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July 2012 issue

Contents
News
News Round Up
Inside the industry
Advisor Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus
Direction
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
Regional Focus
Market Analysis
Grapevine

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ESL in Australia

Secondary schools in Australia are adapting traditional ESL provision to better meet the needs of international students. Bethan Norris finds out more.


Many secondary schools in Australia welcome the international influence introduced by foreign students and actively recruit overseas. Consequently, programmes designed to help international students acquire the language and study skills necessary to help them succeed in mainstream secondary education are on the rise.

Matthew Rawes, Manager of Student Recruitment at Prince Alfred College (PAC) in Kent Town, SA, says the school moved on from offering a traditional ESL programme for overseas students five years ago. “International students in years seven-to-10 who are new to Australia and/or have inadequate English language skills for them to segue successfully into mainstream classes are placed in the International Students Transition Program [ISTP],” he explains. “In the ISTP they receive intensive language support and training in English for academic purposes as well as integral cultural assimilation activities and enhancement of their maths, science and humanities [ability].”

The aim of any transition programme is to integrate students into mainstream classes with their English speaking peers. Rawes explains this may happen at different times for different subject areas. “A capable maths or science ISTP student whose language abilities are sufficiently developed might initially join just these mainstream classes for further extension while another might join art, technology or music classes to assist with his/her integration with native speakers,” he says.

For many schools, the development of supplementary and ESL programmes for international students occurred with the development of overseas recruitment practices. Tony de Gruchy, Director of the International Office at Canning College in Bentley, WA, says they have provided ESL support since they started offering an international student programme. “It needed to be expanded to cater for more students and [meet] the needs of students from China,” he says, adding that 40 per cent of the student body comes from overseas and their top nationality groups are Chinese, Malaysian and Singaporean.

While there is a trend among secondary schools to integrate ESL provision with other academic work and study skills, Leeanne Moriarty at Mercedes College in Adelaide, SA, says they offer up to eight hours of ESL classes a week for international students as well as a separate study skills class after school for two hours. “[There have] not [been] many changes [to the course] over the years,” she adds. “We have educated international students for 40 years so we have fine tuned it over the years and stick to a proven formula for students at our school.”

An important part of any course focussing on the academic and language integration of international students into mainstream education is social integration. Moriarty highlights this aspect at the school. “We blend the internationals from the start with Australian buddy students, a world culture club run by local and international students to ensure social integration,” she says, adding, “We also have a small number of students from a wide range of countries, so there aren’t clusters of nationalities.”

Debbie Kemish, Director of the International School at St Paul’s School in Bald Hills, QLD, says that their international student population used to be focussed mainly in years 10-to-12, but now includes a younger age group and is spread throughout years one-to-12. This makes the language and academic intergration programmes on offer even more critical and the school provides three and a half hours of ESL classes a week. “These are small group lessons which entail about 60 per cent ESL lessons and 40 per cent assistance with assessment issues in all subjects,” says Kemish. “These lessons are taken by qualified ESL teachers, not tutors, and include a maths/science ESL specialist.”

Kemish adds that the courses are reviewed every semester and any changes are introduced. “More focus has been placed on content-based work in recent times, ensuring skills are developed through work that students encounter in mainstream classes,” she says.

At St Paul’s International College in Moss Vale, NSW, which accepts students at all levels of English language ability, students can study on a separate English Language for High School Preparation course until they are ready to move into mainstream classes. However, social and academic integration is still a key priority. Anne-Maree Scott at the school says, “We have been operating for 25 years but recently we have made changes to better integrate students into mainstream classes with local students. In these classes international students have more opportunities for cross cultural communication and cultural exchange.”


Supplementary Ielts courses

With many international secondary school students intending to go on to university in Australia, an Ielts score is an essential qualification and some schools offer extra preparation courses.

Anne-Maree Scott at St Paul’s International College in Moss Vale, NSW, says they offer three hours of Ielts preparation classes a week to year 11 students. “Most of our international students need to sit an Ielts exam for entry into our EAP course and our University of New South Wales Foundation Year,” she says.

At St Paul’s School in Bald Hills, QLD, Ielts preparation courses are available for students in term three of each year. “Approximately four per cent of our school population is international,” she adds. “This does vary up to seven per cent at times. Approximately 40 per cent of this group [are] from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.”

However, for some schools the nationality breakdown of their international students means that Ielts preparation courses are not essential. Leeanne Moriarty at Mercedes College in Adelaide, SA, says they don’t offer any English language exams, “except for mainland Chinese students. The minimum English [level] for EU or South American students is a good English mark in their last three years of academic transcripts and a letter from their English teacher. This is also applied to many Asian countries.”

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company

Country

Telephone

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ASSOCIATIONS / GROUPS
Alto  
English Australia  
MEI - Marketing English in Ireland  
Perth Education City  
Study Gold Coast  
English in Chester  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  

ACCOMMODATION
English Australia  

AUSTRALIA
IELTS  
Perth Education City  
Study Gold Coast  

CANADA
Bow Valley College  
Braemar College  
Centennial College  
College of New Caledonia  
Connect School of Languages  
Georgian College  
Hansa Language Centre of Toronto  
Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced  
Omnicom School of Languages  
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology  
St James Assiniboia   
York University English Language Institute  
iMandarin Language Training Institute  

CHINA
Camp Beaumont  

ENGLAND
English in Chester  
Embassy CES   
International House London  
INTO University Partnerships  
Kaplan International Colleges  
London School of Business & Finance  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
Stafford House   
St Giles International  
University of Essex - International Academy  
Wimbledon School of English  
Alphe Conferences  

EVENTS
Cambridge Esol  

EXAM BOARDS
IELTS  
Trinity College London  
TOEFL Educational Testing Service  
Active Language Learning  

IRELAND
Centre of English Studies  
Clare Language Centre  
English Language Academy ELA  
Galway Cultural Institute  
Galway Language Centre  
Language College Ireland  
University College Cork Language Centre  
Clubclass Residential Language School  

MALTA
Malta Tourism Authority  
Maltalingua Ltd.  
CNN International Language School  

PHILIPPINES
EIEN Power  
Global Standard  
MDL Cebu Language School  
Paradise English  
International House - Sevilla CLIC  

SPAIN
Xul Comunicación Social  
EF International Language Centers  

SWITZERLAND
Eurocentres International  
Malta Tourism Authority  

TOURIST BOARDS
California State University San Marcos  

USA
ELS Language Centers  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
University of California San Diego  
Zoni Language Centers  





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