In defining EAL we have adopted the following definition:
‘An EAL pupil is a pupil whose first language is not English. This encompasses pupils who are fully bilingual and all those at different stages of learning English.’
EAL pupils may be:
- Newly arrived from a foreign country and school;
- Newly arrived from a foreign country, but an English speaking school;
- Born abroad, but moved to the UK at some point before starting school;
- Born in the UK, but in a family where the main language is not English.
Our school seeks to ensure that all pupils are enabled to have access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum. English is best learnt through the curriculum and EAL pupils should be encouraged to play a full part in all learning opportunities. EAL learners make the best progress within a whole school context, where pupils are educated with their peers.
The school structure, pastoral care and overall ethos aim to help EAL pupils integrate into the school whilst valuing diversity. Children that enter the school with little or no English will be given the opportunity to complete assessments and school work in their home language, a program of support for a transition of languages will be implemented when children are secure in their new setting.
- Classrooms are to be arranged to be socially and culturally inclusive;
- Teachers recognise the pupil’s mother tongue, identifying their strengths and boosting the individual’s self-esteem, and enabling the pupil to become a bi-lingual;
- Staff acknowledge the time it takes to become fluent in an additional language, with a good command of the range of language needed for successful learning and participation in the class;
- We also recognise that support may be necessary beyond the time a pupil appears orally fluent.
Teaching and Learning
EAL pupils are entitled to the full Curriculum programmes of learning and all their teachers have a responsibility for teaching English as well as other subject content.
Staff can help pupils learning English as an additional language in a variety of ways:
- By planning differentiated and personalised work for EAL pupils if necessary.
- Classroom activities have clear learning objectives and use appropriate materials and support to enable pupils to participate in lessons.
- By monitoring progress carefully and ensuring that EAL pupils are set appropriate and challenging learning objectives.
- By setting appropriate expectations; encouraging pupils to contribute and give more than one-word answers.
- Key language features of each curriculum area, e.g. key vocabulary, uses of language, forms of text, are identified
- Recognising that EAL pupils may need more time to process answers.
- Enhanced opportunities are provided for speaking and listening, including both process and presentational talk, and use made of drama techniques and role play. Pupils have access to effective staff and peer models of spoken language.
- Use is made of collaborative activities that involve purposeful talk and encourage and support active participation.
- Discussion is provided before, during and after reading and writing activities.
- Ensuring that there are effective opportunities for talking, and that talking is used to support writing.
- Scaffolding is provided for language and learning, e.g. talk frames, writing frames.
- Where possible, learning progression moves from the concrete to the abstract.
- Encouraging pupils to transfer their knowledge, skills and understanding of one language to another.
Access and Support
Access to learning requires attention to words and meanings embodied in each curriculum area. Meanings and understanding cannot be assumed but must be made explicit.
- All pupils will follow the full school curriculum.
- EAL pupils may be supported through a Learning Support Assistant in the classroom.
- Where necessary, withdrawal support may take place.
Beginner EAL learners
It takes 1-2 years to become fluent in everyday spoken English, but 5-7 years to develop proficiency in formal, written English. At the TMCS we aim for all EAL pupils to;
- immediately feel part of the school
- develop language in context
- experience their full curriculum entitlement
Additional support in class and some small group literacy teaching will be beneficial in the early stages, although pupils should not necessarily be withdrawn from Maths or practical subjects where they can usually make good progress whatever their language level in English.
Parental and community involvement
Staff strive to encourage parental and community involvement by:
- Providing a welcoming induction process for newly arrived pupils and their families/carers.
- Using plain English and translators and interpreters, where appropriate and available, to ensure good spoken and written communications.
- Identifying linguistic, cultural and religious background of pupils and establishing contact with wider community where possible.
- Celebrating and acknowledging the achievements of EAL pupils in the wider community.
- Recognising and encouraging the use of first language.
- Helping parents understand how they can support their children at home, especially by continuing the development of their first language