English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Knowing two languages gives children many advantages. Bilingualism is enriching and has a positive effect on academic performance.
Remember, our school website is full of information; pupils, parents and carers can use Google translate (accessed on our home page) to view school information in their first language.
How the school will help your child
Learning a new language takes time. At first, a child may just want to listen in class and not talk. This ‘silent period’ is natural during the first stages of learning a new language.
Children need time to engage with the new language without anxiety. As they become more confident they should then be encouraged to speak and write in the new language; these important skills are needed for language to be acquired.
We carry out assessments of each child when they begin school to see how much English and Maths they know. At first, a student may be reluctant to talk, so we observe them over a period of time in their classroom to assess what they already know.
To measure progress we use the National Curriculum criteria for Spoken Language, Reading, Writing and Maths. Resources and teaching techniques are differentiated to ensure that your child will have the best learning experience possible; helping them to grow in confidence, knowledge and skill.
Ideas for helping your child at home
There are many ways in which you can help your child at home. Here are a few ideas:
- Provide opportunities for your child to use English outside of the school
- Invite an English speaking friend to play
- Children will bring home reading books. Check that they understand what they are reading by asking questions – either in English or in your home language. Write comments in the Reading Record in their school planner.
- Attend school Parent Workshops to gain a better understanding of how Phonics, Reading, Writing and Maths is taught in school
- Watch English DVDs and television
- Encourage your child to attend an After School Club; these are a great way to learn English in an informal way
- Look at one of the websites we recommend
- Make friends with English speakers yourself; you can then learn English in a social context
- Don’t put pressure on your child to speak English with you. Maintaining your home language is important
- Encourage your child to go on reading in your home language, if they can.
- Don’t compare your child to others – everyone learns English at a different rate!
- Rephrase what your child says e.g. ‘I goed to school’- respond with: ‘Oh yes, you went to school’.
- Ask your child to talk about the subjects they are learning in school in your home language. This develops their vocabulary.
- Ask us for other ideas for how to help!
Here are some websites with games and activities to help you and your child learn English as an additional language.