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Supporting Pupils with English as an Additonal Language (EAL)

The term 'EAL' is used to describe a diverse group of learners who speak English as an Additional Language.

In England, such learners are defined as those who have been 'exposed to a language at home that is known or believed to be other than English' (Department for Education, 2019)

It is important to note that categorising a child as having EAL is not an assessment of their academic ability. At All Saints’ we view proficiency in multiple languages as a strength and this view is backed by robust research. However, the simple categorisation of EAL is not alone an indicator of academic success and EAL students must be provided unique support to achieve their potential.

EAL students have the right to access the National Curriculum, engaging in purposeful lessons alongside their mainstream peers. Lessons are carefully planned to enhance language skills and utilise talk as a learning tool. We also promote the use of students' home languages to aid both their learning and English development.

Our staff actively consider and address the diverse learning needs of bilingual learners by:

  • Using ‘quality first’ teaching strategies with clear learning objectives and appropriate materials to help learner participation.
  • Identify key language features in each curriculum area.
  • Enhance speaking and listening opportunities, incorporating drama techniques and role play when suitable.
  • Provide additional visual support through posters, pictures, photographs, objects, demonstrations and gestures.
  • Offer supplementary verbal support through repetition, modelling, and peer assistance.
  • Utilise collaborative activities promoting purposeful talk and encouraging active participation.
  • Provide scaffolding for language and learning, including talk frames and writing frames, paired activities, mind maps, bilingual dictionaries, peer support, differentiated activities, and key word lists.
  • Incorporate accessible texts and materials that support language and cultural needs, such as bilingual books and artifacts.
  • Ensure the use of age-appropriate and level-appropriate texts and materials.
  • Engage pupils through visual and interactive teaching methods.
  • Provide support through ICT tools, translators, and a buddy system.
  • Structure groups to include opportunities for collaboration amongst pupils with similar cognitive abilities, those proficient in age-appropriate English, and those who share the same language.
  • Implement a working wall to reinforce the learning of key vocabulary and concepts.
  • Incorporate home or first language when appropriate and feasible.
  • Assess pupils with EAL who have Special Educational Needs (SEND) in their home language whenever possible to determine whether the issue is related to SEND or language acquisition (Please see Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy).

All students at our school adhere to the Foundation stage and National Curriculum.

Children with English as an additional language must also follow this curriculum but will receive additional support aligned with their class work as outlined above. This support may be delivered by a Teaching Assistant (TA) as needed. Where a TA does support the learning of EAL students, teachers collaborate with TAs to address small target groups, ensuring regular assessment of their progress. Progress and concerns are communicated with class teachers, SENCO, the Deputy Head Teacher (as Assessment Lead) and the Head Teacher. The EAL coordinator and Head Teacher collaborate to uphold best practices in EAL teaching and learning across the school.

We have devised a 'flow chart' to explain our school's process in welcoming new EAL children to our school.