CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse)

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) is a term that is not widely used in New Zealand but has been used in Australia for some time to describe those who are not from indigenous or mainstream (English speaking) cultural backgrounds. In a University context, the term is usually used to describe students who are neither international, nor indigenous students and who do not speak the dominant language as their mother tongue. The University of Tasmania describes them as “citizens or permanent residents …[some are] voluntary migrants, while others have entered Australia on a Humanitarian Visa after being a refugee.” The Cross Cultural Awareness resource from which this definition is drawn provides some very useful background and ideas for working with CALD students.

There is comparatively little available research about CALD students in New Zealand but two reports on Refugee Background Students (RB students) have been completed at VUW by the GEOG 404 class coordinated by Sara Kindon. The 2006 report by Cedric Horner and others focussed on helping refugee background students to achieve their goals and the 2008 report by Monica Evans and others, although focussed on a club that was establised for RB students at VUW, gives some useful insight into RB students thoughts and feelings about studying at VUW. This 2010 journal article by Andrew Joyce and others gives a good survey of the situation for RBS students in Australia which is not dissimilar from that of New Zealand.