Tell Me Your Story: Supporting EAL/D Students in the Primary Years


The focus of this three day course presented by Kathy Rushton and Joanne Rossbridge is to develop understandings and strategies for participants who support EAL/D students in both small groups and mainstream classrooms.

We will focus on oral language development as the basis for developing literacy through the cyclical use of a range of strategies. This will be achieved through consideration of how students need to make meaning in curriculum contexts with a particular emphasis on developing knowledge about language particularly grammar and vocabulary.

Practical strategies will be provided to foster the use of English language (L2) while encouraging students to use all the linguistic resources that they bring to school including the use of their first language (L1). Consideration will be given to the wellbeing framework and supporting students in an inclusive environment which honours and confirms their identity, language and culture.

First offering 2020: 22 May, 26 June, 7 August

Second offering 2020: 3 November, 20 November and 4 December 

Day 1

Speaking and Listening

  1. Principles of second language learning
  2. Lexical density and grammatical intricacy: The relationship between grammar and vocabulary development
  3. The Mode Continuum
  4. Elaborated and restricted codes and the relationship between L1 and L2
  5. Strategies for developing oral language through planning and the cyclical use of range of activities, eg communicative activities, group work, drama, rhymes, chants, poems. Link back to the mode continuum.
  6. Select a picture book and, based on today’s session, prepare strategies. Explanation of task for Session 2.

Day 2


  1. Introduction of Field, Tenor and Mode.
  2. Before, during and after reading and in preparation for writing with a focus on:

field building activities to acknowledge and build on cultural knowledge (before)

intonation, pronunciation, punctuation and spelling (during)

inferential comprehension (after)

3. Strategies for categorising vocabulary and working with language features

4. Share strategies for selected picture book with a small group

5. Explanation of task for Session 3.

Day 3

  1. The teaching and learning cycle
  2. Identifying strategies for developing writing through a joint construction.
  3. Strategies for supporting written like text, eg Readers Theatre, Dictogloss, Running dictation, Advance /Detail
  4. Making links to the community through writing for a purpose
  5. Prepare notes for the joint construction of a Literary Recount and an Exposition using selected text.


Completing a Tell me your story: Supporting EAL/D Students in the Primary Years course will contribute 21 hours of NESA Registered PD addressing: 1.3.2, 2.5.2, 3.2.2, 3.3.2, 6.3.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

Cost: $600 - for 3 days

Evaluation Comments:

  • Thank you for such professionalism rich-tasks and great choice of childrens reading materials.
  • Great being able to make contacts and friends with other teachers.
  • Thank you for a great 3 days with 2 fantastic presenters.
  • Very valuable and helpful with interactive sessions.

Target Participants

EAL/D and mainstream teachers K-6


There will be a range of delivery modes including exposition, multi-media presentations, and plenary dialogues.

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