English as a Second Language [ESL]
Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. There is a high percentage of the population for whom English is not their first, or sometimes even their second language. Significant numbers arrive in Australia with no English at all. Indigenous people may also have a different first language.
All systems work to provide English language skills so that everyone is able to access all areas of life and participate fully, irrespective of age, previous nationality, wealth or any other factor.
This page looks at English as a Second Language, or EAL/D studies in all states & territories. It covers programs, New Arrivals, interpreting & translation, funding, guidelines, Commonwealth support, more. Other information covers English Language schools, ESL jobs and journals.
Check the ESL Resources page for further assistance.
States & Territories
Australian Capital Territory
English as an Additional Language or Dialect Programs
Translating and Interpreting Service, Introductory English Centres, Parent fact Sheet, Literacy and U-CAN Read.
- English as an Additional Language or Dialect Policy
2017 Policy. You can download a copy of the policy in Word format from this page..
- Introductory English Centres
‘For students newly arrived in the ACT with a language and cultural background other than English and who have limited English language’.
- Translating and Interpreting
Details on this page. Call 131 450 for further details.
New South Wales
- English as an
Additional Language or Dialect : Advice for Schools
‘Advice for the successful operation and management of EAL/D programs in government primary schools, high schools, Intensive English Centres and the Intensive English High School’ Guidelines.
- EAL/D School Evaluation Framework
- Updated !
English as a Second Language
HSC Courses. Syllabus, Assessment and examination materials, Other support materials. For Years K-10 see the English Syllabus [‘Students learning English as an additional language or dialect’].
- English as an Additional
Overview, link to guidelines and resources, more.
- Interpreting and Translations
Services to assist parents of children requiring ESL assistance [among others]. Government schools. Also check the Translated documents page.
‘Welcome to the Languages section where educators can find resources to support and enhance languages programs in NSW public schools’.
Includes links to sections on English as an Additional Language/Dialect education, Interpreting and translation services and Refugee education.
as a Second Language
NT.GOV.AU. Overview, links to Intensive English Units, English as a second language in schools, English as a second language for Indigenous students.
- English as a Second Language in Schools
- English as a Second
Language Policy and Guidelines
Both documents are available for download. PDF format
- English as a Second Language Students
NT.GOV.AU. ‘To assist the transition to mainstream schooling, international students can access intensive English courses. On arrival, your child’s English language proficiency will be assessed and your child will be placed on an appropriate intensive English course’.
- Intensive English Units
NT.GOV.AU. Lists those for primary and secondary students.
- Advice for
‘Parents play a very important role in supporting student learning’. Available to download in multiple languages.
- Cultural and
‘Schools respond to the educational needs of students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. A range of policies and resources support this’.
- English as an Additional Language or
‘Students who are learning the English language while they learn the school curriculum are known as English as an additional language or dialect [EAL/D] learners’. Information at this site for school-aged dependants of international students.
- English as a Second Language
- Useful Information
Information as part of support for Literacy and Numeracy.
- English as a Second Language Support
An area which receives special support at all levels.
- English Language Support
in Queensland State Schools
Overview, overview in multiple languages available to download.
for English language support
‘English as an additional language or dialect [EAL/D], formerly known as English as a Second Language [ESL], is a specialised field of education concerned with teaching English to learners who do not speak Standard Australian English as their first language’.
- Using Interpreters in Schools
- English as an Additional Language
SACE. Program information for students in Years 11 and 12.
- English as an Additional Language or Dialect Program
‘The program helps sites to provide an effective pathway for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are learning English as an additional language/dialect’. DECD
English Language Support
Covers Courses and Services, Support to learn English, Support for non-English speaking students.
- Updated !
SACE. Refers to these in relation to Years 11 and 12.
Interpreting and Translating
Information from sa.gov.au.
- Students with English as an Additional
Catholic Education Office. Covers multiple programs including this.
- Support for students from non-English speaking backgrounds
‘Provides support for students of non-English speaking backgrounds and their families at schools and new arrivals centres’.
- Support to Learn English
‘Students with minimal English who have recently arrived in South Australia may be eligible for support to learn English for living and studying in South Australia’. Multiple sections and links.
English as an Additional Language Program
Overview, links to English as an Additional Language Program Guidelines and contact details.
You now need to be able to log in to access this site.
- English Language Centre
‘Whether you’re looking for an English course that will help you meet the English language entry requirements for entry into university, or if you want to improve your English skills for fun or business, you can find a suitable course for your needs at the University of Tasmania’s English Language Centre ’.
Guidelines for Inclusive Language
Aspects of this Guideline package are relevant.
- Support for Students
Tasmanian Catholic Education Office. Includes a statement about ESL.
- EAL Provision for New Arrivals
Policy to ‘ensure schools inform parents about the New Arrivals Program, and of their right to access the program for their children’.
Access reports for several years.
as an Additional Language [EAL]
Home page for EAL services. Linked among others to #58;
Developmental Continuum P-10
‘Provides evidence based indicators of progress, linked to practical teaching strategies, to support the assessment of EAL students and the development of effective learning programs’.
- EAL Language Schools and Centres and Regional English Language
Lists details about services provided.
