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EDLA618 Teaching Strategies for TESOL

Unit rationale, description and aim

At a time of increased linguistic diversity in schools, the roles and responsibilities of a TESOL (Teaching English as a Second or Other Language) educator are critical in providing high-quality education for every student, particularly those students learning English as an Additional Language and/or Dialect (EAL/D), in line with relevant legislation, policies and Professional Standards. In this professional experience unit, within the TESOL specialisation of Master of Education and Graduate Certificate of Education, ACU students will engage in classroom-based and whole school community collaborative approaches involving EAL/D students in supportive culturally and linguistically responsive learning environments. This unit will include professional experiences working with mentors in planning, implementing, assessing and evaluating students’ learning needs and progress in relation to relevant curriculum goals. ACU students will work with their mentors to integrate language strategies and knowledges with content area learning, underpinned by research-informed, evidence-based practice and data-driven decision-making. The roles of the TESOL teacher in successful culturally and linguistically responsive practice will be examined. This unit is designed to support ACU students to apply their understandings of second language learning theories developed in other TESOL units, and the basics of functional linguistics in the design and justification of contextualised teaching and learning experiences which develop EAL/D learner proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, writing and viewing in English. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate culturally and linguistically responsive teaching, moving from individual lessons to units of work and full days of teaching, to meet the specific learning needs of EAL/D students in a variety of learning contexts (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5)

LO2 - Critically reflect on aspects of the teacher’s role, including collaboration with curriculum specialists in programming for language development, assessment and tracking learning outcomes (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5)

LO3 - Design culturally and linguistically responsive activities and resources with explicit support for literacy, specifically reading, writing, viewing (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

1.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities. 

1.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation and learning of students with disability.

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.5 Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

3.7 Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.

4.3 Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ well-being and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

5.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.

5.3 Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.

5.5 Demonstrate understanding of a range of strategies for reporting to students and parents/carers and the purpose of keeping accurate and reliable records of student achievement.

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.2 Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


Topics will include:

  • Contextual understanding of EAL/D learners and their learning contexts
  • Theories for teaching and learning of English as an Additional Language including principles of scaffolding and semiotic mediation
  • Making links between theory and evidence-based pedagogic practice through high challenge/ high support practices for developing oracy, reading and writing
  • Using metalanguage and teachers’ Disciplinary Semiotic Knowledge (DSK) for assessment and programming
  • Evaluating programmes and teaching 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This is a 10-credit point unit which is offered in multi-mode and will be supported by a unit LEO (learning environment online) site. Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum. The unit will facilitate active participation in pedagogical approaches that demonstrate alignment of teaching, learning and assessment and may incorporate a combination of strategies including individual and group work, activity-based workshops, formal presentations, online activities, and other activities such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts and videos.

This is a 22-day professional experience in educational settings with EAL/D children and young people, under the supervision of a mentor.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks are used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and professional standards and criteria consistent with University assessment requirements.

In order to successfully complete this unit, students need to complete and submit two graded assessment tasks and meet Hurdle Task’s requirements. The assessment strategy used allows students to progressively develop their specialised knowledge, understanding and analytical skills to the level of sophistication where they can demonstrate effective culturally and linguistically responsive teaching practices in specific contexts.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Hurdle Task

Professional Experience

Professional Experience requirements include compilation of evidence as required.

Compilation of evidence will include:

  • structured observation and analysis of culturally and linguistically responsive school and classroom contexts and programs
  • critical reflection on own culturally and linguistically responsive practices of teaching and assessment
  • feedback from supervising teacher/s and university staff
  • e-Portfolio collection of artefacts and reflections should provide evidence of relevant culturally and linguistically responsive teaching resources
  • examples of collaborative multidisciplinary team work and engaging with a range of stakeholders; in attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate, to be included in the e-Portfolio

A pass or fail grade will be awarded for completion of the professional experience days

LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 1

Design of a Unit of Work in a Curriculum Area which integrates Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Pedagogy.

Students are required to adapt a unit of work in a curriculum area to include explicit support for literacy, specifically reading, writing, viewing within a culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy, including a rationale which applies theory to their practice.

(2,000 words)


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 2

Critical reflection on the Professional Experience

Students are required to provide a critical reflection essay on their learning from the Professional Experience and development of their e-Portfolio. Students must also provide evidence of research-based analysis on a critical review of recent academic and professional literature.

(2,000 words)


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

The hurdle task requires satisfactory completion of a supervised TESOL Professional Experience.

Representative texts and references

Derewianka, B. (2020). Exploring how texts work 2nd Ed. NSW: PETA

Derewianka, B., & Jones, P. (2016). Teaching language in context (2nd ed.): Oxford University Press.

de Silva Joyce, H., & Feez, S. (2016). Exploring Literacies: Theory, Research and Practice: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 304-311.

Gibbons, P. (2015). Scaffolding language, scaffolding learning: Teaching second language learners in the mainstream classroom: Heinemann.

Flint, A. S., Kitson, L., Lowe, K., Shaw, K., Feez, S., Humphrey, S., & Vicars, M. (2017). Literacy in Australia: Pedagogies for engagement: John Wiley & Sons.

Humphrey, S. (2017). Academic Literacies in the Middle Years: A Framework for Enhancing Teacher Knowledge and Student Achievement: Routledge.

Rose, D., & Martin, J. R. (2012). Learning to write, reading to learn: Genre, knowledge and pedagogy in the Sydney school: Equinox.

ACARA (2014). English as an Additional Language or Dialect Teacher Resource: EAL/D overview and advice

ACARA (2014). English as an Additional Language or Dialect Teacher Resource: EAL/D Learning Progression: Foundation to Year 10.

ACARA (2019). National Literacy Learning Progression. Retrieved from:

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