Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0817-9514
  • E-ISSN: 2542-5102
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During 1984, New South Wales Department of Education conducted a survey of ethnic-specific needs of students of non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB) in schools for specific purposes (SSPs), which are special education schools.

This paper indicates the results and outcomes of that survey. The percentage of students of NESBs in responding schools was 15.4%. The distribution of languages other than English spoken in homes of NESB students in SSPs is similar to that of the general population. The issues seen to be of greatest importance for schools with NESB pupils were assistance in communicating with non-English parents, and a knowledge of and contact with ethnic welfare/support agencies.

A literature search revealed little in the way of studies on language provision for students of NESB in SSPs in the USA, Canada, Britain or in Australia.

Assessment for placement in special education has always posed a difficulty in regard to students whose dominant language is not English. A move towards the use of Adaptive Behaviour Scales is a possible change in assessment procedures. where the level of language development will constitute just one factor among a number of others.

The commencement of English as a second language programme and a bilingual programme are seen as innovatory in this field of education.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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