Significance of EAL for VCE
EAL is a critical subject, especially for students who are new to the Australian schooling systems and teaching and learning conducted in English. Each learning areas have its’ own specific language and technical terms, especially at the VCE level, and without the language proficiency it is very difficult for students to perform well in the subject regardless of the actual knowledge and skills students may have (Macken-Horarik, 1996). For example, many international students who have learned Math in their home countries and are able to solve difficult math questions that is above the VCE level may still fail the exam as they find it hard to understand to questions. There’s no doubt that many teachers spend…show more content… However, some students may feel uncomfortable with the content of the text due to their personal experience or cultural and religious background. It is thus important for EAL teachers to be sensitive enough to respond to possible trigger and help students understand the value of Australian society.
Another issue to consider when reviewing EAL curriculum is the politicalness of the English language teaching itself. It is for sure that English proficiency is critical for individuals to “intergrade” into the English-speaking society, but as a compulsory subject, it is arguable if more emphasis should be put onto the students’ native languages. The case of Aboriginal or Torres Islanders students is a controversial example. While the public sector and many scholars has been trying to preserve the cultural and language heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Islands, the current education system means that students can only succeed using English. While it is likely that only a fundamental change to the entire system in Australia can really improve the current situation, it is still a critical issue that politicians, educators and curriculum designers should bear in mind.
Analysis of the new EAL curriculum
Just as any other changes to curriculums, there are both praise and complains towards the new study design for EAL. My personal teaching practise as a EAL teacher and VCE tutor for EAL make both the teachers and students thought and reaction