Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Multilingual approaches to teaching and learning

About this Illustration of Practice

A teacher in a remote Indigenous community is responsible for teaching literacy across all levels of the school. In the video she works initially with students in the kindergarten using an oral language focus. With a middle primary group she selects an integrated literacy experience. The lesson involves students reflecting on similarities and differences between types of communities starting with their prior knowledge. The teacher ensures that students can express their knowledge in Gija, the local Aboriginal language and in Standard Australian English. She also describes the different uses she makes of diagnostic, formative and summative assessment, emphasising the use of student portfolios.

Standard 1
Know students and how they learn
Focus area 1.4
Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
Career stage
Design and implement effective teaching strategies that are responsive to the local community and cultural setting, linguistic background and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Other descriptors
Standard 2
Know the content and how to teach it
Focus area 2.5
Literacy and numeracy strategies
Career stage
Apply knowledge and understanding of effective teaching strategies to support students’ literacy and numeracy achievement.
Standard 5
Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
Focus area 5.1
Assess student learning
Career stage
Develop, select and use informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative assessment strategies to assess student learning.
  1. What strategies do you use to find out about your students' physical, social and intellectual development?
  2. What skills do teachers need to teach literacy and numeracy across and within learning areas?
  3. What approaches can schools adopt to cater for intercultural learning and understanding?
Purnululu Independent Aboriginal Community School
Western Australia
Year level
Early Childhood
Stage of schooling
School type
Non Government
School location
Very Remote
View full map
Purnululu Aboriginal Community Independent School was established in 1991 to provide an educational service for the traditional owners of Purnululu National Park and adjacent lands. The school has 12 to 20 students who are taught by two teachers. The school aims to achieve the highest possible educational outcomes for the children and provides targeted programs with a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy. The teacher trained at the University of Tasmania and is in her second year of teaching. She has several roles in the school: she teaches early childhood and middle primary classes, teaches literacy to all students across the school, and is the Reading Recovery Teacher. Aboriginal Education Workers lend assistance in classrooms and advise on language and cultural programs and liaise with the broader community.
Content provider
Early Childhood Australia (ECA)

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2012 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.