Intensive English Language

The Geelong English Language Program




The Geelong English Language Program (GELP) prepares newly arrived primary and secondary students from language backgrounds other than English for further study in Australian schools.  GELP is funded by the Australian Government and operates as part of the Victorian Government schooling system.

Students typically spend six to twelve months of intensive English study at GELP before attending a mainstream school full time. In this time, the goal of GELP’s curriculum is to equip students with the English language skills and cultural understanding necessary to begin their transition into the Australian school system and wider community.

GELP operates an intensive English language instruction program. Students attend the program either five or four days per week depending on where they access the program. 



GELP programs operate in four sites:

  • Northern Bay College, Wexford Campus F- 8
    • Wexford Court, Corio
    • School hours 9.00am to 3.10pm
    • Days of attendance: Monday – Thursday
  • Northern Bay College, Hendy Campus Years F – 8
    • 38 Hendy St, Corio
    • School hours 9:00 am – 3:10 pm
    • Days of attendance: Monday - Thursday
  • North Geelong Secondary College Years 7-10
    • 130 Separation St North Geelong
    • School hours 8.58am to 3.10pm
    • Days of attendance: Monday - Friday


Teaching and learning at GELP is focussed on building effective communication skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. All the teaching staff at GELP are qualified English as an Additional Language (EAL) specialists. These teachers ensure students develop general and academic language skills across a selection of core subject areas.  In addition to developing their English language skills through the study of core subject areas, students are explicitly taught how to learn in the Australian classroom. This includes a focus on the student/teacher relationship, classroom conventions and learning strategies and skills that enable them to function in mainstream schools.

Students work in small groups with an average class size of 13 students. Classes are based on student year levels and English language proficiency.



Students may also be assisted in the classroom by Multicultural Education Aides (MEAs). 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 and are invaluable in assisting students and teachers to communicate with each other.




Prior to enrolment, each student will be assessed using an Initial Assessment tool to determine English language levels and suitability for the Program. Once attending the Program students have ongoing assessments including formal testing, observation and self- assessment to monitor and record progress. The results of formal and informal assessment are used to assist teachers to plan lesson content and to give students feedback on their performance.



Classroom teachers write reports each term for every student. At the end of each term continuing students receive a written progress report. Students leaving GELP receive a comprehensive exit report. These reports are presented and explained to parents with the assistance of a professional interpreter at Parent/Teacher interviews. The reports are also passed on to students’ teachers in their enrolling school.



GELP provides intensive English programs to eligible students from language backgrounds other than English who are enrolled in Victorian Government primary and secondary schools in the Greater Geelong area.

To be eligible, students must be:

  • Aged between 5 and 18 years,
  • A permanent resident of Australia, or
  • The holder of an eligible temporary resident visa in Australia, and
  • Have been in Australia less than six months (18 months for prep entry students)

The GELP Outreach Officer in collaboration with the enrolling school will assess the English language learning needs of eligible newly arrived students and determine their suitability for the program.  If the student is offered a place the parent/guardian will be contacted for an enrolment interview. Interpreters will be available for this process if required.

If GELP does not have vacancies the student will be placed on the waiting list and contacted for enrolment once a place becomes available.



No cost to parents for this program