ALL taking a lead: enabling first year persistence and success


  • Helen Mary Johnston University of South Australia


first year experience, retention and success, early intervention, innovation, academic language and learning advisers


Australian universities, and academic language and learning (ALL) staff, are currently facing the challenges associated with an increasing the “… participation rate of students from low socio-economic backgrounds…” to “…20% of all undergraduate students by 2020” (Bradley, Noonan, Nugent & Scales, 2008, p. xiv). Concern about student persistence and success are prompting whole of institution approaches to transition support. Sometimes, however, a smaller, more focussed, transition program is required. This paper reports on an early intervention introduced by ALL staff on one campus in one division at the University of South Australia (UniSA) for a cohort that includes many students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. The paper argues that ALL advisers need to ensure that they position themselves to meet these challenges and influence and effect institutional change through communicating the innovative nature of our work and the difference it makes to the experience of students adapting to university study.

Author Biography

Helen Mary Johnston, University of South Australia

Language and Learning Coordinator(Equity and Widening Participation), Learning and Teaching Unit: Mawson Lakes Campus, University of South Australia




How to Cite

Johnston, H. M. (2011). ALL taking a lead: enabling first year persistence and success. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 5(2), A145-A157. Retrieved from