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The English as a Second Language (ESL) program has been operating at Patrician Brothers' College Fairfield for many years and offers students an invaluable understanding of the English language.

The ESL teachers have been involved in training staff in specific language techniques, programming, resource development and team teaching.

ESL is whole-school approach, and involves fostering an environment where each student has an opportunity for high quality education. The ESL teachers work in collaboration with the subject teachers, Year Coordinators and Subject Coordinators to ensure that support is provided for all students within the classroom, and that study techniques are adopted and well-managed. Our ESL teachers also train other staff in specific language techniques, programming, resource development and team teaching.

Students are selected for the ESL program according to their reading, writing language needs and based on diagnostic assessment tools for measuring competencies in these areas. Their language background and the number of years in Australia are taken into consideration when identifying those students who require assistance.

The diagnostic testing occurs at the start of a unit of work to identify the students, to give an indication into the language demands that students have not grasped and a means of focusing on these demands for further teaching points. Follow up testing will ensure that concepts and particular language points have been grasped and learned.

In Years 7-10, an integrated approach is adopted where the ESL teachers help the student within their subject areas. The subject areas are English, Science, Mathematics, History and Geography. This involves team teaching with the subject teachers, modifying resources to suit the needs of the students, developing appropriate programs that incorporate ESL strategies and evaluating the effectiveness of such programs.

In Years 11 and 12, an individual or small group tutorial system is adopted to assist students with their essay writing and language developmental skills. This withdrawal method allows for the explaining of key terms, focusing on language issues, building confidence in the students, reinforcing subject content which has not been learned, reviewing writing tasks and examining the processes of specific text types.