“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.”
English as an Additional Language
The school has two specially trained teachers of English as an Additional Language. The teachers support students in one to one or group sessions or within the classroom itself to help students strengthen their knowledge of English.
Learners with EAL have a dual task at school: to learn English (language) and to learn through English. For this reason, EAL teaching aims to teach English using the mainstream curriculum as the context
On arrival at The New School, children are evaluated and placed in an appropriate stage of the EAL programme. This might be one to one for complete beginners, in a small group withdrawn several times from class, or in the classroom but with regular support and monitoring by the EAL and classroom teachers.
For beginners arriving at NSR we provide one to one sessions to help children develop survival language and the skills needed to build friendships at school, and to support participation in the mainstream classroom.
LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE
We know that children learn English best when they:
- feel comfortable and safe
- make connections between languages they already know and the new language
- have a strong mother foundation from which to build their new language understandings
We also know that:
- basic social language can takes 1 -2 years to acquire
- complex academic language can take 5 -7 years
Out of class groups
As children’s English acquisition progresses, they will become part of an out of class group, which meets two or three times per week. Children arriving at NSR with some English may also join this group. Lessons are linked to classwork and are purposefully designed to enable children to develop the skills and confidence they need to be successful in the mainstream classroom. EAL teachers meet regularly with class teachers to keep up with current lesson themes, and progress is monitored together.
PLANNING WITH CLASS TEACHERS
EAL and class teachers hold regular meetings together to share information about individual children, curriculum and assessments.
In class support
Children whose level of English is approaching the norm of the mainstream classroom will be monitored and supported in class once or twice a week. In class support will also be provided to give certain children individual support. The EAL teacher will work in specific lessons with the class teacher to support the children in developing successful learning strategies.
Reading & writing skills
As children progress through primary school, the reading and writing demands of the curriculum become more complex. Quite often, they need more support to develop these difficult skills. Therefore, by Year 5 and 6 the emphasis is not so much on oral skills, although these are constantly monitored, but on reading and writing skills, including the ability to understand a wide range of texts and use more complicated grammatical structures.
EAL support will gradually be decreased as the students’ ability and confidence in using English increases. Although a child may no longer require direct EAL support we will continue to monitor their progress along with the class teacher to make sure that support is available if needed.
CONTINUED SUPPORT IN THE SENIOR SCHOOL
The New School continues to support students as they become more advanced in English to develop their language skills to a proficient level. We therefore provide tailored EAL support in the senior school to ensure that all our students can access the curriculum, as well as developing their social and academic skills in English. We constantly liaise with subject teachers to assess the students' needs and also support students in external exams such as IELTS.
If you would like more information about any part of our EAL programme, please contact one of our EAL staff.
- Camilla Adam: firstname.lastname@example.org (Early Years and Primary)
- Susie Brookfield: email@example.com (Upper Primary and Senior)