The school assessment system focuses on only in one language, English. Yet, more than one in five Australians speak another language at home, and over 300 distinct languages are used in the country.
According to Curtin University lecturer Carly Steele, using only the English language in the classroom and during tests does not provide enough opportunities and isn't fair for multilingual speakers, especially First Nations students.
"Assessments are unfair because they are English language only and they privilege written form of communication," Steele told Education Review.
"If we only 'judge' in English, teachers don't have a true indication of what the student really knows and it's not a fair and accurate assessment of the child."
Steele argues that multilingual students should be allowed to use their first language and other form of communication such has body language to express an idea while being tested, and then discuss it further with the teacher.
She joined Education Review to discuss the unfairness of the current assessment system and how we can apply translanguaging in the classroom.
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