status of
Australian ESL policies and practices from post-World War II to the
current period. This history lends itself to interpretation through Post-
colonial Theory. In particular we see the maintenance of ‚difference™
and ‚otherness™ which was held in stark contrast to the social and
cultural norms of the Anglo-Celtic native speaker. Initially there
was determined suppression of ‚otherness/difference™ through the
continued support for assimilation, ﬁwhere notions of cultural
dominance and marginality are quite clearly definedﬂ (Sakellaridou
1995, p. 142). As stated by Faine (2008), the ﬁ–.binary between an
imagined homogenous Australia and the ‚migrant™ as essentially
other, has worked against the inclusion of the learner into the
dominant groups –ﬂ (p. 4). Moreover, through the discourses of
‚otherness™, migrants were seen to be inferior and limited. This is
reflected in those terms often used to describe them (e.g.,
ﬁOrientalismﬂ, Said, 1995) whereby Western thought was considered
to represent the truth and that of any other cultures was deemed
inferior. In turn, these ﬁnormative representationsﬂ (Giroux, 1994)
were ﬁregulative and productive of government policies, including
ESLﬂ (Faine, 2008, p. 75).Eventually, this post-colonial paradigm was replaced by
Multiculturalism - or what Said (1989:213) calls the ﬁrelentless
celebrationﬂ of ﬁdifferenceﬂ and ﬁothernessﬂ. However, as Gunew
(n.d.) points out, Post-colonialism and Multiculturalism do
8 Rhonda Oliver, Judith Rochecouste, and Bich Nguyen
converge because of their shared focus on ‚difference™. Subsequent policy and practices, continuing to the present day, show consistent
waves fluctuating between ‚fairness™ and ‚otherness™ with both
positive and negative consequences. The following sections
describe how these fluctuations have shaped the history of ESL in
Australia.1. Early post-Word War II period - assimilation
Between World War II (WWII) and 1977, more than two million
migrants arrived in Australia. Initially these were from European
countries such as Great Britain, Netherlands, Norway, France,
Belgium, Poland and Denmark. Non-Europeans were only admitted
for business reasons (Australian Government, n.d.; Ozolins, 1993).
However, the vulnerability felt by Australians after WWII (which
gave rise to the expression ﬁPopulate or Perishﬂ 1) soon brought about the extension of assisted migration schemes throughout
Europe and beyond.During this time a post-colonial ‚monolingual English only™ perception dominated policy and pedagogy (Hannan, 2009;
Rhydwen, 1994). Even as late as 1969, sentiments such as ﬁWe must
have a single culture. We do not want pluralism.ﬂ (Federal
Immigration Minister, Billy Sneddon, 1969, cited in Ingram, 2003,
p. 6) reflected a somewhat distorted view of mainstream Australian
society by contributing to a ﬁunifying picture of ourselvesﬂ (Faine,
2008, p. 75). The progress of migrant English language education soon established itself on two trajectories Œ adult learning and school
learning, each with evolving pedagogies. Initially the Adult Migrant
English Program (AMEP) was set up ﬁas ship-board English tuition
for post-war displaced and refugee populationsﬂ (Lo Bianco, 2008,
p. 347). AMEP was established by the Federal Government in 1947
to encourage adult (but not child, Ozolins & Clyne, 2001)
settlement and social inclusion (Burns & de Silva Joyce, 2007; Lo
Bianco, 2002; Lo Bianco, 2008; Lowes, 2004; Moore, 2007; Piller &
Takahashi, 2011). Thus the aim of AMEP was ﬁpragmatic and
assimilation-orientedﬂ (Ozolins & Clyne, 2001, p. 378) and sought
to normalize any differences between Australian citizens and newly
arrived migrants thus conforming to a post-colonial mindset. Yet
(1) ﬁPopulate or Perishﬂ was the slogan used by the Chi˜ey post-war Labor government (1946-1949) to overcome resistance to a policy of mass immigration.ESL in Australia 9TESOL in Context, Volume 26, No.1
10 Rhonda Oliver, Judith Rochecouste, and Bich Nguyen
despite this less than auspicious start and since its establishment, the AMEP program over the years has attracted major government
investment and received support from all political streams in
Australia (Lo Bianco, 2008). For migrant children, however, cultural diversity and ethnic
identity were less well recognised in this post-war period. Children
were treated ﬁin exactly the same way, as if they were all little Anglo-
Saxonsﬂ (Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs, 1980, p. 21).
As Harris (1980) asserts, ﬁOnce [the children] are enrolled in
school, they are, from our point of view, Australian childrenﬂ (p.
26) and as a consequence little was done to assist their transition
into mainstream schooling and society.
In terms of teaching pedagogy, in this period the dominant
methodology was ﬁtraditional language teachingﬂ (Ingram, 1989,
p. 54) and despite attitudinal changes towards migration and
multiculturalism, this pedagogy continued to dominate for some
time. It was underpinned by two theoretical beliefs. Firstly,
language was seen as ﬁa set of discrete building blocks comprised
of lexis and structuresﬂ (Feez, 1999a, p. 6) and, therefore, language
learning simply involved the accumulation of these (Feez, 1998, p.
