Teachers’ experiences of educating EAL students in mainstream primary and secondary classrooms

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Many schools in Victoria, Australia, are multicultural, with students coming from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. Content area teachers often educate EAL students in their classrooms, even though they may not have specialised EAL teaching qualifications. This paper presents the experiences of primary and secondary teachers working in multicultural schools in Victoria. It explores the way in which teachers meet the needs of EAL students in their classrooms, and the support that is available to assist them to do so. This paper reports that teaching practice, school leadership, professional learning, and identity, influence the way in which teachers educate EAL students. However, this paper reveals that teachers require more support to assist them with educating EAL students. The most beneficial forms of support are professional learning, collaboration between staff, and understanding different cultures. This paper also argues that experienced teachers require relevant ongoing professional learning throughout their careers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Teacher Education
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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