Tesol Seminars 2020

In 2020 the Department of Education, in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney, will present three TESOL Seminars. In line with recent advice to implement social distancing in schools and corporate operations, we are postponing face to face professional learning, gatherings and events where practically possible.  This postponement is in support of wider NSW Health containment strategies and minimises non-essential travel.  As a result, TESOL Seminar 2, 13 June, will not be held as a face to face session. The seminar will be made available online as a series of recorded sessions followed by a live Q & A session.

It remains our intention to hold at least 3 TESOL Seminars this year.

Information on the remaining seminars will be posted here as soon as the details of these can be confirmed.

TESOL Seminar 2, 13 June

This seminar will be delivered in two parts. A Zoom recording will be made available for participants to access two weeks prior to June 13th.

The second part will be a live QandA session that will take place from 10:30 am on Saturday, June 13th. The access codes for both the recordings and the QandA Session will made available to participants as they register.

Questions on notice can be sent via the comments bar at the bottom of this page. Just enter your question in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box at the bottom of this page. Please make sure you identify yourself and your school before you add your question. These questions on notice will be discussed by Dr Ollerhead on the day.

Target Audience

Participants must have TESOL qualifications and be currently teaching in an EAL/D position in a primary, secondary school, IEC or IEHS.

Seminar 2 Details

Translanguaging and how it can support English language learners

This session will explore the rationale for using translanguaging as a pedagogical approach and present some key classroom translanguaging strategies used by teachers to create more inclusive and engaging learning experiences for multilingual students.

Dr Sue Ollerhead is a lecturer in Languages Education at the School of Education at Macquarie University. She has worked extensively as a teacher, teacher trainer and researcher in South Africa, Egypt, the United Kingdom, India and Australia. Her current research focuses on translanguaging pedagogies in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. Sue is co-editor of the book Plurilingualism in Teaching and Learning: Complexities across Contexts (2018) and the special issue of the Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics: Translanguaging as a resource in teaching and learning (2020).

The Powerpoint for this session can be accessed here.

Once you have listened to the recordings – please add questions or discussion points via the ‘Leave a Reply’ bar below



9 thoughts on “Tesol Seminars 2020

  1. Hi. I live in a rural and remote area with only a few people who are learning English. We do not have access to community language teachers. I appreciate the issues involved in using other students as translators, however we have little to no choice. In our situation, what guidelines can you supply for best practice, as some translation is necessary and I feel has been hugely beneficial.


    1. Hi,
      I would like your thoughts on a student I have who arrived in Australia last year. He can speak his first language (Hindi) fairly well. but cannot read or write Hindi. His parents are keen on him learning English well, so just want him to concentrate on L2 . Will “no knowledge of written L1 ” delay acquiring academic level in L2?


  2. Really enjoyed the recordings and am excited about the theory.

    In our context, I have encountered a lot of students who barely use their L1 as the parents have tried to ‘do the right thing’ and make sure that they only speak English – especially at school. I would love to have more parent friendly/social media friendly posts and pamphlets that detail all of the amazing info and research to let them know how important L1 is in their child’s learning.

    The comparison to the Jenga tower when students are stripped of deep understanding in their L1 helped my visual brain, but what are some ways to reform that tower? Encouraging use of L1? Incorporating L1 into our EAL/D intensive sessions? How does that look? Would I be looking for terms on Google Translate (say when introducing nouns – finding the word for noun in their L1) and naming it? Is this useful if they don’t have the CUPS in their L1?

    A lot of the students in our context are not literate in their L1 – they speak what seems to be BICS in their L1, but cannot read or write in L1. Would this then have a negative effect on translanguaging stance if their language was displayed in the room, but they were unable to read it?

    Sorry for the rambling questioning – I am very much a ‘talk through thoughts’ person and asynchronous online learning has made that a little more difficult!


  3. I liked the whole class multilingual dictionary, the vocabulary in languages in the walls for a unit and the students’ research of their linguistic diversity. I wonder how limited or disadvantaged would be implementing strategies of translanguaging in the classroom without using the students’ first language with the collaboration of community language teachers which currently is a future project?


  4. I encourage students to use their home language in my classroom and at home. How do I ensure that students are on task when speaking in their own language/s? Especially kindergarten. I know that observation tells me that they perhaps aren’t when I see them giggling and being a bit silly. When I check in with older students they tell me they are, but they seem not to be. I try and make my lessons purposeful and interesting so they are engaged.


  5. This is regarding the bilingual support during the Best Start. Are we allowed to get assistance from a teacher who can speak the language of the student who cannot speak English? I’m aware it’s going to affect his/her programme – is there any way out?


  6. Hi there, I have a student in Kinda with no L1. She does not interact with any of the other students. She does what she needs to do by watching and following others. According to her school records, her home language is Tamil. I speak Tamil, and I do not get any responses for any of the questions I ask. She just mimics what I say. I approached her parents at the beginning of the year and asked them what she speaks at home, and they said English. They mentioned that they don’t speak Tamil at home because she was born here and live in Australia. When I told them that I was not getting any responses in both Tamil and English, they simply said she does not speak Tamil and speaks only English. Her reading has taken off ( but that is only just barking at the words not comprehending what she reads). She had no responses recorded for her best start test at the beginning of the year. After half a year, she still speaks two sentences. Good morning teacher in the morning and I want my mummy at the end of the day. How can we help her?


  7. I really enjoyed listening to the recordings by the way. I think a bilingual best start test would be great. I am really excited about trying out some of the ideas presented in the recordings.


  8. Could this course be available to regular classroom teachers please? I think they would get a lot out of it to inform their teaching of EALD and LBOTE students.


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