The purpose of the EAL (English as an Additional Language) programme is to support pupils until they gain sufficient competence in English to succeed academically and participate fully in the social life of the school. Pupils studying EAL are fully integrated into the school and thus benefit from contact with other pupils in regular classes. Therefore, we aim for a combination of formal instruction in the EAL classes, participation in the regular curriculum, and social interaction in the playground.
It takes time to learn a new language and therefore EAL pupils study in classes designed especially for them until they have developed a secure foundation in reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, as well as grammar, pronunciation, spelling and vocabulary skills. New pupils focus on learning English first, and therefore they do not start to study French/Arabic until they have reached the required level for their English language skills.
A variety of teaching methods are used to accommodate different learning styles, to encourage positive self-concepts, cooperation, and to develop thinking processes which all aid language acquisition.
– To provide a supportive and welcoming environment for pupils
– To develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills
– To create meaningful language learning opportunities and encourage active participation
– To support pupils in communicating their own ideas, feelings and experiences with other pupils in the wider school
– To help pupils expand their vocabulary and learn the basic elements of English grammar so that they can understand texts
– To encourage reading, both within and outside the classroom, in English and their first languages
– To develop a sense of achievement and confidence in the pupils so that they can understand and make themselves understood
– To encourage unity in diversity where all pupils feel valued and included.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MOTHER TONGUE
EAL pupils learn English more quickly and effectively if they maintain and develop their proficiency in their mother tongue. Research has shown that many skills acquired in the first language can be transferred to the second language. So, for example, if your child has developed good reading skills in Japanese, they are likely to be able to apply these skills when reading English. For this reason it helps if you can encourage your child to read good fiction and non‐fiction in your own language.
Your children will learn English much more effectively if they continue to develop their first language at the same time.