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Teacher guide Successful language learners: whole-school ESL language and literacy practices

TLF ID S7081

This teacher resource describes the Successful Language Learners Whole-school ESL Language and Literacy (SLL) strategy implemented in 11 Sydney metropolitan public and Catholic schools. The strategy met the needs of ESL students, particularly refugee students, newly arrived students with little or no English language skills, and students at risk. The resource is organised in eight sections: Summary, Target student group, Method, Results, Lessons learned, Research base, Further reading and links, and Contacts. It describes the project's four interrelated strategies and the improvement achieved in the English-language proficiency of ESL students, and in the literacy and numeracy of all students.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This is a valuable resource for schools with large populations of students for whom English is an additional language or dialect, particularly those schools serving areas of new arrivals and experiencing constant enrolment of newly arrived non-English speaking students throughout the year. The 11 SLL schools included 4400 ESL students from 50 different language backgrounds and 809 refugee students. The results they achieved were considerable. There was positive growth in reading and numeracy in the SLL Assessment Banks 1 from 4 and in National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results for literacy (reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy for all schools in the project.
  • The Method, Results and Lessons learned sections are particularly helpful in both demonstrating the major effect that ESL-informed pedagogy can have on language learning and describing the four major interrelated initiatives of the SLL project: targeted support for students; professional learning for teachers; school leadership development; and the establishment of schools as centres for community activity. Each school was provided with an ESL expert to help the executive team lead change in ESL teaching practice. The targeted support for students included helping teachers analyse student achievement data and develop individualised and whole-class plans.
Year level

F; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6

Learning area
  • English;
  • Mathematics
  • English/Language
  • English/Literacy
  • English/Literature
  • Mathematics/Measurement and geometry
  • Mathematics/Number and algebra
  • Mathematics/Statistics and probability

    Other details

    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 2014-04-04
    • Name: Education Services Australia
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: AUSTRALIA
    • URL:
    • Copyright holder
    • Date of contribution: 2014-04-04
    • Name: Commonwealth of Australia
    • Organisation: Commonwealth of Australia
    • Address: AUSTRALIA
    • URL:
    Metadata contributors
    • Resource metadata contributed by
    • Name: Education Services Australia
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: AUSTRALIA
    • URL:
    Access profile
    • Generic
    Learning resource type
    • Teacher guide
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    • Adobe Reader - minimum version: 7.6.9
    Operating systems
    • ms-windows - minimum version: 7
    • macos - minimum version: OSX v8
    • © 2014 Commonwealth of Australia, unless otherwise indicated. This material is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike licence (CC BY-SA 3.0 AU) unless otherwise indicated. You may distribute, remix and build upon this material, provided that you include the acknowledgement '© Commonwealth of Australia 2014' and license under the same terms any new creations you have based on the material.