4). Secondly, language learning was strongly grounded in
behaviourism as it was deemed ﬁa process of developing correct
language habits which are learned through stimulusﬂ (Feez, 1999a,
p. 6). For instance, the Australian situational method was structural
in its organisation and presentation (Burns & Joyce, 2007, p. 8;
Ingram, 2003, p. 2; Piller & Takahashi, 2011, p. 594) being
comprised of three phases of instruction: social phases, grammatical
structures and Australian culture (Piller & Takahashi, 2011, p.
594). It was presented through segments of language and short
sentences through drawings, realia and hand signs (Ingram, 2003,
p. 6) with an emphasis on teaching in the target language, namely
English (Martin, 1998). Structures and vocabulary were graded
according to the perceived level of difficulty (although there was
no empirical evidence for these developmental levels); taught in
connection with the situations in which adult learners might find
themselves; and practised in drills, repetition and dialogue (Feez,
1998, p. 4; Feez, 1999a, p. 6). According to the AMEP workbook
used in that period, Situational English part 3, language was
presented ﬁsituationally in sentence patterns which show their
function and meaning and which are arranged in carefully graded
teaching orderﬂ (Australian Government, 1975, p. v).ESL in Australia 112. Mid-1960s to mid-1980s During this period ESL provision was heavily influenced by large-
scale non-European immigration programs which were initiated in
response to a perceived lack of security, a fear of population
decline, a need to establish a nationality that distinguished
Australia from Britain, and a redefinition of Australia in relation to
the South-East Asian region (Burns & de Silva Joyce, 2007; Collins,
1988; Ingram, 2003; Ozolins, 1993; Ozolins & Clyne, 2001). Even
with the removal of the ﬁWhite Australiaﬂ policy, all migrants had
to follow the same migration procedures, such as the ability to
integrate and to have or gain appropriate qualifications (Australian
Government, 2013a). However, during this time, Australia also
responded to humanitarian calls for refugee resettlement resulting
from the 1968 earthquake in Sicily, the Soviet invasion of
Czechoslovakia in 1968, the overthrow of the Allende government
in Chile in 1971, and the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus
in 1974. Further, with the fall of Vietnam came a significant increase
in refugee numbers not seen since post WWII. In 1978, the first
boatloads of refugees from Vietnam arrived in Darwin. These
groups landed after such treacherous journeys that the government
began recruiting refugees directly from camps in Thailand,
Indonesia and Malaysia. This influx was closely followed by
refugees fleeing the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge regime in
Cambodia in 1979. By 1985, 70,000 refugees from Southeast Asia
had settled in Australia. In 1971, in response to the needs of this new immigrant
population, the Immigration (Education) Act was passed,
emphasising Australia™s responsibility for newly arrived immigrants™
language education (Lo Bianco, 1997). In 1978, the
Report on Post-
Arrival Programs and Services for Migrants
was released and informed
the language and immigration policies of the time (Galbally,
1978). Moving on from the dominant monolingual, mono-cultural
perspective of the post-war period, a multicultural Australia was
emphasised, for example as the Australian Prime Minister of the
time stated, ﬁAustralia is at a critical stage in developing a cohesive,
united, multicultural nationﬂ (Fraser, 1978, p. 2728, cited in
Ozolins, 1993, p. 1). Multiculturalism was ﬁinvoked as a way of
signalling divergence from a notional monoculturalism – and
here it overlaps significantly with post-colonial concepts and
debatesﬂ (Gunew, n.d.). As a result, however, some argued that this
existed as ﬁa covert form of assimilation and even of white supremacismﬂ (Gunew, 2013, p.6), a view supported by Australian
historian Geoffrey Blainey who stressed, at the time, that
multiculturalism placed an ﬁemphasis on what is differentﬂ (Blainey,
1984:153).Even so, while adult migrant learners™ settlement and
language learning needs continued to be catered for by AMEP, up
until this point there was no government response to the needs of
school-aged students coming from non-English speaking
backgrounds. This did not occur until the establishment of the
Child Migrant Education Program (CMEP) in 1971 (Australian
Institute of Multicultural Affairs, 1980; Lo Bianco, 2002; Lowes,
2004; Ozolins & Clyne, 2001). Like AMEP, it was supported
through Commonwealth funding and with its implementation
came recognition of ESL teachers as a separate group of school
teachers (Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs, 1980).
Although even this was fraught, as the funding model meant that
ESL teachers did not always have the same rights as those teachers
funded by their state jurisdictions (e.g., in Western Australia
throughout the 1980s until the 2000s, ESL teachers could not gain
permanent employment positions). Commencing in 1978 and continuing into the 1980s, teaching programs catering for ESL school children included two separately
funded programs: the New Arrivals program (Flohm, 2009; Moore,
2005; Patty, 2013b) and the Multicultural Education Program. In
this context, the earlier post-war dismissal of specific child ESL
needs was addressed, but even here these focussed programs were
targeted at addressing observed educational deficits, rather than
celebrating difference and the linguistic advantages of
multilingualism. In these programs eligible students included
those born overseas in a non-English-speaking country, and those
having at least one parent born in a non-English-speaking country.
