Strategic Plan Launched

The WATESOL Strategic Plan 2012-2016 (summary here) introduces a structured approach to the roles and responsibilities of committee members and it allows them to focus on their area of passion or expertise through the creation of 7 sub-committees: Governance, Marketing & Communications, Teaching & Learning, Consultation, Awards, Professional Learning and Conference 2016. With the work allocation being divided up into these new sub-committees, we invite you to join the WATESOL 2013 Committee by nominating at the AGM on 27 October 2012.
You can then select the sub-committee in which you are most interested at the first Committee Meeting on 13 November, 2012. We will meet on the second Tuesday of every month (usually at AISWA in Osborne Park) from 4.30-6pm, except when it falls in school holidays. We would like a good spread of committee members drawn from all sectors of EAL/D teaching, both migrant, refugee and Aboriginal: ELICOS; adult migrant colleges; Catholic Education; Independent schools; Department of Education WA; and all levels of instruction within these: primary, secondary and tertiary, as well as from teacher educators and academics.

If you are interested in contributing or know someone who you think would like to get involved, please give them a nudge! Challenging times are ahead for EAL/D and we need passionate educators in our professional association.It’s going to be an exciting year for WATESOL as it begins to implement its Strategic Plan – so, come on, be a part of it by joining the 2013 WATESOL Committee! If you would like more information on the WATESOL Strategic Plan 2012-2016, please contact Vice-President, Samantha Vanderford at vicepresident@watesol.org.au.

New Report Launched

Patsy Konigsberg and Adriano Truscott have now launched the report of the research both have been working on over the recent years. The Understanding Stories My Way’: Aboriginal-English speaking students’ (mis)understanding of school literacy materials in Australian English was launched by the Chairperson Western Australian Aboriginal Education and Training Council, Ms Carol Garlett, on Friday 27 July 2012. This report is a result of a research project conducted by Farzad Sharifian, Adriano Truscott, Patricia Konigsberg, Ian G Malcolm and Glenys Collard. The project which was coordinated at the Education department by Adriano and managed by Patsy Konigsberg investigated the degree to which the failure of Aboriginal students to achieve equitable outcomes is due to the differences that exist between the cultural-conceptual basis of Aboriginal English and the Standard Australian English (SAE) reflected in school literacy materials. In Professor Ian Malcolm’s words, who co-lead the research with Professor Farzad Sharifian, this report

“extends the borders of knowledge and, most important, it provides a basis for immediate practical implementation to bring about change which could have a transformative effect on learning for Aboriginal students.”

Findings and teaching suggestions are included in this report and available through the institute for Professional Learning.

DIAC approval of PTE Academic

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has formally approved the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) as fully satisfying the Government’s requirements for testing the English language proficiency of student visa applicants. The decision means that for the first time in ten years, Australian institutions and their potential students will have a choice of Government-approved English language testing options.

For more information go to the PTE Academic website.

The Indigenous Literacy Project for Indigenous Learners

The Indigenous Literacy Project (ILP) aims to raise literacy levels and improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Australians living in remote and isolated regions. This is done by providing books and literacy resources to Indigenous communities and raising broad community awareness of Indigenous literacy issues.

See the project website by clicking here.