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Supportive Classroom Environment

This page details publications, documents, resources and programs that provide classroom strategies to cater for refugee learners with disrupted schooling. Some students have had very little or no access to formal education as a consequence of their refugee experience. These students will have limited literacy skills in their first language and knowledge gaps across the curriculum.

Print publications and documents

The Refugee Handbook - Section 3 includes a range of strategies for assisting students to ‘learn how to learn’.

What is the Distinctive Knowledge and Expertise of the ESL Specialist? (Word - 92Kb) (doc - 110.5kb) - a document to help plan programs to meet the needs of ESL students.

School's In for Refugees - the emotional needs of some students may be a block to effective learning and students may demonstrate difficulties in concentrating. This publication features on the The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torturewebsite and has a section on p.34 outlining strategies to overcome blocks to learning.

The Languages and Multicultural Resources Centre (LMERC) - offers a wide range of EAL, anti-racism, human rights, citizenship, peace and multicultural education materials. The collection includes books and audio resources, videos, CD-ROMs and posters. Access the LMERC Library Collection and the LMERC Online Catalogue for a list of culturally inclusive texts.

English as an Additional Language contains tools that are useful for sociolinguistic profiling that can identify gaps in students' learning and knowledge.

DVD and video

EAL Learners with Disrupted Schooling and EAL Learners in the Middle Years videos provide strategies for meeting the needs of students with disrupted schooling.

Programs and professional development

Consider developing a Bridging Program (Word - 324Kb) (doc - 344kb) to support students in their transition from intensive new arrival courses to mainstream schools. Dedicated classes for students with backgrounds of disrupted schooling can provide a supported environment for intensive literacy teaching. These classes build concept knowledge and develop study skills while enabling students to participate in the life of the school.

Collaborate with neighbouring schools or establish professional learning teams. These are powerful ways to share expertise and strategies. See EAL in Schools.

Make use of professional development opportunities to increase and update skills in supporting this group of students.