Virtual EAL new arrivals program

This program (VNAP) provides support for rural schools using virtual conferencing and digital tools. It provides a quality English language learning program for newly arrived EAL learners in isolated and rural schools.

Specialist EAL teachers support students in rural and isolated schools using virtual conferencing and digital tools to deliver both curriculum-related and individualised content.

The program is part of the Victorian government school new arrivals program, which also includes English language schools and centres, and regional programs in Geelong, Shepparton and Mildura.​​​ 

Teachers are based at the Victorian School of Languages (VSL) in Thornbury  and are funded by the Department's EAL Unit.​

​Program delivery tools and resources

Virtual conferencing, digital tools and systems are used to develop the English language proficiency that students need to access mainstream curriculum.

To participate in virtual conferencing sessions schools can use systems like:

  • Polycom
  • Skype

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Student will also gain access to Moodle, the online learning management system. This is used to host  student submissions, display of student work and access to other communication features such as forums/discussion boards.

Some hard copy materials are included to complement the other elements, to provide for hand writing practice and to vary the activities. Until a student is comfortable using the Moodle materials are provided by email and require printing out at the school.

Face-to-face contact

Depending on student numbers and location school visits by the EAL teacher will be part of the program to personalise the experience for young children and to build relationships between the EAL teacher, the student and the student's school.


All eligible students: 

  • receive one virtual conferencing session each week
  • can be enrolled for up-to-four consecutive school terms, depending on need and the development of their English language proficiency.
  • ​For students in Prep to Year 2, lessons will be 30 minutes long, plus an additional 10 to 15 minutes for teacher-supervisor liaison about student progress.
  •  For Years 3 to 10 sessions will be 45 to 60 minutes long. Conferencing systems may also be used to record lessons and stages of student work.


The program is offered at no cost to participating schools.

Entry requirements

To participate in the program a student needs to meet the new arrivals eligibility criteria and be in an isolated or rural school where they cannot access other support for intensive English language instruction.  When a student who may be eligible enrols in a school the Principal can check the student's eligibility and then contact the program coordinator to arrange an assessment.

The program coordinator will assess the student's English language proficiency, in consultation with the local school, to determine if the program is appropriate for the student and whether or not a place is immediately available.

If a place is available the program coordinator will arrange to enrol the student in the program.  The coordinator will work with the classroom teacher or a supervisor appointed by the school to arrange virtual conferencing sessions and other requirements for the program.

Students are enrolled in the program for between 6 and 12 months depending on need.  The intensive English language component is based on the stages of the EAL Companion to the AusVELS. The program's specialist EAL teachers also work with the classroom teachers at the students' schools to provide content to support the curriculum in the classroom.  The program teachers also regularly assess students against the EAL Developmental Continuum.  They provide written reports to the parents at the end of each semester and when students exit the program.  They can be available by virtual conference for parent teacher interviews.  

If the program is determined not to be appropriate for the student, or the student is not eligible for new arrivals support, EAL regional  program officers are available to support and advise the school.

For contact details for EAL regional  program officers, see: EAL Regional Program Officers 

Eligibility criteria

For new arrivals eligibility criteria, see: New arrivals

English language proficiency

English language proficiency is assessed against the stages of the EAL Developmental Continuum. Assessments are conducted in a virtual conferencing session.

For further information, see: EAL Developmental Continuum P-10


Students are assessed against the stages of the EAL Developmental Continuum by the EAL teacher on enrolment, at three week intervals and on exit from the program. The EAL teacher or coordinator will provide de-identified student assessment data at the end of each semester to the Department for evaluation purposes.

For further information on data collected and provided to the Department, see Student data (below).

​Priority for enrolment

Priority will be given to students in schools that do not receive EAL Index funding​ or support through an EAL Cluster. 

Where the program is at full capacity, a student may be put on a waiting list and supported by the EAL Regional Program Officer.

Additional funding support – small rural schools

Small rural schools may be eligible for funding to employ an ancillary staff member to assist the student during the video-conferencing sessions.  Enquiries should be directed to the EAL Unit at:

​Requirements and reporting

To participate in the program schools will need to provide:

  • a discrete learning space with a virtual conferencing facility
  • technology support when required
  • a dedicated supervisor to oversee the student's program and assist the student, where possible, with the following:
    • organisation of the student's timetable
    • availability and access to equipment
    • initial assessment process to determine the student's English levels
    • the necessary organisational and learning skills required to succeed in the program.​


The EAL teacher will provide a report on student achievement and progress for the student's school and parents at the end of each semester according to standard DET guidelines. In addition, schools will be provided with an exit report at the conclusion of the student's enrolment in the program.​

​Student data

The VSL collects and maintains student enrolment data in line with its usual procedures and provides de-identified data to the Department at the end of each school term for the purposes of monitoring and evaluating the program.

The data provided to the Department is:

  • Student's Victorian Student Number
  • School details
  • Date of arrival in Australia
  • Date of birth
  • Year level
  • Gender
  • Residency status
  • Visa subclass
  • Equivalent or interrupted schooling
  • Years of previous education
  • Main home language
  • Country of birth
  • Date of enrolment in program
  • Date of exit from program
  • Assessment levels for Speaking and listening, Reading, and Writing against the EAL Developmental Continuum on entry
  • Assessment levels for Speaking and listening, Reading, and Writing against the EAL Developmental Continuum on exit.


    Enquiries or referrals for assessment can be made directly to the program coordinator at the VSL.  

    Voula MacKenzie
    Virtual EAL New Arrivals Program Coordinator
    VSL: (03) 9474 0500