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Teaching and learning

Brisbane Central is a culturally and linguistically diverse school.  Many of our students speak more than one language at home, and all of our students learn French as a language other than English at school. 

Bilingualism and raising bilingual children is good, not only for your children but also good for your family and your community. At Brisbane Central we acknowledge the benefits of bilingualism and encourage students to continue speaking their first language at home, at school during break times and even in the classroom to teachers or classmates when appropriate.

Speaking more than one language easily, is linked to:

  • Better academic results – this is because bilingual children can often concentrate better , have better analytical skills and are better at multi-tasking
  • Increased sense of self- worth, identity and belonging – this includes feeling good about cultural heritage and minority language, feeling confident about communicating and connecting with extended family members, and being able to enjoy art, music, movies and literature in more than one language.
  • Diverse career options later in life.

Bilingualism:  frequently asked questions

Does speaking two or more languages confuse children?

No. Children can learn two or more languages at the same time and can understand the difference between languages at a young age. For example, they realise very quickly that they need to speak Korean to Grandma , and English to the teacher.

Will speaking two or more languages at home affect the way children learn English?

No. A good knowledge of your native language can actually help your child with learning the language of the wider community – for example, English in Australia.

Bilingual children who have a solid foundation in their native language learn the majority language more easily and do better at school than children who aren’t learning their native language at home. For example, children who are familiar with books and stories in their first language find it easier to learn to read and write in English when they get to school.

Will children have problems reading and writing if they are learning several different languages?

No. Bilingual children who are exposed to two different written languages – for example Spanish and English – or even two different writing systems – for example, Chinese and English – can read and write English at high levels. They might also have a better understanding of the relationships between how words look and sound than their peers who only speak English.

Does bilingualism delay speaking?

No. Bilingual children develop language at the same rate as children who speak one language only. Children learn to speak at different rates, but this isn’t because of learning more than one language at the same time.

ESL/D support at Brisbane Central – What does this look like?

New arrival students to our school with little or no English, are provided with daily support to acquire Standard Australian English. These individual or small group classes focus on oral language and we are extremely fortunate to be able to offer up to 2.5 hours intensive support  per week to these learners.

Other EAL/D learners, who have already been supported for one year at Brisbane Central, continue to receive support through small group intervention.  These small groups receive targeted support addressing their specific English language needs.

Our EAL/D teaching staff also support classroom teachers through team teaching and shared planning sessions.

Reporting – What does this look like for EAL/D learners ?

All EAL/D learners in their first 3 years at Brisbane Central will receive an EAL/D section on their report card. These achievement standards are based on the 1-6 Bandscale rating. A 1 rating indicates that a student is new to English and a  6 rating indicates that a student is a highly competent user of English.

Students who are in their first six to twelve months  at Brisbane Central, and have little or no English, will receive an EAL/D report card only. This report replaces the regular report card until the student has acquired enough Standard Australian English to access the curriculum more appropriately.

More information can be found on http://raisingchildren.net.au/ or come and chat to our EAL/D teachers Jo Gawne Nicolette Paull.