Department of Education

Culturally and linguistically diverse background

Students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Backgrounds

CALD students are a diverse group. They come from a wide range of language, socio-economic, cultural and religious backgrounds.

One in five students;

  • Is newly arrived in Australia and from a language background other than English.
  • Was born in Australia but entered school with little or no English.
  • Has had all or some of his/her schooling in Australia but has a home background which includes at least one language other than English.

Catering for the needs of gifted and talented student for whom English is a second language is often viewed as a daunting task for teachers to undertake. Learning a language is a long process. While ESL students may demonstrate basic social competence in English within six months to two years, they may take five years or more to demonstrate academic competence orally and in writing at a level commensurate with their native-speaking peers (Thomas & Collier, 1995).

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Culturally and linguistically diverse background

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