Provision for English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Principles of Language Acquisition for EAL Pupils
EAL students have the right to access the complete National Curriculum, and all educators share the responsibility of teaching both English and subject-specific content. Effective learning demands explicit attention to vocabulary and meanings within each curriculum area, acknowledging the significance of language in shaping identity. Emphasis is placed on recognizing and valuing the home language of students and staff, with encouragement for the preservation of the students' native languages.
While many students quickly acquire day-to-day English communication skills, achieving the level of language proficiency required for academic study is a more extensive process, often necessitating ongoing support for up to ten years. Optimal language development occurs within purposeful contexts across various subjects, with teaching staff crucial in modelling language use. Distinctions are made between EAL and Special Educational Needs.
Five-Stage Model for Language Acquisition
A. New to English
At this stage, students may use their first language for learning, remain silent, copy or repeat words, understand basic English expressions, follow social communication, and begin using spoken English. Support is crucial at this stage.
B. Early Acquisition
Students participate in learning activities with increasing independence, express themselves in English with structural inaccuracies, and require ongoing literacy support. They may understand complex concepts but still need assistance accessing the full curriculum.
C. Developing Competence
Students develop oral English proficiency, read a variety of texts, demonstrate errors in grammatical structure, and may lack complexity in written English. Support is needed to grasp subtle nuances, refine language usage, and enhance abstract vocabulary.
At this stage, students operate across the curriculum with competence approaching that of native English speakers but may still make grammatical errors, requiring support.
Students operate across the curriculum at a level equivalent to native English speakers.
At Churchfield, we assess pupils’ English acquisition through a program called EAL Star. Assessments align with the school's procedures, with regular monitoring and consideration for cultural bias. Sensitivity is applied when testing EAL students in the early stages of English acquisition.
Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation
Staff use pupils assessments to inform their planning, ensuring strategies are implemented to enable all pupils to have access to a broad and balanced curriculum whilst supporting their development of the English language. All staff review and evaluate the impact of these strategies to ensure support remains relevant.
Teaching Strategies and Pedagogical Approaches
The curriculum is personalized, focusing on speaking and listening as the foundation. Visual resources, integrated language skills, and communicative approaches are emphasized. Key vocabulary is introduced at the beginning of topics, and grammar is taught within context.
We work hard to ensure all children feel they belong at Churchfield, and are reflected within the curriculum in which they learn. Where possible, we adapt resources into home languages, and use technology to support linguistic and cultural diversity.
Personalisation of Learning
Differentiated planning and support strategies cater to individual needs, including collaborative group work, enhanced speaking and listening opportunities, and various visual aids.
We encourage involvement through a welcoming induction, use of translators and interpreters, recognition of linguistic backgrounds, celebration of achievements, and support for parents to assist their children at home.