IECs support incoming students with eligible visas by providing one year of intensive English studies designed to prepare students for academic achievement in mainstream educational contexts. The students learn English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) in specialist small classes.
Newly arrived students from a non English speaking background should enrol and complete an IEC program PRIOR to being enrolled in any mainstream school. Students who typically enrol at an IEC include:
- Students with minimal or no exposure to English
- Students with beginning or intermediate English language skills who need further intensive exposure to English
- Students with limited or severely interrupted educational backgrounds
Intensive English Centres (IEC) provide newly arrived migrant learners with a supportive learning environment where students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds are assured of an inclusive curriculum and service provision. Ethnic Education Assistants (EEAs) support teachers in the teaching and learning program and may also provide translating and interpreting services.
Melville SHS IEC is one of three IECs in the South West Metropolitan Region. It serves Years 7-10 (students aged 11.5 -16 years old) and has a wonderful, diverse student population with young people from a range of countries, cultures and language backgrounds. All of these learners share the desire to learn English. IEC schools fluctuate in number over a year depending on the settlement patterns of newly arrived families.
An appointment with the IEC Program Manager must be made when enrolling a student. Enrolments may take several hours and, where necessary, interpreters are provided. Parents/caregivers should provide original passport documents or birth certificates (for students born in Australia) and if available, relevant child immunisation documents and previous school reports.
The Melville SHS IEC program is organised into two stages. The Beginner Program caters for students assessed as being between Levels 1 and 2 (according to the WA EAL/D Progress Map). They are placed in one of the three beginner classes (B1, B2 or B3) where they will generally remain for one semester (20 weeks) before transitioning into one of the two transition classes (T1, T2) for a second semester. The students then graduate to their mainstream local school. Both beginner and transition students are streamed according to language ability.
The IEC delivers a full curriculum whilst providing a supportive learning environment. Included in this 12-month Intensive English Program is participation in all the mandated learning area subjects that are applicable to the Australian Curriculum.
Both beginner and transition programs assist students to become competent enough in English to improve both their educational opportunities and their participation in Australian society.
Student reporting on English language and academic progress occurs twice each year and is in accordance with the Schools Curriculum and Standards Authority Assessment and Reporting Requirements.
Over time these EAL/D students learn to socialise and operate at increasing levels of cognitive and linguistic sophistication in this new language.
Students can be enrolled for 12 months, or if the student is a humanitarian entrant, this can be extended for 24 months. This is currently referred to as Stage 1. After this time, identified EAL/D students commence Stage 2 in the mainstream. These timeframes will ensure availability of support for new students, avoid incorrect allocation of IEC funding and support students’ integration into mainstream schooling.