In most cases, but depending on the different procedures of the
various systems and sectors, eligibility was determined by the
school (Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs, 1980). Funding
for the Multicultural Education Program was, however, discontinued
in 1986 - the rationale for this included perceived administrative
weaknesses, teacher inadequacy, the (mis)interpretation of the
program™s aims, and the impact of teaching languages other than
English (Cahill, 1986). At this time the responsibility for supporting
students with language backgrounds other than English, apart
from newly arrived migrants and refugees, shifted to schools.
Funding was provided for general ESL support, however, the
TESOL in Context, Volume 26, No.1
12 Rhonda Oliver, Judith Rochecouste, and Bich Nguyen
primary focus was the beginning stages of English language
learning and the promotion of English literacy. For example, in
the early 1980s CMEP materials included resources developed for
school-aged students such as Learning English in Australia (LEA)
which was structural in design. Further, harnessing the younger
learners™ mother tongue was not part of the normal teaching cycle.In contrast, for adult learners the structural approach that was used by AMEP teachers (i.e., the situational method), did
utilise learners™ mother tongue to promote the target language
learning (Ingram, 2003, p. 6). In addition, after this period and
reflecting the status of TESOL and second language acquisition as
burgeoning fields of research, ESL teaching approaches became
more learner-centred, needs-based and proficiency-focused. For
example, by the mid-1980s theme-based and communicative
language teaching (CLT) approaches were being used by many
teachers (Burns & de Silva Joyce, 2007; Feez, 1999a; Ingram, 2003).
Those adopting a thematic approach focused on activities and
language exercises surrounding a particular topic and those
adopting CLT focused on real-life language use.
In fact, by the mid-1980s the general pedagogic trend moved from developing linguistic competence to developing
communicative competence (Ingram, 2003, p. 2). For example, as
the CMEP matured, teachers became more eclectic and many
supplemented or replaced the LEA series altogether with
mainstream texts and resources. Others focussed on the
development of primary school level literacy and numeracy skills
using resources developed specifically for young ESL learners in
1981 (e.g., Selected Materials for Infants Learning English (SMILE)
Commonwealth Department of Education, 1981). However, as a
consequence, the boundary between mainstream and ESL learning
began to blur.
Despite the strong theoretical underpinning and important
practical applications of communicative approaches, it was not
long before a number of limitations began to emerge, particularly
for adult learners. Coming from conservative educational
backgrounds, learners were confused about what was expected of
them and about the role of the teacher (Burns & de Silva Joyce,
2007, 2008). In addition, some were concerned at the lack of
feedback on their progress. As Burns and de Silva Joyce (2007, p.
9) point out, there was ﬁuncertainty about syllabus planning and
contentﬂ (p. 9). In response to these limitations, a ﬁvisible
ESL in Australia 13pedagogyﬂ was demanded (Bernstein, 1990, p. 73; Feez, 1998, p. 25). 3. Late 1980s to 2000s By the late 1980s, several major conflicts beyond Australia further
contributed to the need for ESL services for migrants. For example,
the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident triggered fear in thousands
of Chinese students in Australia who then sought asylum through
the Humanitarian Program (Australian Government, 2013c).
Between 1992 and 1995 the break-up of former Yugoslavia resulted
in the intake of non-English speaking migrants from this region. As
a direct result of the Pinochet regime in Chile, a large number of
political migrants were also supported to resettle in Australia.
Other refugees came as a result of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War
(1998-2000), the civil war in Sri Lanka, and the 1990-1991 Gulf
In 1991, the National Policy on Languages was revised and renamed the Australian Language and Literacy Policy (Dawkins,
1992). The revision of this policy had a major impact on ESL
teaching (Department of Employment, Education and Training,
1991; Lo Bianco, 1997). Before its implementation, the Department
of Employment, Education and Training received 340 written
submissions opposing the change (Clyne, 1991) and its drastically
reduced funding. However, despite this ﬁturmoilﬂ (Moore, 1995, p.
7) the less comprehensive and less inclusive policy was accepted. It
emphasised the teaching of English as a second or foreign language
(Ingram, 2003) and included greater recognition of Aboriginal
students who spoke a traditional language or a creole as their first
language: a possible reaction to the Australian Aboriginal people
who ﬁhave succeeded in disassociating their concerns from
discourses of multiculturalismﬂ (Gunew, n.d.). However, the then
Minister for Education, John Dawkins claimed that ﬁEnglish
language training, is by far and away the most important part of
this policy documentﬂ (Dawkins, 1991, p. 1). Since the approval of the 1991 policy, newly arrived adult
migrants have been entitled to 510 hours in the AMEP to reach a
functional level of English to meet their settlement and vocational
needs; to facilitate their community participation; and to allow
them to enter the workforce (Burns & de Silva Joyce, 2007; Ingram,
2003; Lowes, 2004; Piller & Takahashi, 2011). Humanitarian
entrants are entitled to additional hours, specifically 100 hours for
those who have suffered trauma and torture, and 400 hours for TESOL in Context, Volume 26, No.1
14 Rhonda Oliver, Judith Rochecouste, and Bich Nguyen
those who are between 16 and 24 years old and have had less than seven years of formal education (Burns & de Silva Joyce, 2007;
Piller & Takahashi, 2011).
