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Home > Census instructions > English as a second language (ESL) assistance

English as a second language (ESL) assistance

ESL students are those whose first language is a language or dialect other than Standard Australian English and who require additional support to assist them to develop proficiency in English. These students need support with written or spoken English in order to access the curriculum.

For an ESL student to be included on the Census form, they must have been assessed as requiring assistance before Census Day, whether they are receiving support or not. The principal is the final decision-maker, but any qualified person can undertake the assessment of whether a student receives support. Usually this would be a specialist ESL or learning support teacher.

Identification of students needing support should be done at least on an annual basis. This identification could be through any one of a range of processes, for example, through observation and analysis of work samples by the classroom teacher, through observations of the student by the principal or other qualified teacher, through the results of targeted assessment (for example, National Languages and Literacy Institute of Australia ESL bandscales) or through any other appropriate process specific for ESL. Documentation supporting the principal's identification process (including, at a minimum, the basis for the decision) must be kept for a period of five years from Census Day, and in a way that ensures the integrity and security of the data and documents.

ESL students speak languages other than English as their first language(s). Many Indigenous students in Queensland have ESL learning needs. For many of these students, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language or Creole is their first language. Many speak more than one of these languages or dialects before starting school.

Students whose first language is not English do not always require ESL assistance. Their proficiency in the English language is determined at the local level to identify whether or not they require assistance to enable them to participate fully in mainstream classroom activities. Further information is available in Appendix 3.

ESL is also known as EAL/D (English as an additional language or dialect).

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Students to be excluded

For further information, contact:

>> Completing the ESL fields

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Last updated 31 January, 2023

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