JOY Burch has opened the Gungahlin Primary Introductory English Centre at Palmerston District Primary School.
“The opening of the Gungahlin Primary Introductory English Centre demonstrates the ACT Government’s commitment to meeting the needs of students, including those with English as an Additional Language or Dialect,” Joy said.
The opening is in conjunction with Harmony Day (21 March) which celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity as well as inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.
“Relocating to a new country and settling into a new school can be challenging for children. This is made more difficult if the child’s language is not English.
“Introductory English Centres provide a safe and inviting place to introduce school life in Australia to students with little or no English. The main focus is to develop students’ English language skills to enable their success as a student in a mainstream school setting” Ms Burch said.
The Minister today also announced the launch of the English as an Additional Language or Dialect fact sheets, developed in collaboration with Dr Misty Adoniou, Senior Lecturer in Literacy, Language and TESL at the University of Canberra, for classroom teachers and parents.
“These fact sheets will support the English language acquisition of students in ACT public schools and provide better opportunities for them to engage fully in their education,” Ms Burch said.
The English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) fact sheets have been developed to support classroom teachers to better understand the experiences and needs of students from other language backgrounds. They will help teachers to plan for English language knowledge, as well as cultural differences.
A parent fact sheet, translated into 12 languages, is available online at www.det.act.gov.au.