Also at the beginning of the 1990s, a national competency-based curriculum for the AMEP was developed to improve its
accountability and consistency. This led to the accreditation of the
Certificates in Spoken and Written English (CSWE) (Burns & de
Silva Joyce, 2007; Lewis, 1993; Piller & Takahashi, 2011). This
curriculum aimed to provide adult migrant learners with
information about available services and the Australian way of life
for settlement purposes (Ingram, 2003). As Kim et al. (2012) point
out, 65% of the tasks in the CSWE are settlement-focused. However,
in spite of these changes to curricula, in the 2000s the AMEP was
criticised for failing to assist migrants to develop adequate spoken
and written skills for the workplace (Burns & de Silva Joyce, 2007).
As a result, the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program funded
by government and employers, and specifically designed to develop
workplace and vocational skills with practical study at workplaces,
was implemented (Burns & de Silva Joyce, 2007). Further changes were made to the funding of AMEP. In 1998
public tenders were invited to deliver the programs (Burns &
Joyce, 2007). This led to skilled migrants and their dependents
with a low proficiency level of English (below IELTS 4.5) being
required to partly fund their English lessons as the new service
providers could not offer quality instruction with the financial
resources allocated for curriculum development, teaching materials
and assessment development (Cummings, 1998; Ingram, 2003).
Thus provision of the migrant English programs was transferred to
Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions and other
Recognised Training Organisations (RTOs). With this change,
tuition consisted of a preliminary course and three subsequent
Certificate Levels. All courses continue to be offered, including an
online mode for distance learning. An additional program entitled
Settlement Language Pathways to Employment and Training
(SLPET) was developed to focus directly on the language and
literary needs of the workplace.
During this period, changes were also made to the way ESL
students in schools were supported. Specifically there was a shift
towards ‚mainstreaming™. Specialist programs to support students
fell from favour and there was an even stronger move towards
focusing on English literacy. This period also saw the dominance
of the text- or genre-based approach (Burns & de Silva Joyce, 2007; ESL in Australia 15Feez, 1998, 1999a, 1999b; Lewis, 1999; Mickan, 2004), underpinned by Systemic Functional Linguistic theory (Halliday 1994; Halliday
& Hasan 1985). In fact, the genre-based approach was adapted for
TESOL for both school and adult learning (Burns & de Silva Joyce,
2007; Feez, 1998; Feez, 1999b; Lewis, 1999) with it being introduced
into the AMEP after 1995 (Feez, 1999b). Other major initiatives in the assessment and evaluation of ESL learning also occurred during this time. Stemming from the
Australian Language Levels (ALL) Project, the ESL Bandscales
were developed by teams of educators led by the late Penny McKay
to assess learning in English as a Second Language (Dooley &
Moore, 2009). An alternative set of ESL scales was also implemented
at this time, although the Bandscales were perhaps more widely
accepted by teachers, perhaps in part because of the way they were
developed with considerable input from practising ESL school
teachers.4. 2000s During the decade of 2000-2010 over 1.2 million migrants arrived
in Australia and between 2010 and 2013 average arrivals per year
were around 146,000. In 2013 it was reported that 45 per cent of
all Australians were either born overseas or had at least one parent
born overseas. Of those migrants arriving between 2012 and 2013,
some 62% were from non-English speaking countries. Thus the
need for ESL instruction has continued to be strong (Department
of Immigration and Border Protection, n.d.). Despite this, in more
recent years the focus has moved from providing ESL instruction
per se to the politically driven priority of ﬁbuilding a stronger, fairer
Australiaﬂ (Australian Government, 2011, p.1), and the fate of
ESL, particularly in contemporary Australian schools, but also for
adult migrants in some states, has become ﬁfrighteningly insecureﬂ
(Flohm, 2009, p. 8). In the adult learning context, 510 hours of English language instruction remains available to eligible migrants and humanitarian
entrants who must register with a provider within six months of
arrival and complete their course within five years. However, within
the school system significant changes occurred in the late 1990s
that impacted further on the provision of ESL. In 1997, the federal
funding of the general ESL programs for immigrant schoolchildren
(i.e., once they moved into mainstream classes) came to an end
after twenty-eight years (Moore, 2005). The funding of ESL
programs was now limited to newly arrived migrants only (i.e., in TESOL in Context, Volume 26, No.1
16 Rhonda Oliver, Judith Rochecouste, and Bich Nguyen
their first 12 months post arrival) and the onus shifted to state governments for providing support beyond this time. Some state
systems and sectors had already been shouldering much of this
responsibility, but for others it required considerable change to
ensure that ESL support was available for those students no longer
in New Arrivals programs. For example, a further 12 months was
available ﬁto those students entering or re-entering schooling at
any age who, –have been unable to access ongoing continuous
schoolingﬂ (Department of Education and Training Western
Australia, 2010, p. 9). Loopholes in the system also occurred at this
time: in particular the case of children whose parents had work or
457 Visas for temporary skilled work in Australia for up to four
years. These children did not qualify for the educational support
offered to the families of permanent visa holders or humanitarian
refugees (i.e., the New Arrivals program Œ ESL-NA). As a result,
further funding was made ﬁto schools with significant numbers of
ESL 457 studentsﬂ (Education and Health Standing Committee,
2009, p. 20). More recently in Western Australia, all skilled
migrants in this visa category have been required to pay a fee for
their children to attend school Œ whether or not they require ESL
support. What will happen in this regard in the current political
context will no doubt unfold in the coming years, although with
the recent changes to the 457 category there is little cause for
optimism .Currently, instead of directly funding ESL teaching, some
state governments provide schools with financial resources which
principals are at liberty to use to suit the needs of their ESL
students. Despite the political actions and professional development
provided through organisations such as the Australian Council of
TESOL Associations (ACTA) (and its various state bodies), and in
the face of considerable research by members of the Applied
Linguistics Association of Australia, focus on the specific needs of
ESL students remains at risk.Accordingly, dedicated funding for ESL teachers is threatened
and ESL job cuts have occurred despite the increase in ESL
students in most schools (Patty, 2013a; Tucker, 2011; Lewis, 2012).
