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This paper discusses the Refugee Action Support program, which is a program of literacy support for newly arrived refugee high school students in Australia. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that while some refugee students do achieve success in schools, many refugee students arriving in Australia under the humanitarian program fail to attain a level of education that will give them access to and allow them to participate in tertiary education. Severe disruptions to education are a consistent feature for these students making current levels of support inadequate to meet the needs of refugee background students who are still on their language learning journey as they make the transition from primary school to secondary school. The Refugee Action Support program (RAS) is an example of a service learning initiative that facilitates spaces where refugee youth can negotiate language forms and practices in consultation with pre-service teachers and experienced teachers and explore the application of language-in-context through the scaffolding and situated practices arranged by a competent ESL instructor.