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August 2016

Welcome to our e-bulletin for August 2016.

We have taken a little extra time to recover and gather some excellent summaries from our VicTESOL Symposium: Thinking Beyond the Classroom which was held on the 1st of August, 2016.

We’ve also recently held a Twilight Session: EAL Student Transitions, on the 18th of August. It has been an exciting month!

If you come across any events, resources or articles that you think the VicTESOL community might get something out of, why not share them in our next e-bulletin? Email by the end of the month and we'll endeavour to include it in the following edition.

In this issue
  1. VicTESOL Symposium: Thinking Beyond the EAL Classroom
  2. Session Summaries
  3. Symposium Resources
  4. VicTESOL Professional Learning
  5. VicTESOL Research Grant
  6. VCE Update
  7. ACTA Update
  8. Upcoming Conferences

VicTESOL Symposium
Thinking Beyond the EAL Classroom

1 August 2016
The Bastow Institute

We were lucky enough to be joined by over 100 TESOL and EAL teachers, practitioners and policy-makers for the VicTESOL Symposium: Thinking Beyond the EAL Classroom.

Held in the wonderful Bastow Institute in North Melbourne, the event featured inspiring keynote speakers, 
relevant and thought-provoking sessions and panels, and brought together a passionate group of teachers from across the state of Victoria.

We would like to offer a huge thank you to all the presenters, Bastow staff, VicTESOL committee members and everyone who came and made the day such a huge success!
Session Summaries

Leadership: April Edwards 
EAL teaching, learning & advocating: 
What more can we do?

April Edwards shared her personal, exemplary journey from an EAL coordinator to the Teaching and Learning Leader at Thomastown S.C. by taking her passion and expertise for second language acquisition and pedagogy in this role.

In this information packed, inspirational session Edwards highlighted the need to audit and identify needs of not only EAL but also NESB students that an educator can influence in one’s own context and advocated the process to follow.

The handouts Edwards provided helped develop the comprehensive understanding of the points she was elaborating upon throughout the presentation. Edwards focused on the step-by-step progressive actions one can initiate in order to establish and foster a sense of belongingness to the school community among EAL/NESB students and their parents.

Report contributed by Lini Kane, VicTESOL Committee Member

Jan Malloy and Liz Suda, Museums Victoria 
Thinking Beyond the Classroom

Jan Molloy and Liz Suda from Museum Victoria engaged us in ways of thinking about how we might use the Museum’s resources to develop cultural understanding. We were also inspired to consider the diverse contexts of the English language.

In thinking about what a museum is and does, Molloy and Suda provided the following useful definition from Museums Australia: “A museum helps people understand the world by using objects and ideas to interpret the past and present and explore the future”. They demonstrated a few of the ways that Museum Victoria does this through the various programs and learning kits that they offer: e.g. What’s your story? First peoples, etc.

Lastly, they reminded us that the Museum runs programs that are both on and off their sites, as well as online, making them an accessible and valuable resource for teachers and learners of language.

Report contributed by Julia Lippold, VicTESOL Committee Member.

Theory: Dr Howard Nicholas
Engaging with Theories of Language

Dr Nicholas’s presentation on EAL theory was insightful and invigorating.  The common language acquisition notions of  â€˜communication’ and ‘language’ were unpacked deeply through presentation and group discussion.

The complexity of communicative acts were further explained whilst Dr Nicholas presented his “Communicative Repertoire” theory. This four dimensional theorem essentially maps the choices individuals make when communicating in any context or situation; from purpose to varieties to modes and mediations.

By asking ourselves what resources at available to us, with whom do we wish to communicate and what message do we intend to convey essentially we can map any communicate act.

Report contributed by Julia Lippold, VicTESOL Committee Member.

Pedagogy: Robyn Babaeff
Pedagogy in Action Across Education

Robyn Babaeff shared narratives from her research, describing the practical and emotional journey facing EAL students and their families. Through interviews she conducted with families of second language learners, she gave an insight into the expectations, fears and hopes that parents experience as their children become participants in a new culture, and the importance of teachers hearing and being responsive to these.

Babaeff emphasised the importance of really seeing learners as bilingual – embracing the richness that it brings to the classroom, and addressing the challenges as well as the opportunities as students learn to “do self” in a new language and culture.

Report contributed by Michelle Andrews, VicTESOL Committee Member.

