Mainstreaming EAL/D Students – the North Lakes Way

Barry Duncan1

1North Lakes State College, North Lakes, Australia


Timetabled EAL/D classes; EAL/D Exams in Exam Blocks – once a pipe dream but today a reality at North Lakes State College.

North Lakes State College is a P-12 school with almost 3000 students across two campuses. The College has a truly multicultural mix to it with families coming from 60 different countries. The College is currently hosting 50 long-term international students from Year 1 to Year 12.

The international cohort at North Lakes is focused on academic pathways and entry to University – either in Australia or abroad.

North Lakes State College has developed a unique approach to supporting international students in their academic quest. EAL/D classes have become a mainstream part of the timetable and all EAL/D students (international and domestic) sit an EAL/D exam during exam blocks.

Academic Advisors mentor international students through the challenges of schooling whilst they are so far from home as well as monitoring their academic achievement.

This session presents the support of EAL/D and international students in “The North Lakes Way!”


Barry Duncan has been the HOD Global Connections and Business at North Lakes State College since 2013 and has been an advocate for all things international throughout that time. The North Lakes International Program has grown from 9 students to 50 students in 4 years. Prior to Barry’s return to the schooling system in 2012, he worked in tourism, marketing and education at a university and federal government level. In September 2017, Barry participated in the Confucius Institute School Leaders Study to China.

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