The fact that there is no mandatory ESL allocation with the passing
of the responsibility to the schools has been severely criticised
(Flohm, 2009) leading to the further fear that migrant and refugee
students might ﬁeasily slip through the cracksﬂ (McNeilage, 2014,
p. 13). Similar concerns have been addressed by the NSW ESL and
Refugee Education Working Party with regard to the NSW™s
Local ESL in Australia 17Schools, Local Decisions (LSLD) policy reform described as ﬁthe beginning of the dismantling of system-wide, targeted ESL program
support infrastructureﬂ (NSW ESL and Refugee Education Working
In practical terms, ESL school students are being merged into mainstream classrooms even when their English proficiency is
not sufficient. In some states ESL students are now joining
mainstream classes after only two terms of intensive English rather
than three (Tucker, 2011). A further major concern is that many
ESL school-aged children are taught by mainstream teachers using
mainstream pedagogies, and by teachers who often do not have
sufficient understanding of, or background in, the type of teaching
practices required to support ESL learners. Methods used, for
instance, may reinforce a deficit view of ESL students reflecting the
post-colonial perspective of years gone by. Moreover, for many
schools, responding to benchmarks imposed by the National
Assessment Program Œ Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) or the
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) means
most effort is put into these students ﬁcatching upﬂ to the level of
their mainstream peers, without due consideration of their actual
needs and backgrounds Œ including the knowledge and experiences
that they bring to learning. With the notion of ‚a fairer Australia™ comes the concept of
‚equality™ and the temptation that ‚one [pedagogical] size fits all™
and so an eagerness to move ESL learners into mainstream
prevails. However, with the more recent formal recognition of the
second language or dialect status of some learners has meant that
second language pedagogy may be regaining a foothold, albeit a
small one. The uniqueness or ‚otherness™ of the ESL candidate is
again acknowledged Œ be it more positively - with leaners now
being described as EAL/D (English as an Additional Language or
Dialect) learners emphasising the possibility that they already
know one or more languages - an initiative echoed in Michell and
Turnbull™s (2016) whole-school approach to EAL policies, programs
and practices. Methodologies that have emerged to support this
cohort include Content-Based Instruction (CBI) and Content and
Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) which are used with varying
degrees of conscious planning and active pedagogy. Learners are
extensively supported across the curriculum with resources
specifically for Maths, Science and History as well as for English
(for example, the ACARA English as an Additional Language or
Dialect: Teacher Resource and the ACTA EAL/D Elaborations of the
TESOL in Context, Volume 26, No.1
18 Rhonda Oliver, Judith Rochecouste, and Bich Nguyen
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
which have been
endorsed by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School
Leadership (AITSL). However, how well this translates into
practice has not yet been evaluated in any large scale.Further, despite the extensive literature that abounds
regarding second language teaching methodology, including a
move towards analytic syllabuses reflected in such things as Task-
Based teaching which emerged from its predecessor Communicative
Language Teaching, in practice ESL teaching has remained
eclectic. Teachers tend to adopt various practices to address what
they believe their students need. However, a frequent unfortunate
interpretation of these needs at the school level is to succeed in the
national testing regime (NAPLAN) meaning that EAL/D teaching
has a strong mainstream literacy and numeracy focus at the cost of
a foundational, contextual and language focus.5. Other ESL streams
Although tangential to the focus of this paper, Australia™s ﬁESL
historyﬂ is not complete without some mention of the establishment
of privately funded language schools and universities offering
intensive English language courses. Since the mid-1980s, with
English deemed an international language, Australia has become
a place to learn English. An increased need for ESL instruction at
university level was also recognised. Between 2003-2008 the
number of English language students attending these programs
doubled. Even after the Asian and then Global financial crises,
international students have continued to enrol in these classes with
163,542 international students commencing English language
programs in Australia in 2014 (English Australia, 2015), skyrocketing
to 457,243 in 2017 (Department of Education and Training, 2017).