Education Aides [MEAs]
‘Each year funding is provided to eligible government schools for the employment of multicultural education aides’.
Links to a variety of publications and online resources.
Support for Refugees
‘Information and resources to help support students from refugee backgrounds in schools, especially those with disrupted or no previous schooling’.
Use an Interpreter or Translator
‘Interpreting and translating services are available free, within guidelines, to government schools’. Booking on-site interpreters is done through the VITS LanguageLoop. The first page also provides access to Multilingual school notice collections.
Reporting the Achievement of EAL Students
‘Progress of an English as an Additional Language student learning English should be reported against the stages of the EAL Standards rather than the levels of the English Standards’.
- The EAL Handbook
‘Advice to schools on programs for supporting students learning English as an Additional language’.
EAL New Arrivals Program
‘This Program provides support for rural schools using virtual conferencing and digital tools. It provides a quality English language learning program for newly arrived EAL learners in isolated and rural schools’.
- Aboriginal English
“Tracks to Two-Way Learning”. ‘A train-the-trainer resource aimed at engendering positive change through the four dimensions of Staff Knowledge and Practice, Community Engagement, Policy and Practice and Learner Engagement to improve quality teaching and learning’.
- Aboriginal English Resources
Nine areas include some of those listed in this section.
- English as an Additional Language or
Program information, documents, EAL/D for Aboriginal Students, EAL/D Assessment and Reporting, EAL/D Curriculum Support, and Translating and Interpreting Services.
- Teaching and Learning Resources - EAL/D
Multiple resources, strategies, more.
- The Department of Education - EAL/D Resource and Information Centre
- AMEP Fact Sheets - AMEP Research Centre
‘Developed by the Adult Migrant English Program Research Centre to provide teachers with information on areas of professional concern’. Macquarie University.
- AMEP Research Centre - Professional Development Resources
‘A wide range of Professional Development Resources’. Macquarie University.
- AMEP - Reviews of Australian Resources
AMEP Research Centre, Macquarie University.
English Language Schools
- Australian ELICOS Schools and Colleges
- Australia, ESL Schools and Programs
‘Find a listing of all ESL programs in Australia. Click on any program to view more information, or refine your search within Australia by city’.
- Directory of English Language Schools in Australia
Search by location or name.
- University English Language Centres Australia
‘30 Australian universities offering English Australia Language courses’.
- ESL/Indigenous Project
‘Articles that outline the policy debates surrounding Aboriginal English, and articles that state what Aboriginal English is, or provide some practical examples or personal experience of its use and influence.’
Federal Government Support
- Updated !
Adult Migrant English Program
‘English lessons to eligible adult migrants. Free for most eligible adult migrants’.
‘Endorses English language centres in universities, colleges and high schools. Endorsed centres are granted the NEAS quality mark, internationally recognised and valued by students, teachers, agents and governments’.
- Learning English [AMES]
‘Opens a world of opportunities and is essential for making the most of your life in Australia’. Free English classes, English for Work, English for Overseas students. Victoria and Sydney.
- English Australia
‘National association for accredited public and private English language colleges in Australia’.
- Dave’s ESL
‘The Internet’s meeting place for ESL and EFL teachers and students from around the world’.
- Developing Teachers
‘A web site for the developing language teacher.’
- English Baby !
‘Visit every day for a new, free English lesson ! Our online English lessons feature real English conversations about popular culture’.
- ESL Jobs
‘Jobs for teachers of English to speakers of other languages’. Provides email newsletters covering vacancies.
- International English Language Testing System [Australia]
‘Measures ability to communicate in English across all four language skills - listening, reading, writing and speaking’. Extensive information on all aspects available from the site.
Journals & Other Publications
For all educational journals, see the Education Journals page.
English Language Bulletin
‘A weekly digest of the most important news affecting English language teachers worldwide. Fee for members and non-members’.
- Teaching EAL/D Learners in Australian
PETAA.‘Outlines some of the recent trends in the theory and practice of EAL/D teaching and learning, offering relevant support for all classroom teachers to cater more effectively to EAL/D learners in their classes’.
- TOPICS Online Magazine
‘Offers learners of English the opportunity to express and publish their ideas in English to an online audience’.
- TESall.com’s Useful Links for ESL/EFL Teachers
Employment, blogs, lesson plans, news, school directories.
Test of English as a Foreign Language™
‘With ePrepz you get access to hundreds of different types of quizzes, exercises and practice tests that are based on the TOEFL exam’. Fee-based but reasonable.
- Good Luck TOEFL
‘Studying for the TOEFL exam can be scary, difficult, and confusing. Good Luck TOEFL gives you the answers’.
- The TOEFL
‘The TOEFL test covers all facets of English proficiency, including a test of spoken English and grammar exercises.’ Now able to be done online.
- Test of English as a Foreign
Format and contents, criticisms, related links. Wikipedia.
A sample test from the UK.
- What is the TOEFL ?
And how to prepare for it.‘TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language and is the most popular standardised test of English proficiency. Most people will end up taking the iBT test, so in order to prepare for it, it’s best to know as much about it as possible. This includes the time, structure, and number of questions’. Multiple sections covering many areas.