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EAL Programme

EAL Programme

The EAL (English as an Additional Language) programme is designed for students who need extra support in developing the skills in English that are needed for them to access the curriculum and to use English with confidence and competence in any area of their lives where it might be required.

Support in primary is given through:

  • Withdrawal where small groups (up to 6 students) are taught by a specialist teacher in a dedicated language classroom. Some students are taught individually if their needs are very specific.
  • In Class Support where an EAL specialist goes to the student's Curriculum lessons to work with and support them in the mainstream environment.

Support in secondary is given through:

  • A tailored English Curriculum where students follow a carefully selected curriculum in order to develop their skills in English and raise their level of English.
  • In Class Support where an EAL specialist goes to the student's Curriculum lessons to work with and support them in the mainstream environment.

Students in all Key Stages are selected for EAL support after assessments have been made by both the Class Teacher and EAL coordinator. The amount of time a student is supported for may vary between individuals and according to need. The aim of individual or small group withdrawal is to focus on specific skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening, phonics) in a supportive, specialist environment. The goal for any student attending EAL lessons is to grow in confidence and develop their knowledge of English, ready to rejoin the mainstream class and fully benefit from the taught curriculum.

Class teachers, form tutors and other specialist staff may be involved in referring a student for EAL support. The purpose of any assessment used is to identify a student's need for English as an Additional Language support. Essential elements in assessment include language proficiency (listening, phonics, speaking, reading, and writing) relative to the student's age, in the context of academic, cultural, social and emotional needs.

It is essential that all adults involved with the student know the distinction between an EAL and an SEN student. While the need for EAL support is a learning need, it is in no way a reflection of, nor does it impact upon, intelligence or ability.

Parents are kept informed of their child's progress in EAL support classes through parent-teacher conferences and end of term written reports. Your child will receive an additional page in his or her termly report that contains a detailed EAL report. EAL teachers will be available at parent –teacher conferences and you are always welcome to make an appointment to come in to school and meet with us should you have any questions or concerns. We believe that parents are our partners in their child's education and we welcome them to make appointments to meet with their child's EAL teacher.

Why EAL?

The purpose of the English as an Additional Language (EAL) Department is to support children who require additional support to learn or to develop their English. 

An EAL Student

An English as an Additional Language (EAL) student is one whose primary language or Mother Tongue is different from English. Included in this are students who come from an English speaking background but who have been educated in languages other than English. These students may require additional support to fully access the British National Curriculum. Some students may speak a variation of English that differs significantly from the types of English used in the Gulf English School. If this is the case they may need assistance developing skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The term English as an Additional Language is preferred over terms such as bilingual or English as a Second Language as many of our students are learning English as a second, third or even fourth language. This group includes a wide range of experiences, from newly arrived pupils in the early stages of English language acquisition to more advanced learners of English.

While some newly arrived, beginner EAL pupils will come from a school or country where little or no English is used; others may speak, read or write some English. Children, born in the United Kingdom, may have had limited exposure to English before starting school. Some students have become orally fluent, and they may be described as being advanced learners of EAL They have English skills necessary to operate effectively in spoken English, but may not be proficient in using academic language. EAL pupils may have a broad range of language experiences.

A broader understanding of how EAL pupils transfer their linguistic knowledge in their first language to an additional language is imperative if we are to implement effective strategies, which plan for the acquisition of English. The future attainment of EAL pupils will be critically determined by their success in learning English.

New Arrivals

Although coming to school with limited English can be a somewhat daunting experience at first for these students, they are in the perfect environment to develop their English language skills. The EAL Department supports children in a number of ways during the school day but there are things that you can do at home that will help.

Learners of additional languages generally develop the receptive skills, such as listening, first. By speaking in English at home you will model speech and vocabulary. Even if your child initially cannot answer you in English, they will be absorbing the new language.

EAL Support

Withdrawal Lessons

Withdrawal lessons are taught in small groups of up to six students. The groups are normally taken from across the year group and children are grouped with others of a similar ability in English. Students will not be withdrawn from any other specialist lessons such as PE or Swimming and, wherever possible, we do try to avoid withdrawing children from lessons such as Art and Topic as these are often lessons they can access with limited English. During these lessons, children are taught the basic skills in English. They may also work on topics that are being covered in the mainstream class at a differentiated level that suits their needs.

The amount of withdrawal lessons a child receives per week is determined by their level of English and any timetabling decisions are made in co-operation with class teachers.

In Class Support

In Class Support may be given to any EAL student, including those who are not receiving any other form of support. In Class Support involves the dedicated member of the EAL team going in to the mainstream classroom to work with individual learners or small groups.  EAL staff work closely with class teachers and are involved in the planning process so as to ensure that the needs of each individual child are identified and met.

Read more about helping your child learn English (PDF 534KB) and EAL resources on the internet (PDF 561KB).