A further positive move concerns those students who are speakers of traditional Aboriginal languages, of creole languages,
and/or Aboriginal English. The needs of these students are
represented in programs addressing EAL/D (English as an
Additional Language or Dialect) (see Welch, Konigsberg,
Rochecouste & Collard, 2015) as indicated above. Yet the
development of Aboriginal students™ proficiency in their various
linguistic codes within classrooms continues to be an educational
area fraught with difficulty due to a lack of awareness (Nguyen et
al., 2014; Oliver, Rochecouste, Vanderford, & Grote, 2011) or
pedagogical approaches that can be uncomfortable and alienating
for these students (Forrest, 2013; Nguyen et al., 2014). As a result, ESL in Australia 19in many Australian classrooms, Aboriginal students experience difficulty moving between the distinct cultural and linguistic
domains and are left struggling (Oliver et al, 2011). To this end,
several recent resources have been developed to improve the
educational outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
students. These include the Capability Framework: Teaching Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander EAL/D leaners
(The State of Queensland,
Department of Education and Training, 2013), and the
Cultural Standards Framework
(Department of Education, Western
Australia, 2015).ConclusionWith the absence of firmly established professional recognition in
the education context, the provision of ESL instruction has
suffered the impact of numerous external forces despite the
agitations of those associations aligned with this field. The
situation described above shows a range of responses to a constantly
shifting scene of policy, pedagogy and funding. Underlying this is
the ever-present spectre of Post-colonialism and ‚otherness™. In the
post-WWII period the evolving political view of immigrants meant
that ESL learners in Australia were required to assimilate from the
‚other™ to a so-called Anglo-Celtic norm by way of English
instruction if an adult, or total immersion if a child. Next,
‚otherness™ was celebrated under the auspices of a policy of
multiculturalism with the recognition of community languages
and cultural diversity. Finally, the perspective of legislators has
moved to creating ﬁa fairer Australiaﬂ encompassing recognition of
existing linguistic skills which includes Indigenous languages and
the gaining of an additional linguistic repertoire Œ whether a
language or a dialect. This demonstrates a somewhat more
appreciative interpretation of ‚otherness/difference™.Over time the profile of learners has also changed from educating prospective Australian citizens to including temporary
skilled employees and students. In response to these forces,
funding for ESL has been ad hoc and requiring continual adjustment
to close loopholes. Moreover, this ever-changing scene has occurred
in the face of structural changes in the education system with, for
example, the introduction of the national curriculum and
assessment processes which go against the trend of devolving
funding responsibilities to the states and subsequently to individual
schools. Such a situation has provided the profession of ESL
teaching with little solid ground.TESOL in Context, Volume 26, No.1
20 Rhonda Oliver, Judith Rochecouste, and Bich Nguyen
To some extent, however, stability for the profession has been
recently enhanced with the expansion of ESL to EAL/D. The range of resources that have accompanied this initiative (see
ACARA, 2013; ACTA, 2015) has also meant that these learners are
now recognised and can potentially be assisted in other areas of
the curriculum. Whether or not this translates into a strengthened
position for EAL/D teachers and learners is yet to be seen.References
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) (2013).
English as an Additional Language or Dialect:
Accessed 4.6.2016: http://www.acara.edu.au/
Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA) (2015).
EAL/D Elaborations of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
Accessed 4.6.2016: http://tesol.org.au/RESOURCES/Australian-
Australian Government (2011). Foundations for a stronger,
fairer Australia. Retrieved from https://www.rdasydney.org.au/imagesDB/
wysiwyg/SocialInclusionreport2011.pdfAustralian Government. (1975). Situational English part 3.
Canberra: Australian Government.
Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs. (1980). Review of multicultural and migrant education. Melbourne: Australian Institute
of Multicultural Affairs.Bernstein, B. (1990). The structuring of pedagogical discourse
(Vol. 4): Class, codes and control.
London and Boston: Routledge and
Kegan Paul.Blainey, G. (1984).
All For Australia, North Ryde, NSW:
Methuen Haynes.Burns, A. & de Silva Joyce, H. (2007). Adult ESL programs in Australia. Prospect, 22
(3), 5-17. Burns, A., & de Silva Joyce, H. (2008).
Cahill, D. (1986). An evaluation of Australia™s multicultural
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural
Development, 7(1), 55-69. DOI: 10.1080/01434632.1986.9994230.Clyne, M. (1991). Australia™s language policies: Are we going
backwards? In A. Liddicoat (Ed.), Language planning and language ESL in Australia 21policy in Australia. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 8, 3-22.Collins, J. (1988). Migrant hands in a distant land: Australia™s
post-war immigration. Sydney: Pluto Press.Commonwealth Department of Education. (1981). Smile selected materials for infants learning English: Beginning English under
eight. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.
