VCE English as an Additional Language (EAL) 2023

With between 3000-4000 students completing Unit 3 & 4 EAL each year, many schools will be adopting the upcoming 2023 EAL curriculum. The volume of students completing the EAL curriculum means it warrants plenty of attention in the upcoming update of the Study Design.

Also, with around 400 schools in Victoria having a mix of VCE EAL and VCE English students sharing a classroom, there are additional pressures faced by teachers who in the past have had to teach to different outcomes. This is why the VCAA have decided to align the English and EAL curricula much more closely in the upcoming SD.

The consultation and creation of the EAL curriculum was underpinned by the following principles (outlined in VCAA’s On Demand videos)

  • The curriculum will include explicit teaching of language and metalanguage, including language-focused learning on the sound system, spelling, vocabulary, grammar and discourse areas.
  • The curriculum will provide EAL students with explicit opportunities to engage in speaking and listening activities.
  • The curriculum will allow more time and support for EAL students to plan and to produce written outcomes and to read English texts.
  • The curriculum will provide opportunities for EAL students to consider and engage with cultural knowledge and understanding.

In addition to those principles, the VCAA have sought greater alignment with the VCE Study Design to make it easier for teachers with mixed groups, and more straightforward for students to collaborate in mixed classes.

There are more nuanced ways for students to demonstrate their achievement of the Key Knowledge and Skills, and the range of texts has been broadened and now (thanks to the Crafting Texts outcome) includes much shorter texts.

Updates to EAL in the new Study Design

Because the EAL curriculum closely follows the English Study Design, I won’t write another overview: you can read an overview of the whole of Unit 1 and 2 here. Instead, I’ll go through the adjustments to the assessment tasks and outcomes for EAL with a summary of the differences.

Unit 1 Area of Study 1: Reading and exploring texts

  • EAL students may use extracts from a set text rather than the entire text
  • “On completion of this unit the student should be able to make personal connections with, and identify selected vocabulary, text structures, language features and ideas in, a text.”
  • For this outcome EAL students are required to identify selected vocabulary, text structures, language features and ideas rather than explore (VCE English).
  • This can come in the form of a Personal Response or “a note-form summary of key connections and ideas within the set text.”

Unit 1 Area of Study 2: Crafting texts

  • Texts selected for this AoS should be short and can be audio-visual
  • “On completion of this unit the student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of effective and cohesive writing through the crafting of their own texts designed for a specific context and audience to achieve a stated purpose; and to describe decisions made about selected vocabulary, text structures, language features and conventions used during writing processes.”
  • The only difference between the outcomes for English/EAL is the wording of “selected [vocabulary…]”
  • To meet the outcome, students must submit pieces from any combination of the following:
    • two student-created texts such as: short stories, speeches (with transcripts), essays (comment, opinion, reflective, personal), podcasts (with transcripts), poetry/songs, feature articles (including a series of blog postings) and memoirs
    • a set of annotations on the student-created texts, identifying the qualities of effective writing.

Unit 2 Area of Study 1: Reading and exploring texts

  • Again, EAL students may use extracts rather than a full set text
  • “On completion of this unit the student should be able to identify and develop analysis of how the vocabulary, text structures, language features and ideas in a text construct meaning.”
  • The only difference in the wording of the outcome is the addition of “develop [analysis]
  • Suitable assessments include:
    • a detailed mind map of vocabulary, text structures, language features and ideas from the set text
    • an analytical response to a set text

Unit 2 Area of Study 2: Exploring argument

  • “On completion of this unit the student should be able to explore and develop analysis of persuasive texts within the context of a contemporary issue, including the ways argument and language can be used to position an audience; and to construct a point of view text for oral presentation.”
  • The only difference in the wording of the outcome is the addition of “develop [analysis]
  • This outcome must be demonstrated with a combination of the following items:
    • a note-form summary of the key argument(s) and supporting arguments in persuasive text(s)
    • an annotated visual text(s) that identifies the key persuasive techniques
    • an analysis of the use of argument and persuasive language and techniques in text(s)
    • an oral presentation of a point of view text.

Key differences between English and EAL

In Unit 1 and 2 for 2023, the key differences come from the adjustments to the set texts in Unit 1 AoS 1 and Unit 2 AoS 2 (which may be extracts), and in the assessment options. The new SD provides EAL students who are still developing language skills the opportunity to engage more methodically with vocabulary and language through tasks which prioritise note-form summary and annotation.

One big positive of the new SD is the way in which the two strands have been more closely aligned, which will make it far more straightforward for both students and teachers in mixed classrooms.

I’ll be sending a PDF of mentor texts on the idea of ‘Futures’ to my mailing list on the run up to the 2023 Study Design. This will include suggestions for texts, annotated examples, and ideas about how to approach the idea in the classroom. Sign up to the mailing list to stay up to date:

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One response to “VCE English as an Additional Language (EAL) 2023”

  1. […] VCE English as an Additional Language (EAL) 2023 […]

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