EAL

Our English as an Additional Language Programme (EAL), is designed for our IBMYP students who need additional support beyond the English language acquisition course that is part of the IBMYP curriculum..

The EAL programme is tailored to the needs of the group; working on speaking, listening, reading and writing and developing overall comprehension. These skills are taught as a whole, rather than individually and link the language with the academic content students will need to access the classroom and participate fully in school life.

The initial aim of the EAL programme is to work on the students’ speaking and listening skills. Once students have gained their oral confidence, students will begin to work on reading and writing skills, before looking more specifically at spelling, grammar and vocabulary rules. All of the work is linked to the students’ classroom units. As students progress through the course, they will be integrated back into the mainstream classroom.

Participation in the EAL programme incurs an additional fee and, if recomended by the school, is compulsory and will remain in place for as long as is required to enable the student to successfullly access the mainstream curriculum. Clear entry and exit criteria exist to determine the level of support required.

How are students assessed?

The EAL department uses the WIDA Model© Assessment tool. The aim of the assessment is:

  • To identify students who are likely candidates for the EAL support programme.
  • To determine the academic English language proficiency required to access the MYP classroom.
  • To place students on the appropriate level of support throughout the year.
  • To provide classroom teachers with the language proficiency levels in order to plan and assess EAL students appropriately.

Students in MYP Grades 1,2,3 will receive one type of assessment and students in MYP 4,5 and entering Diploma will receive a more challenging assessment in relation to the demands of the curriculum.

Students are all assessed on arrival to the school, and then again in June, towards the end of the academic year. In addition to these summative assessments, students are continually assessed formatively, tracking the progress of the EAL student.

The level of support a student receives is reviewed termly and students’ targets are changed to suit the needs of the students. Typically a student will need EAL support for one year. Once a student has reached a level 5 or 6 in their WIDA Model© assessment, it is likely that EAL support will be stopped, provided the student is also demonstrating their ability to work independently in class, and is an active participant.

Students will be formatively assessed before the end of both the Autumn and Spring terms. This assessment will be based on an in-class observation with a criteria of success using the NASSEA assessment framework. For the EAL hours of support to be reduced a student would need to be reaching steps three and four of this assessment framework.

Do you offer one-to-one lessons?

Lessons are typically taught in groups of up to six students, of a similar level. Sometimes these groups are mixed year groups. We do not provide one-to-one teaching, as we believe students develop their oral fluency more quickly in a group environment. However, there may be occasions where your child may have a one-to-one lesson, due to the nature of the time-table.

How will my child and I know how they are progressing?

The EAL teacher will set targets at the start of every term with the student as a way of motivating the student and understanding how they can improve. Target setting will be shared with parents, and parents are welcome to speak with the EAL teacher throughout the year to discuss their child’s progress. The EAL teacher will also be available during both parent evenings. Targets are based on the NASSEA assessment framework, which will be discussed with you during the target setting meeting. This will allow both you and your child to know what they need to do to improve their English.

How can I support my child at home?

Below is a list of different strategies you can use to support your child’s learning at home. You can also visit the EAL teacher if you have any further questions

Your role

  • Create as much stability at home as possible
  • Talk to your child about their school day and new experiences
  • Keep routines
  • Accept that your child may suffer from culture shock
  • Encourage your child to make friends (including speakers of languages other than his or her home language)
  • Encourage your child to engage in after-school activities where his or her English-speaking day is extended.
  • Encourage your child to access English-medium television or films.
  • Be available as much as possible in the early days.

Ask yourself:

  • What makes our home a stable place to be?
  • What did my child say about their school today?
  • What new experiences do they have?
  • What routines do we have in our home?
  • What do I do to encourage my child to make friends?
  • Am I available everyday to spend time with my child?

Don’t forget:

  • Speak to your child in your home language
  • Try and promote academic development of your child’s mother tongue at home
  • Encourage your child to read regularly in your mother tongue
  • Speak to your child about school so that school vocabulary is developed in the home language

How can I support my child with homework?

In the Upper School, homework is usually set following a weekly timetable. Homework will be differentiated for your child to suit their individual needs and develop their language. Homework tasks may include finishing work started in class or doing extra work like researching information about the topic being studied. Homework should be balanced and students are not under any obligation to complete all of the homework tasks if they do not have the language. It is important class teachers are made aware if the homework is too difficult for the students. Students need to be getting enough sleep and be able to be focused in the classroom, as this is where the most language development will take place. Here is a list of useful things you can do to support your child’s homework load:

  • making sure your child has a quiet time and space to study
  • giving them the resources needed, e.g. pens and paper, computer, English dictionary, bilingual dictionary or internet access
  • helping them to get into a regular routine
  • making sure they are spending the right amount of time on homework (this could be up to 2 hours a night)
  • talking to your child about learning in their first language
  • helping them research the internet for first language resources on topics being studied
  • asking if there is anything you can do to help
  • helping them organise their time well
  • giving them support and encouragement
  • reminding them to ask the teacher for help, e.g. borrowing textbooks, keywords lists, written examples or models
  • encouraging them to go to any study, homework and revision clubs run by the school
  • talking to their form tutor or subject teacher
  • finding resources in the local community (e.g. public library, internet access or homework clubs)
  • planning a day out, visiting a museum, gallery or other place of interest that links with the topic your child is studying
  • reading a good range of books, websites and news stories at home
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