Secondary Intensive English Unit

Our Secondary Intensive English Unit (SIEU) is for senior secondary students who have recently arrived in Australia and are from English as a Second Language (ESL) backgrounds or who come from communities where Standard Australian English is not widely used.

About our Intensive English Unit

Students enrolled in the SIEU are between 15 and 17.5 years of age at enrolment and have been assessed as requiring intensive English language instruction. The programs aim to teach English language skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening in a supportive atmosphere. It is important to us that students feel comfortable to practise their developing English skills.

The primary outcomes for students in the SIEU are to:

  • develop reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in English, to enable students to meet the demands of mainstream senior secondary education and/or access further education and training in Australia
  • learn the processes and study requirements of Australian schools.

Students are recommended to exit the SIEU when they demonstrate the English skills necessary to continue and be successful in their mainstream school studies and/or further education and training.

English Classes

On enrolment, each student’s language development is assessed to enable placement into an English class at an appropriate level. Students in the SIEU are grouped in classes according to their English language development and, where possible, their age. The English levels are as follows:

  • Beginners
  • Intermediate
  • Exiting.

The SIEU Team

Students in the program are supported by our SIEU Classroom Teachers and Bilingual Officers. The SIEU team speak over ten languages including Indonesian, Greek, Thai, Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilonggo, French, Vietnamese, Kirundi, Swahili and other Central African languages. Interpreter services can also be arranged with prior notice.


At the Beginners level, students work through ESL Levels 1 and 2. They will learn to listen and speak using functional and conversational English, understand basic teacher instructions and will begin to develop basic control over reading and writing in English.


At the Intermediate level, students are working through ESL Levels 2 & 3. The students further develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and are introduced to the demands of mainstream learning and assessment.


At the Exiting level, students are working through ESL Levels 4 – 5. Students are supported to use and develop their literacy and oral skills to prepare for the demands of mainstream learning and assessment requirements and are enrolled in several mainstream subjects

The Compass App

Students and their families are encouraged to download the Darwin High School Compass app to their smart phone/tablet device. Compass app allows you to stay up to date with announcements and events, complete a range of e-forms for student absences and excursions and easily contact us via phone or email direct from the app.

© 2016 Darwin High School. CRICOS Provider: Northern Territory Department of Education, CRICOS Provider Number: 00780M, Course Code Intensive English: 048904G, Course Code Senior Secondary: 058744C

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