Pedagogy: Dr Angela Cincotta-Segi
The multilayered approach: Language support and development in the Australian University context

Angela Cincotta-Segi from Student Learning at La Trobe University used the context at her workplace to introduce us to student cohorts who reflect a wide range of language backgrounds and educational experiences. The rich social, cultural and linguistic diversity of students at universities makes for diverse learning needs and therefore programs for addressing these needs must be similarly diverse.

Cincotta-Segi outlined the challenges in resourcing such programs. She presented a model for addressing the needs of whole cohorts through embedding of language and academic skill development within mainstream curricula as well as implementing support for small groups and individuals who need more intensive support.

Report contributed by Shem Macdonald, VicTESOL Vice-President.

Panel Discussion
Building Communities Beyond the EAL Classroom

The final session of the Symposium was a panel comprising Jenn Clark (Manager, ASRC Schools program), Anthony Brewergray (EAL teacher, Wodonga Senior Secondary College), Mairead Hannan (Head of Education and Careers, The Huddle), David Ogden (Wellbeing Team Leader, Dandenong HS) and Howard Kelly (Education Consultant).

Panel members outlined a wide variety of locally relevant programs celebrating and educating about diversity and engaging with their unique communities. They discussed planning programs, meeting challenges and finding creative solutions for “making the most of … cultural collateral”, and shared the positive outcomes of their partnership and engagement projects, inspiring the audience to reflect on how they might implement projects in their own settings.

Report contributed by Michelle Andrews, VicTESOL Committee Member.

 Symposium Resources
We have a collection of Keynote presentation recordings, powerpoints and other documents available for VicTESOL Members on our website. To access the full range of resources please click here.

VicTESOL Professional Learning

EAL Student Transition
Thursday, 18 August 2016

Penny Newton, Transition Officer at Blackburn English Language School
Lynne Dyer, EAL Leader at Melba College

Penny Newton, Transition Officer at Blackburn English Language School and Lynne Dyer, EAL Leader at Melba College gave a useful presentation on strategies for teachers to help EAL students with the transition from English language schools into mainstream education. Some of the practical strategies suggested included opening a dialogue between the English language school and the mainstream school to ensure a full handover is completed and providing all staff with information on how to correctly pronounce students' names.

Report contributed by Catherin McClymont, VicTESOL Professional Learning Co-ordinator.

Session Resources

VicTESOL Research Grant

Inaugural VicTESOL Research Grant
Applications close October 7, 2016

The inaugural VicTESOL Research Grant offers funds of $5000 to a research team to conduct research into a project that aims to meet the needs of refugees. The project must involve researchers and practitioners as research partners.

The research team will work collaboratively with VicTESOL to report their findings in a manner that is relevant to the VicTESOL membership, other EAL/TESOL practitioners and researchers in Victoria and potentially to other members of TESOL communities nationally and internationally.


Click here to find out more

Applications and queries should be directed to:

VCE Update

VCE English/EAL Student Revision Day
The VCE English/EAL Student Revision Day program is now online. Bookings close on the 3rd of October, 2016.

Click here for registration:

ACTA Update

SATESOL will host the 2018 ACTA Conference in Adelaide 2-5 October 2018.
The Conference theme is English language learning in a mobile world.

SAVE THE DATE!  More details to follow.

For updates, follow ACTA Conference 2018 on Facebook.

Upcoming Conferences

ACU’s Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association Conference 27-29 September
Language as social power: 20th century beginnings, 21st century futures

The theme of ASFLA 2016, “Language as social power”: 20th century beginnings, 21st century futures, turns our attention in two directions: to celebrate what SFL has achieved and to reinvigorate what it might do.

Click Here for further details.
2017 CamTESOL Conference
Building a Regional Community: English Across Platforms

The 13th Annual CamTESOL Conference on English Language Teaching will be held on 18-19 February 2017 at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, therefore, the theme for the 2017 conference is Building a Regional Community: English Across Platforms. 

The CamTESOL Secretariat invites all those working in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT), or those who have an interest in this field to submit an abstract for the conference.

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 19 September 2016

Click Here for further details.
ALTAANZ November 2016 conference

ALTAANZ 2016 will be held at the University of Auckland from the 17th to 19th of November 2016.

Click Here for further details.
VicTESOL is a professional association committed to promoting excellence in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and multicultural education, and to fostering and supporting cultural and linguistic diversity. VicTESOL provides support and services to TESOL teachers working in schools and pre-schools, adult and community education, ELICOS centres, and university and industry settings throughout Victoria.
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