At Tile Cross Academy, we are committed to ensuring that every child succeeds and reaches their full potential.
What is English as an additional language (EAL)?
EAL is used in reference to pupils whose first language is not English. These pupils may have recently arrived in the country or are being brought up in homes and communities where languages other than English are used. In the educational environment, they now have to learn English in addition to languages they already know and use, and they have to use English to access subject content in different curriculum areas.
Our EAL pupils come from a wide range of ethnic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Some of our EAL pupils arrive in school having had little or no formal education while some have prior experience of formal education and with literacy skills in one or more languages. On arrival, a proportion of these pupils have no or very little understanding of English.
At Tile Cross Academy, we believe that
- Our pupils of EAL are entitled to the same educational opportunities as any other pupil.
- All pupils of EAL are different: they will have a huge variety of first languages, home backgrounds, previous experience of education and life in general.
- Their needs are linguistic: EAL is not synonymous with SEN.
- The bi/multilingualism of our pupils enriches our school community and that, where appropriate, it should be used to promote achievement.
- Language development is the responsibility of all staff.
At Tile Cross Academy, we will
- Provide our EAL pupils with a safe, welcoming and nurturing environment where they are accepted, valued and encouraged to participate.
- Provide appropriate support to pupils with EAL needs whether they are newly arrived, new to English or advanced pupils.
- Provide an inclusive curriculum and ensure that pupils are making progress and are able to access the school curriculum.
- Provide appropriate support to staff to enhance their own provision for EAL pupils.
- Assess and monitor pupils in order to set appropriate but challenging targets.
- Encourage parents/carers and the wider community to play a full and positive role in the life and development of Tile Cross Academy.
- Liaise with other agencies to further improve the teaching and learning experiences of all our pupils.
Teaching and Learning (Strategies for mainstream teachers)
- Provide plenty of contextual support such as pictures, objects, diagrams, actions, videos, gestures, etc.
- Provide key visuals to teach and reinforce concepts and support language acquisition: flow charts, tables, mind maps.
- Identify and teach key words and phrases and provide opportunities for rehearsal
- Value and draw on the pupil’s previous knowledge, skills and experiences.
- Ensure topics, materials and resources are culturally familiar and accessible.
- Provide plenty of small group collaborative activities where listening and talking are central to learning.
- Group the pupil with his/her intellectual and social peers and strong English language peer models.
- Keep instructions and explanations brief.
- Ensure clear layout of worksheets/support materials.
- Regularly check the pupil has understood instructions.
- Capitalise on bilingual opportunities in the classroom and celebrate where appropriate knowledge of other languages.
- Encourage pupils to use bilingual dictionaries where appropriate.
- Provide scaffolding for reading and writing tasks, e.g. writing frames and information grids.
Some specific strategies to develop communication in English
- Self-talk: label and describe what you are doing, demonstrating how to communicate about an activity.
- Parallel talk: you describe the pupil’s activity as you interact with him/her. The language has meaning for the pupil because it concerns something he/she is interested in.
- Repeating: listen carefully to the pupil, and then repeat all or part of what he/she said. This clarifies and serves as an acknowledgement of the pupil’s speech, and encourages the pupil to continue talking because it shows interest in what they have to say.
- Restating: when the pupil makes a language error, repeat what they have said in a corrected form without drawing attention to the error. You will be modelling standard language in a positive, non-threatening form that facilitates communication.
- Expanding/extending: a natural conversational technique in which the adult adds new ideas to the discussion, encouraging pupils to expand their thinking or to develop new vocabulary.
- Modelling: pupils will need to learn new language structures in meaningful contexts many times before they can use them. One way to accomplish this is to model the language by using it in just the way we want them to use it.
- Open-ended questions: asking questions which have more than one ‘right’ answer stimulates more language use, affirms ideas and encourages creative thinking.
All EAL pupils are entitled to assessment, monitoring and support as required. This is provided and facilitated by the EAL coordinator, the EAL support team and all teaching staff. We provide:
- Bilingual support (only when necessary) in withdrawal or mainstream lessons
- One-to-one support (to work on specific difficulties for a short period of time)
- In class support across the curriculum
- Withdrawal support for pupils new to English (usually a flexible 6 weeks induction programme)
- Partnership teaching with mainstream teachers
- Lunch time and after school support for individual pupils or groups of pupils
- Coaching for staff
- Help with lesson planning and lesson activities