Cummings, A. (1998). Skill service or industry: The
organisation of settlement programs for adults learning English in
Canada and Australia. Prospect, 13
(3), 36-41. Dawkins, J. (1991, Sep 2nd). Transcript of John Dawkins,
Minister for Employment, Education and Training press conference re
Australia™s language Œ the Australian language and literacy policy.
Canberra: Office of the Minister.
Dawkins, J. (1992). Australian Language and Literacy Policy.
Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.
Department of Employment, Education and Training.
(1991). Australia™s language: the Australian language and literacy policy.
Department of Education and Training (2017).
student data. Retrieved from https://internationaleducation.gov.
au/research/International-Student-Data/Pages/default.aspxDepartment of Education and Training Western Australia.
(2010). ESL/ESD Progress Map English as a Second Language English
as a Second Dialect. Perth: Department of Education and Training.
Department of Education, Western Australia. (2015).
Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework. Perth: Department of
Education.Dooley, K & Moore H. (2009). Penny McKay 1948-2009: A
leader in English language education. TESOL in Context, 19(2),
50-66.Education and Health Standing Committee. (2009). Children
Missing Out Œ Education Support For: - Students On 457 Visas - Students
With A Disability.
Report No. 4 In The 38th Parliament.English Australia. (2015). Fact Sheet ELICOS Industry Statistics
Faine, M. (2008). At Home in Australian: Identity, Nation and
the Teaching of English as a Second Language to Adult Immigrants in
Australia. PhD thesis, Faculty of Education, Monash University,
Victoria, Australia.TESOL in Context, Volume 26, No.1
22 Rhonda Oliver, Judith Rochecouste, and Bich Nguyen
Feez, S. (1998). Text-based syllabus design.
Sydney: National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research.
Feez, S. (1999a). Text-based syllabus design.
5-11.Feez, S. (1999b). Text-based syllabus design.
Context, 9(1), 11-14. Flohm, A. (2009, Feb 14th). ESL™s future is not so certain.
Education, p. 8.Fraser, M. (1978, May 30th). CPD House of Representative,
v.109, pp. 2728-2731.
Galbally, F. (1978).
Review of Post-Arrival Programs and Services
. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.
Giroux, H. A. (1994). Living dangerously: Identity politics and the new cultural racism. In H. A. Giroux & P. McLaren (Eds.),
(pp. 29-55). London New York: Routledge.
Gunew, S. (n.d.)
Postcolonialism and Multiculturalism: Between Race and Ethnicity.
Accessed 18 April 2017: http://faculty.arts.ubc.
ca/sgunew/RACE.HTMGunew, S. (2013)
Haunted Nations: The Colonial Dimension of Multiculturalisms (Transformations)
. UK: Routledge.Halliday, M. A. K. (1994).
An introduction to functional grammar
(2nd ed.). London: Edward Arnold. Halliday, M.A.K. & Hasan, R. (1985).
Language, context and text: aspects of language in a social-semiotic perspective. Waurn Ponds,
Vic: Deakin University.
Hannan, M. (2009). Righting wrongs and writing rights into language policy in Australia. Tamara Journal, 8
(2), 245-257. Ingram, D. E. (1989). Language-in-education planning.
Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 10, 53-78. Ingram, D. E. (2003). English language policy in Australia. Paper presented at the 2003 Summer International Conference of
the Korea Association of Teachers of English (KATE), Chungnam
National University, Daejeon City, Korea, 26 to 28 June, 2003.
Kim, S. H. O., Ehrich, J. & Ficorilli. L. (2012). Perceptions of settlement well-being, language proficiency, and employment: An
investigation of immigrant adult language learners in Australia.
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36,
41Œ 52.Lewis, B. C. (2012, September 18th). Call for parents to lobby
over funding cuts. Penrith City Star [no page number].Lewis, C. (1999). Vygotsky and text-based approaches.
, 17-24. ESL in Australia 23Lewis, R. (1993). Competency-based curricula and the
Certificate in Spoken and Written English.
TESOL in Context, 3(1), 12-13.Lo Bianco, J. (1997). English and pluralistic policies: The case of Australia. In Eggington, W. & Wren, H. (Eds.),
Language policy: Dominant English pluralist challenges (pp. 107-119). Amsterdam;
Philadelphia: J. Benjamins.Lo Bianco, J. (2002). ESL in a time of literacy: A challenge for policy and for teaching. TESOL in Context, 12(1), 3-9.Lo Bianco, J. (2008). Language policy and education in Australia. In S. May & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of
Language and Education, Volume 1: Language Policy and Political Issues
in Education, (2nd ed., pp. 343Œ353). LLC: Springer Science+Business
Media LLC.Lo Bianco, J. (2009). Language teaching and learning: Some hard decisions. Babel, 44(1), 36-38.Lowes, D. (2004). Australian politics and the AMEP.
TESOL in Context, 13(2), 16-20. Martin, S, (1998). New Life, New Language: The History of the
Adult Migrant English Program.
Sydney: National Centre for English
Language Teaching and Research.
McKay, P. (2001). National literacy benchmarks and the
outstreaming of ESL learners. In J. Lo Bianco & R. Wickert (Eds.),
Australian policy activism in language and literacy (pp. 221-239).
