What we do to support EAL children (children who have English as an Additional Language)
Many children experience some areas of difficulty during the course of their education, and all staff at Gidea Park Primary School are committed to finding ways of supporting children to access and make progress in their learning. It can take around seven years for a child learning English as an Additional Language to catch up with their peers. Listed below are some of the ways your child might be supported in this:
Reading and spelling
Children who have English as an Additional Language will be given extra support with reading and spelling as needed. Phonics or sounds will be systematically taught as a priority and spellings will include high-frequency ‘tricky’ words. When working independently on writing tasks, children will be encouraged to sound out words using a phonics chart for support and also a high-frequency word chart. They may also be given a vocabulary book for an adult to write new technical language (e.g. 'push' and 'pull' in Year 1 Science); these new words could be illustrated with simple pictures drawn by either an adult or the child and should be revisited regularly to encourage retention of new vocabulary.
Talk/Write for Learning
This is a programme designed to improve the way children communicate across the curriculum, enabling them to be independent and skilful speakers and listeners. It is a targeted, time-limited (10 weeks) intervention which is generally used with small groups or individuals. By providing opportunities to practise and rehearse target language through a range of focused activities, pupils develop their independent skills to become good communicators. It encourages them to listen more actively and talk for a range of purposes, and draws particular attention to the links between speaking, reading and writing.
Pre-learning and over-learning
Both pre-learning and over-learning aim to boost a child’s confidence. Pre-learning is when children are introduced to new concepts (e.g. new language) in the days or weeks prior to the main class teaching, so they have some familiarity with the content when it is introduced in the classroom. Over-learning gives children additional opportunities outside of the main lesson to practise and develop competence in skills they have started to acquire, helping them on the pathway towards secure understanding.
We often liaise with the Havering EAL Adviser to ensure that we are giving each and every child the support they need to progress well.