Students from NESB

At Woodoo South Public School 75% of the whole enrolled student body are coming from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB). This means that only one quarter of the student body have English as their first language, the other three quarters know another language and use it more predominately than English. Effective teachers need to be able to adapt teaching practices to support and guide all students to the desired outcomes, regardless of their culture or language backgrounds (Whitton 2004).

Caitlin, by familarising yourself with the English as a Second Language (ESL) scales and the DET ESL Steps, you can gain an understanding in where individual NESB students should be within the projected timeframes developed around factors that primarily affect the individual and therefore which phase level they belong to.

The NSW DET have developed English as a Second Langauge Steps, to help teachers structure learning episodes. ESL Curriculum Framework K–6 is divided into four booklets, one for each stage (NSW DET 2005c-f)


Each booklet is divided into seven sections that focus on language areas. These sections are then graded by the ESL band and presented in either Oral, Reading or Writing to define each ESL step (NSW DET 2005a). 


Further Readings:

Cameron, L 2001, Teaching languages to young learners, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Hammond, J & Gibbons, P 2005, 'The role of scaffolding in articulating ESL education', Prospect, vol.20, no.1, p6-30.

ESL scales.pdf (883,8 kB)