Melbourne: Language Australia Publications.McNeilage, A. (2014, January 31st). Lack of language training
prompts fears for migrant students: Education.
Herald, p. 13.Mickan, P. (2004). Teaching strategies. In Conlan, C. (Ed.),
Teaching English language in Australia: Theoretical perspectives and
practical issues. Perth, W.A.: API Network, Australia Research
Institute. Michell, M. & Turnbull, M. (2016).
Leading the development of an effective whole-school English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Presented at the 2016 ACTA International Conference,
Perth 7-10 April.Moore, H. (1995). Telling the history of the 1991 Australian
Language and Literacy Policy.
TESOL in Context, 5(1), 6-20. Moore, H. (2005). Identifying ﬁthe target populationﬂ: A genealogy of policy-making for English as a second language (ESL) in Australian
schools (1947 Œ 1997).
PhD thesis, University of Toronto, Canada.
TESOL in Context, Volume 26, No.1
24 Rhonda Oliver, Judith Rochecouste, and Bich Nguyen
Ann Arbor: ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing.Moore, H. (2007). Non-language policies and ESL: Some connections. TESOL Quarterly, 41
(3), 573-583. NSW ESL and Refugee Education Working Party. (n.d.)
Letter to The Right Hon. Adrian Piccolo, MP.
Accessed 4.6.2016: https://www.nswtf.org.au/files/university_correspondence_to_a_piccoli_
mp.pdfOzolins, U. (1993). The politics of language in Australia.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ozolins, U. & Clyne, M. (2001). Immigration and language policy in Australia. In G. Extra & D. Gorter (Eds.), The other
languages of Europe
(pp. 371-390). Artarmon, NSW: Multilingual
Matters. Patty, A. (2013a, May 28th). Academics to fight against
O™Farrell™s English language funding cuts: State Politics.
, p. 6.Patty, A. (2013b, November 25th). English aid scrapped in
new funding arrangements: State Politics - Education - 31 positions
to go. Sydney Morning Herald
, p. 10.Pavlenko, A. (2003). I never knew I was a bilingual:
Reimagining teacher identities in TESOL. Journal of Language,
Identity and Education, 2(4), 251-268.Piller, I. & Takahashi, K. (2011). Language, migration and
human rights. In Wodak, R., Johnstone, B. & Kerswill, P. (Eds.),
The SAGE handbook of sociolinguistics
(pp. 583-597). London: SAGE.
Said, E. (1989). Representing the Colonized: Anthropology™s
Interlocutors. Critical Inquiry 15
, 205-25.Said, E. (1995). Orientalism: Western conceptions of the
Orient. Middlesex: Penguin Books.Sakerllaridou, E. (1995). Interculturalism - Or the Rape of the Other: Some Problems of Representation in Contemporary
British Theatre. Gramma, 3, 141-155.State of Queensland (the), Department of Education & Training. (2013).
Capability Framework: Teaching Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander EAL/D leaners.
Brisbane: Department of
Education & Training.
Tucker, B. (2011, August 6th). Fears ACT rushing non-
English speakers. The Canberra Times
, p. 7.Welch, A., Königsberg, P., Rochecouste, J. & Collard. G.
(2015). Aboriginal Education in Australia: Policies, Problems,
Prospects. In Crossley, M., Hancock, G., & Sprague, T. (Eds.),
ESL in Australia 25Education in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific (pp. 91-110). London: Bloomsbury.
TESOL in Context, Volume 26, No.1
Rhonda Oliver is a professor at Curtin University. She began her
career as a school ESL teacher. Her research focuses on studies of
second language acquisition, including large scale studies on
international and Indigenous university students, and on migrant
and Aboriginal children acquiring English as an additional
[email protected] Judith Rochecouste
has taught Linguistics and academic English at
several universities and has conducted extensive research into
indigenous and international university student experience. She
currently develops online materials for instruction in academic
English and for teaching English as an additional language/
[email protected] Bich Nguyen is a research associate at Curtin University. She has
published research papers and book chapters in World Englishes,
Functional Linguistics, SLA and Aboriginal education. Her research
directions are to further investigate ways to improve educational
outcomes for primary and secondary students who speak English
as an additional language or dialect.
[email protected] 26 Rhonda Oliver, Judith Rochecouste, and Bich Nguyen
Enter the password to open this PDF file:
MyAssignmenthelp.com is highly acknowledged for providing best quality online dissertation help. With a talented team of dissertation experts, we are capable of providing top-notch quality inclusive dissertation help services. Each cheap dissertation writers of our team has acquired PhD degree in his or her respective field of study. Thus, students, who often wonder, can someone write my dissertation for me or can expert write my dissertation at cheap price, find our experts as the helping hand in writing dissertations.
On APP - grab it while it lasts!
*Offer eligible for first 3 orders ordered through app!
ONLINE TO HELP YOU 24X7
OR GET MONEY BACK!
OUT OF 38983 REVIEWS
Received my assignment before my deadline request, paper was well written. Highly