Stats to kingdom come

Earlier this week I was fascinated by Arabic-speaking children have the smarts but shun selective system in the Sydney Morning Herald. Having been the ESL teacher at a selective school, and acknowledging Arabic speakers there were thin on the ground back ten years ago, I was less interested in accounting for that than in the stats that were published with the article. I have to make do with a scan.

lbote011LBOTE means language background other than English and has replaced the rather negative-sounding NESB or non-English-speaking background. I noted my former workplace now scores 91%! When I was counting the picture was thus:

sbhslbotePicture1The significance of the “under 5 years” is that is a better measure of whether ESL assistance may be relevant: that is, students who have been in Australia five years or less.  Those last two items come from a powerpoint you may still access from Scaffolding in my English/ESL blog (retired).

Another set of numbers from the NSW Department of Education:


And another, which I find rather interesting:

TAFEstudents-language2003-05-smallAs I long ago discovered, what a culturally complex but wonderful place we live in!

That last one came from an absolute gold mine published by Andrew Hong — though his purpose has to do with evangelising on behalf of the Reformed faith: as a teenage Calvinist I know exactly where he is coming from. I can foresee days poring over the stats he has gathered.

In a later post I may discuss what all this means.

  • And a provocative footnote: I agree with Daphne Lowe Kelley  on Chinese in Australia, and will baulk at the word “invasion” in place of “arrival” only when someone can show me the invitation the first settlers were responding to.