Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Equity and access: English language learning among Australian adult migrants

Currie, J. and Barker, L. (1989) Equity and access: English language learning among Australian adult migrants. Studies in Continuing Education, 11 (2). pp. 117-134.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


For non‐English speaking migrants, English proficiency will continue to be one of the most important criteria for optimal participation in Australian life. Even within the framework of multicultural Australia, English will remain the lingua franca. This paper critically reviews the provision of Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) in three Australian states: New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. The findings indicate that the two main providers of ESL teaching, Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and Adult Migrant Education Service (AMES) need to be either integrated or better coordinated. Gaps in the provision of courses and duplication of services were identified. In addition, the paper indicates a need for continuity of courses from an introductory level to a high level of proficiency in occupational specialisations. Restructuring of ESL provision could be cost effective; however, an expansion of services is desperately needed to ensure genuine access and equity for all migrants, both recent arrivals and long‐term residents.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
Item Control Page Item Control Page