Effective English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) Pedagogies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Year: 2018

Author: Guenther, John

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Over the last 10 years of ‘Close the Gap’ policies considerable effort has been made by territory, state and federal governments in Australia, to improve literacy outcomes for students. Students who speak a traditional language, creole or Aboriginal English dialect are often targeted for interventions because the ‘gap’ is often larger for students with these language backgrounds. 
In 2017, the Commonwealth House of Representatives ‘Power of Education’ report recommended that: ‘the Federal Government undertake a comprehensive review of all federally-funded pedagogies to ensure the pedagogy is improving literacy and numeracy outcomes, delivering the Australian curriculum, and providing value for money’ (5.53). In early 2018 the Queensland Department of Education and Training commissioned a small study to answer the question: “What constitutes effective English language instruction within the delivery of the Australian Curriculum in mainstream classrooms of Indigenous learners who speak English as an additional language or dialect?”. 
The study was built around a systematic review of the Australian literature from 2000 to 2018. It attempted to find pedagogical practices that could demonstrate measurable improvement. While the study found considerable evidence of EALD programs and practices, there was very little that could demonstrate improved outcomes. The presentation discusses the findings and implications from the study.