EAL Policy

Unity Girls High School believes that all pupils should have the opportunity to acquire a fluent and flexible use of the English language. This will enable them to achieve while at our school and during subsequent studies.  Pupils who are learning to use English as an additional language will be provided with the appropriate teaching and learning materials to aid and support learning outcomes. This policy sets out the aims and practises for the support of pupils with English as an additional Language. 

Aims 

  • To help integrate EAL pupils from into school both socially and academically. 
  • To support the pupils acquisition of English. 
  • To support EAL pupils to establish positive relationships with both peers and adults. 
  • To enable pupils to use the English language for academic studies as well as everyday social purposes. 

Objectives 

  • To develop literacy and numeracy  
  • To enable pupils to cope with the demands of the Curriculum 
  • To provide sound linguistic structure 
  • To provide support in classroom and homework activities 
  • To promote inclusive learning. 

Inclusion strategies 

Step 1: Admissions 

The school admission for EAL pupil should include  

  • A welcome pack 
  • If and when possible access to an interpreter during admissions  

Step 2: Pairing with a peer buddy 

  • Allocate one or two pupils to act as peer buddies to look after the EAL pupils, preferably someone who speaks the pupils’ first language, to familiarise them with the school layout, timetable, routine and activities. 
  • Arrange a friendship group to support the pupil in class activities, ensuring that the child is in a mixed or high-ability group so that they have access to good models of both spoken and written English and good behaviour. 

Step 3: Parental Involvement 

Parents are invited into the school in order to 

  • Help with admission forms 
  • Discuss previous education 
  • Establish positive relationships 
  • Survey languages spoken at home between Parents/Guardians, pupil and siblings. 
  • Review meetings 

Step 4: Silent Period 

  • Allow time for the EAL pupil to settle in and adjust to their new environment. This should be as free from pressure as possible. 
  • EAL pupils will go through a silent period in which they are adjusting to their new language and culture. 
  • During this period the pupil might not be able to participate in learning activities at all times it is important that they are still listening to the teacher and their peers and learning basic skills. 

Step 5: Observation  

Observation by teacher to determine 

  • Levels of pupil involvement in activities 
  • Who the pupil communicates with best 
  • What activities the pupil is familiar with 
  • Social interaction during lunch time/break/in class 
  • Achievement/progress/future assessment 
  • Future partnership teaching and training opportunities 

Step 6: Assessment 

An initial assessment will be carried out, preferably in English. 

  • To establish oral and literacy levels in English and where possible their first language. 
  • To assess how much vocabulary the pupil has in English and what knowledge of English structures they have. 
  • To highlight any obvious immediate need for them to prioritised in a language teaching programme (SEN). 

An assistant may be enlisted to support the assessment of pupil who speaks other languages. Copies of the assessment should go to all staff.  

Step 7: Monitoring and evaluation 

The pupils’ progress in acquiring English and their social and academic progress should be monitored and records kept. This is of particular importance to ensure that correct support can be put in place and if at a later date external agencies need to be brought in for extra support 

The Role of Head Teacher  

  • In conjunction with the Form teacher establish a Buddy system (it is preferable to have a buddy who speaks the same first language). 
  • Arrange translators and interpreters for meetings if required. 
  •  Liaise with parents and families, sharing pupil progress, offering home-school liaison if needed. 
  • To consult with teachers and provide further recourses for classroom teachers and pupils, for example, bilingual picture dictionaries and translated key words etc, strategies to identify appropriate SMART learning targets and arrange assessments of targeted pupils in partnership with subject teachers. 

STRATEGIES FOR SUPPORTING PUPILS NEW TO ENGLISH 

  • Assessment should be undertaken by the English teacher, of the pupil’s knowledge of the English language; preferably during the first week. 
  •  Recognise that EAL pupils may go through a ‘silent’ period which can last for some time. During this period, they are watching and acclimatising to their new situation. Encourage and praise them a lot, even if they make mistakes. It will take courage to raise their hand and make a contribution when they are new to English. 
  • Be patient. Inclusion and integration can take some time. If possible the pupil will be paired l with another pupil who speaks their first language. 
  • Invite the pupil’s parents/carers into school to find out more about their background and schooling. It may be necessary to enlist the support of a translator.  
  • During group peering EAL pupils should not be grouped with SEN pupils who have clear language needs, this is to encourage rich language environment. 
  • Encourage a positive language and cultural classroom in which other languages are encouraged and displayed. Bullying and anti racism must be dealt with straight away.  (For further guidance see school policies on bullying and anti-racism  
  • Use key visuals and refer to key vocabulary. EAL pupils at key stage3/4 may have some reading and writing skills in English and be able to match words to pictures, answer yes/no or true/false questions or label a simple diagram with words provided. 
  • Encourage collaborative group work in which new arrivals/EAL pupils can be supported through speech (bilingual if possible) and activities. 
  • Use clear models of spoken and written English in which the new arrival can hear and learn grammatical structures and vocabulary. 
  • Give pupils opportunities to practise the language they have learnt. Language games are ideal. 
  •  Don’t initially ask them to copy off the board; refocusing can be difficult.