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English as a Second Language [ESL]

Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. There is a high percentage of the population for whom English is not their first, or sometimes even their second language. Significant numbers arrive in Australia with no English at all. Indigenous people may also have a different first language.

All systems work to provide English language skills so that everyone is able to access all areas of life and participate fully, irrespective of age, previous nationality, wealth or any other factor.

This page looks at English as a Second Language studies in all states & territories. It includes programs, New Arrivals, interpreting & translation, funding, guidelines and more. Commonwealth support is also covered. Other information covers English Language schools, ESL jobs, journals and further information.

Also check the ESL Resources page for further information.

States & Territories

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

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Northern Territory


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South Australia

  • EALD and Indigenous Education
    Association of Independent Schools. ESL/LBOTE [Language background other than English], EALD [English as an additional Language or Dialect].
  • English as a Second Language
    Catholic Education Office. Contact details.
  • Unlocking the World
    ‘Professional development programs for classroom teachers. Developed by, and delivered by, the Department for Education and Child Development’. Highly recommended. Used by other states.


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  • EAL Developmental Continuum P-10
    ‘Provides evidence based indicators of progress, linked to practical teaching strategies, to support the assessment of EAL students and the development of effective learning programs’.
  • EAL in Schools
    Lists details about services provided.
  • Resources
    Links to a variety of publications and online resources.
  • Support for Refugees
    ‘Information and resources to help support students from refugee backgrounds in schools, especially those with disrupted or no previous schooling’.

Western Australia

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Other Information

Australian Sites

English Language Schools

  • ESL/Indigenous Project
    ‘Articles that outline the policy debates surrounding Aboriginal English, and articles that state what Aboriginal English is, or provide some practical examples or personal experience of its use and influence.’

ESL Jobs

Federal Government Support

  • Adult Migrant English Program
    ‘English lessons to eligible adult migrants. Free for most eligible adult migrants’.
  • NEAS
    ‘NEAS endorses English language centres in universities, colleges and high schools. Endorsed centres are granted the NEAS quality mark, internationally recognised and valued by students, teachers, agents and governments’.
  • Workplace English Language and Literacy
    Presently in limbo pending future decisions.

General Sites

  • Learning English [AMES]
    ‘Opens a world of opportunities and is essential for making the most of your life in Australia’. Free English classes, English for Work, English for Overseas students. Victoria and Sydney.
  • English Australia
    ‘National association for accredited public and private English language colleges in Australia’.

Other Sites

  • Developing Teachers
    ‘A web site for the developing language teacher.’
  • English Baby !
    ‘Visit every day for a new, free English lesson ! Our online English lessons feature real English conversations about popular culture’.
  • Englishleap
    Online English learning from India. Free demo, some free Resources [see listing at bottom]. Main course is fee-based.
  • ESL Jobs Centre
    Covers placement in different positions at all levels in many countries around the world.
  • ESL Jobs World
    ‘Jobs for teachers of English to speakers of other languages’. Provides email newsletters covering vacancies.
  • International English Language Testing System
    ‘Measures ability to communicate in English across all four language skills - listening, reading, writing and speaking’.

Journals & Other Publications

For all educational journals, see the Education Journals page.

  • English Language Bulletin
    ‘A weekly digest of the most important news affecting English language teachers worldwide. Fee for members and non-members’.
  • TOPICS Online Magazine
    ‘Offers learners of English the opportunity to express and publish their ideas in English to an online audience’.

Test of English as a Foreign Language™

  • ePrepz
    ‘With ePrepz you get access to hundreds of different types of quizzes, exercises and practice tests that are based on the TOEFL exam’. Fee-based but quite reasonable.
  • Good Luck TOEFL
    ‘Studying for the TOEFL exam can be scary, difficult, and confusing. Good Luck TOEFL gives you the answers’.
  • The TOEFL Test
    ‘The TOEFL test covers all facets of English proficiency, including a test of spoken English and grammar exercises.’ Now able to be done online.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language
    Format and contents, criticisms, related links. Wikipedia.
  • TOEFL Practice Test
    A sample test from the UK.
  • Thor’s ESL Sitemap
    Lesson content, links, advice, analysis, lectures & resources.
  • Time4English
    ‘Learn English on the Internet. 6 levels with over 60 lessons each. Speaking, listening, reading, writing & grammar’. Fee-based.

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