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English as an Additional Language or Dialect

The Harristown State High School English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) Department supports the English language development of students who have come from language backgrounds other than English.  Some are children of business or work migrants, some have parents studying at university, some are joining family already in Australia, and some are victims of war and/or political unrest in their home countries.  Many of the students are permanent residents who are starting a new life in Australia, but some may have temporary visas, be waiting for visas, or be on bridging visas.  All of the students are approved by the Minister for Education to attend school in Australia.

Students arrive from:

  • Primary Schools
  • Other High Schools
  • Directly from overseas

EAL/D Organisation

The EAL/D Department offers students support in the Intensive Language Centre, in EAL/D mainstream classes, and in the mainstream of the high school.  Placement of students depends on:

  • Chronological age
  • Educational background
  • Language development needs

The program of the Intensive Language Centre is directed at equipping students with the English language that they need to operate in the community, and the language and concepts that they need in order to be successful in the mainstream of the high school.  English is the language of instruction, but some bilingual support is available in Arabic, Dari, Swahili and Persian.

In EAL/D Mainstream Classes students continue to receive intensive English support in the Core Subjects of English, Maths, Science and the Humanities.  At the same time, they are gradually integrated into other mainstream classes.

When students move into mainstream high school subjects EAL/D Teachers and Teacher Aides may continue to provide support.

Additional Programs and Activities

The EAL/D Department has developed a close association with Empire Youth Arts.  Each term students are offered the opportunity to work with Ari Palani, the facilitator of the Youth Arts Program.  Ari explores the themes of friendship, inclusion and transition with the students, promoting self-expression amongst the group.  In 2015, the EAL/D Department in conjunction with The Empire Theatre successfully applied for the Artist in Residence Program 2015.

Local musician, Josh Arnold, is a keen supporter of the EAL/D Department at Harristown State High School.  Josh works with students to create original music from their ideas and stories, involving them in the process of song writing and performing.

Harmony Week provides an opportunity to reinforce the importance of inclusiveness at our school and that “everyone belongs”.  The school has a week of celebrating Australia’s diversity, showing cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home.

Regular lunch time activities for students include Bollywood Dance and African Drumming.