Chester Hill Intensive English Centre

Integrating Students from Diverse Backgrounds for High Schools

Telephone02 9645 3780


English study is mandatory in NSW from Kindergarten to Year 12.

The curriculum framework used in the IEC is designed for newly arrived, secondary aged students requiring intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) in preparation for high school. The program caters for students with varying levels of English proficiency, schooling and literacy. A text-based approach is used for teaching English through the key learning areas or subjects. This approach actively engages students in learning and using English for a variety of social purposes in a broad range of school-oriented contexts.

The curriculum framework is organised into four levels: Foundation Level, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. There is a progression of difficulty with each level and students acquire increasingly complex language skills, knowledge and understanding in a variety of contexts. The pathway of language learning across the levels of the framework is linked to outcomes in NSW Board of Studies secondary syllabuses. Consequently, as students progress through the levels, they are introduced to more complex units of work and assessment tasks. The stage 4 and 5 syllabus is introduced in preparation for high school. In stage 5, students do a unit of work on Shakespeare, poetry, film and media. In stage 4, students do a unit of work on picture books, poetry and fiction.

The framework outlines learning outcomes which are clear statements of what is expected to be achieved by students as a result of effective teaching and learning. Outcomes are organised into three language skill areas or Strands: Oral Interaction; Reading and Responding; Writing. Every lesson in all the Key Learning Areas (KLAs) incorporates all four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Oral presentations happens everyday in class, together with shared reading and talking about the feelings of the characters in the stories. Grammar items are taught and learnt to improve sentence structure. Learning how to use the dictionary and expansion of vocabulary is encouraged. Spelling accuracy is tested and students learn how to write different text types. Journal writing is encouraged to teach students how to express themselves freely. These skills allow the students to develop their control of language in ways that will help them in life long learning, in their careers and in life.

In years 7 and 8, students have to sit for the ELLA (English Language and Literacy Assessment) test and in year 10 the School Certificate Exams.

What you can do as parents

  • Provide a suitable place for your child to study

  • Make sure your child has everything he/she needs, including a good dictionary

  • Give your child enough time to do homework and check that he/she completes all work set

  • Make trips to the library to encourage reading

  • Talk to your child about school and show an interest

  • Watch the news with him/her once a day to be aware of what is happening in Australia and around the world

  • Talk about your own experiences and encourage your child to write about personal experiences in his/her journal

  • Spend time reading or writing together even if it is in your first language

  • If you have any concerns, talk to someone at the school immediately

Remember that your contribution and participation as parents is vital to the education of your children.