The framework of qualifications in English as an additional language (EAL) was first accredited in 1998 and has been reaccredited every five years since that time. The qualifications are designed for the diverse range of adult learners of English as an additional language needing to develop their English language proficiency skills in order to access a wide range of further education, training, employment and community participation contexts.
The language proficiency and cultural knowledge and skills levels at the different levels from Course in through to Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Level 4 reflect the developmental nature of language learning and acknowledge that learners may need to access one or more courses in the Framework to develop and consolidate English language skills, cultural knowledge and prepare for entry to education or employment.
The Access, Employment and Further Study streams focus on specific skills and knowledge required by participants who wish to pathway to further education, training or employment. They enable participants from a range of cultural and educational backgrounds to develop English language skills, including;
- Those who have immigrated to Australia who are recent arrivals
- Those who have immigrated to Australia and are longer term residents returning to study, to improve their English skills after having previously worked in low skilled jobs or having been out of
- The workforce
- Indigenous Australians who are learning English as an additional language or dialect
Participants may also present with a mixed language skill profile, for example, with strong speaking and listening skills but no or limited literacy skills. The streams and levels include flexibility through the packaging rules to focus on specific areas of need.
These programs are aimed at learners wishing to develop language, cross-cultural communication and study skills needed to undertake further education in Australia.