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English as a second language

The aim of the English as a second language (ESL) program is to support those students from a non-English speaking background. The program is designed to develop students' English language skills to enable their developing participation in all key learning areas (KLAs) and to assist them to reach their potential.

The organisation of the ESL program at Holroyd High School is flexible to cater for the needs of students entering each term from the Intensive English Centre (IEC). It includes parallel classes in English, team-teaching in a range of KLAs, withdrawal of small groups/individuals, and Stage 5 elective classes.

The courses complement the English Standard courses and the English Advanced courses, and share the overall aim and rationale of English. When presented at the HSC (Higher School Certificate), the ESL courses will satisfy the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) requirements for the study of English.

The ESL course may be accessed by any student who has been educated overseas or has had five years or less of schooling in an Australian educational institution prior to starting the preliminary year of study.

Parallel classes

These are taught by the ESL teacher and follow the mainstream KLA curriculum with additional focus on English language development. The classes are made up of largely first and second phase learners. Parallel classes in English are the preferred option to cater for the needs of newly arrived students from the IEC.

Team teaching

This involves the ESL teacher working with the KLA teacher in the mainstream classroom to meet the English language needs of the ESL learner. This is achieved through joint planning, teaching and assessing.


Some students are withdrawn from mainstream classes when the ESL teacher and KLA teacher agree that a student or small group of students could benefit from some intensive instruction. This may relate to a particular task, skill or area of language acquisition. Specific purpose withdrawal groups are also developed when there is a high need in particular language acquisition areas.

Elective classes

There are Australian Cultural Studies (ACS) elective classes in both Years 9 and 10 that are taught by the ESL teacher. They are made up of non-English speaking background (NESB) students who require additional support in the development of their English language skills across the KLAs. This course is a school developed course that has been approved by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to run in Stage 5 for students to improve their English literacy.

Fudamentals of English

This course is designed for students who need to develop skills in using the English language effectively. It is vital as a tool to improve literacy skills in order to help across all subject areas in the curriculum. At Holroyd High School, all students undertaking the ESL course are required to undertake the Fundamentals course. In addition all students undertaking the standard English course are also advised to take the Fundamentals of English course.

Australia Cultural Studies

This unique course is designed to assist ESL students entering Years 9 and 10. It enables students to develop their knowledge of the diversity of profiles and cultures within Australia and the world. The course helps students to improve their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in English. It is designed to improve students' language skills to succeed in the HSC, at technical and further education or in the workplace.