- Teachers and educators
- Curriculum and the NT Board of Studies
- Assessment and reporting
- School management
- Early childhood
- Literacy and numeracy
- Supporting students and learning
- Training and beyond school
- Professional learning
- International services
Teaching Multilingual Learners Program
Multilingual learners are a diverse cohort comprising 40% of the students in the Northern Territory.
Education for multilingual learners through ESL methodology is core business for NT Department of Education and Training.
The department undertakes to provide programs to enable multilingual learners to become proficient in Standard Australian English (SAE) to access the content and learning processes in the delivered curriculum.
The Framework for Learning English as an Additional Language policy, guidelines, and frequently asked questions guide the delivery of effective teaching and learning programs for English as Additional Language (EAL) learners.
Multilingual students bring knowledge and learning strategies that differ in world view and in priorities for ways of learning. The stages through which English-Additional-Language/Dialect (EAL/D) learners develop Standard Australian English (SAE) are distinct from those of English L1 learners in school.
Multilingual learners have the advantage of an already established first language as a base from which to acquire and learn an additional language.
- They already know how to learn a language
- They know what language is about
- They know and understand a range of culturally specific purposes of language.
Multilingual learners require ESL teaching approaches that build on the knowledge they already have as first language users and the knowledge they need as additional language learners:
- Learning English - the content of English (text, sentence, vocabulary and word level knowledge)
- Learning about English - the intercultural knowledge required to learn an additional language for purposeful use in Australian/school contexts; how English is structured linguistically
- Learning through English - the specific language of Learning Areas across the curriculum and how to use English for learning.
The Teaching Multilingual Learners Program develops policy and provides quality assurance for:
- quality teaching (professional qualifications and professional learning for teachers in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
- quality learning through an additional language (provision of knowledge and processes in the TESOL field for Regional Project Officers to provide school level support)
- quality assessment through moderation and validation of student achievement.
Moderation of EAL/D student work
Quality assurance of ESL information about students is an aspect of the Teaching Multilingual Learners (TML) National Partnership Program. Moderation and validation of EAL/D student progress will:
- Ensure the validity of systemic data to ascertain numbers/movement of EAL/D learners
- Enable mapping of EAL/D learner progress
- Support teachers and schools to set learning targets for planning, teaching and assessing students.
Timeline for action in your school (pdf 368 kb)
Regional TML Project Officers can be contacted for further information in relation to assessment and moderation in their advisory role with schools.
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages across the curriculum
EAL/D learners in the early, primary and middle years of schooling engage with the skills and content of all learning areas as identified in the Australian Curriculum as well as the Northern Territory Curriculum Framework (NTCF).
The Australian Curriculum identifies curriculum content for all learners in Years K-10.
The ESL component of the NTCF identifies outcomes and pathways for target setting, planning, teaching, assessing and reporting on EAL/D student progress in learning English as well as (complementary to) their assessment of knowledge within a learning area.
Teachers of EAL/D learners
All teachers plan, teach and assess using pedagogy that responds to EAL/D learner needs. Learners in remote NT Indigenous schools are EAL/D students and make up 100% of the learner groups. Teaching in these contexts is necessarily ESL informed. Most schools in urban contexts have an identified cohort of EAL/D learners. Where this cohort is significant, the ESL teacher and the classroom teachers team teach to ensure that EAL/D students are taught the English language required within learning areas, to access the whole curriculum.
The support provided through the Teaching Multilingual Learners Program (TML) includes:
- regionally based TML Project Officers to provide professional ESL support for teachers
- professional development in the teaching and assessment of EAL/D students.
EAL/D students need to learn spoken English before/at the same time as to achieve the literate skills required for learning in school. The recognition for teacher up-skilling in content and pedagogy for teaching spoken English (Learning to teach spoken English, Learning to teach about spoken English and Learning to teach through spoken English) is met through the ESL for Indigenous Language Speaking Students (ILSS) Program. This program provides targeted spoken English teaching for EAL/D learners in their first year of formal schooling, along with professional development for teachers.
Regional project officers
Regional TML project officers provide strategic assistance (advisory visits, TESOL professional learning programs) to schools with multilingual learners. Project officers work with schools to establish ESL targets and to plan and program for appropriate ESL teaching, assessing and reporting within a whole school approach to TESOL.
Project officers also work with schools to identify and implement approaches to meet the reporting and implementation requirements of the ESL for ILSS Program and the ESL general support program within urban and some remote schools where relevant.
TML project officers present at regional or central professional development activities.
The ESL for Indigenous Language Speaking Students (ILSS) program
The ESL for ILSS program focuses on teaching spoken English to Indigenous language-speaking students in Year One. Additional teachers are provided for schools with larger numbers of eligible students. The achievement target for these students is Level 1 Comprehensive in Speaking on the NTCF ESL outcomes. Teachers are provided with professional learning in ESL methodology, assessment and moderation processes.
End-of-year report template (word 118 kb)
ESL in the Senior Secondary years of schooling
The NTCET team within Curriculum, Teaching and Phases of Learning Division provides support to ESL learners undertaking the Senior EAL/D course (Australian Curriculum) and assists teachers to include appropriate teaching, learning and assessment for ESL learners enrolled in Stage 1 and Stage 2 (Yrs 10-12) courses in other learning areas.
ESL learners in the senior secondary years of schooling have the opportunity to select Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET) subjects of interest or of relevance to them. Stage 1 ESL, Stage 2 ESL and Stage 2 ESL Studies are available for ESL learners. The literacy requirements of ESL learners is monitored by individual schools and individual teachers are supported to ensure the delivery of quality learning that is responsive to their particular needs as second language learners. All three NTCET subjects have an eligibility requirement that is to be completed at the start of Stage 1 study. Students can also access literacy courses according to vocational interests.
Intensive English units
Eligible students supported through this program are newly arrived migrant or refugee students with specified visa subclasses granted under the Humanitarian Program. Intense English Units are based at Anula and Moil Primary Schools, Sanderson Middle School and the Senior Intensive English Unit at Darwin High School.
Darwin Intensive English Units (pdf 455 kb)
A Graduate Certificate in Education (TESOL for Indigenous Learners) is offered through CDU in association with the Department of Education. This qualification is done part-time over 4 semesters and is recognised as half of the requirements for a Master in Education Degree.
The Association for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ATESOL) is active in the NT. This association is a member of the Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA). Through this membership all ATESOL (NT) members have access to the international association. The members receive professional readings, professional learning and conference information.
Senior TML Program Manager
Curriculum, Teaching and Phases of Learning
t: (08) 8993701