EAL Cluster School Support Program

The EAL Cluster Program provides an option for Victorian government schools in regional and rural areas which do not receive EAL Index funding to combine their entitlements to meet the threshold for funding. The purpose of the funding is to build the capacity of teachers and schools in the cluster to support their EAL learners by employing EAL specialists in cluster coordinator and EAL teacher educator roles to provide advice and guidance to build understanding and knowledge of EAL student learning needs. The role of the cluster is not to provide visiting teacher services or ongoing EAL lessons to students.

Developing Clusters

Each year, based on student enrolment data gathered in the August census, eligible schools are invited to establish an EAL cluster in the following year. Invitations and negotiations are managed by the EAL Regional Program Officers (RPOs).

GELC EAL Cluster Program

  • Cluster program is designed to build classroom teachers’ capacity to meet the learning needs of their EAL students.
  • This is achieved through mentoring and coaching focused on the individual student in their class. This can cover possible teaching/learning strategies, assessment and reporting tools and curriculum resources.
  • The nature and frequency of these discussions is decided by the classroom and Cluster teachers. Time release is provided by the Cluster to ensure quality professional conversations can take place.

EAL Cluster Support Staff

EAL Teachers

All GELC Cluster teachers are qualified teachers of English as an Additional Language. They are skilled in the most current, research based teaching methodologies. They engage in continuous and extensive professional learning to maintain their expertise at the highest level. GELC Cluster teachers have a wealth of experience and knowledge in both teaching EAL and developing teacher capacity.  

Multicultural Education Aides

Students are also supported in the classroom by GELC Multicultural Education Aides (MEAs). The MEAs help students to understand the school work and what is expected of them. MEAs enrich the learning experience by explaining concepts or instructions in the learner’s first language. They are invaluable in assisting students and teachers to communicate with each other. MEAs support development of teacher skills through modelling and professional discussion.

How to access CLUSTER Support?

  1.    Check student is on LBOTE (ST21034) document.

2.    Notify your principal that you would like support to improve your EAL teaching.

3.    Principal is to email relevant information to GELC Co-ordinator, Bronwyn Smith i.e. name, date of birth, date of arrival in Australia, visa number and date of first enrolment in an Australian school.

4.    Once the eligibility has been established the GELC Co-ordinator informs the principal and the cluster team. The cluster team then contacts the teacher to begin the support process.