School Classrooms : Diverse Linguistic And Cultural Backgrounds

1724 Words Nov 8th, 2015 null Page
Secondary school classrooms in Australia are highly multicultural spaces. According to de Jong and Harper (2006), teachers are expected to teach students from increasingly diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Between 2009-10, Australian schools received a growing number of students with disrupted schooling arriving from places of conflict and persecution, including Afghanistan, Burma/Myanmar, Iraq and Sudan. Over half of these refugees had been living in exile for five years or longer, which can involve living in a camp but more often even more difficult situations in urban and rural areas (Refugee Council of Australia, 2011; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2010). Asylum seekers usually have no access to education or other forms of social support. In 2013, The Queensland Teachers Union reported that Queensland students with English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) backgrounds account for 13.9% of all Queensland students in all schools (Government and non-government).

As stated by Lucas et al (2008), unfortunately, most mainstream classroom teachers have had little or no preparation for providing the assistance EAL/D students need to successfully learn academic content and skills through English while developing proficiency in English. It is unsurprising then, that in a report conducted by the Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA, 2014), it was recommended that pre service teachers complete at least one unit in teaching English…

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