The term ‘English as an Additional Language’ (EAL) refers to a child initially exposed to a language other than English during early development and continues to use the language regularly in the home or in the community.
At Primrose Hill we have an increasing number of EAL children, many of whom are newly arrived in the country. These children come from a range of backgrounds and will have varied educational history. Some children will have had little or no education, whereas others will have experienced a full but possibly different education system.
We endeavour to support all the EAL and new arrival children at Primrose Hill by tailoring their learning and acknowledging factors such as:
- A ‘silent period’ during transition, where the child may not verbally communicate as a response to being afraid of making mistakes in a new language
- Cultural differences in non-verbal communication
- EAL children, in most cases, are bilingual and may need pre-teaching of subjects for them to fully understand and participate in lessons
- EAL children make accelerated progress in their learning after a period of adjustment to a new life, culture and language
At Primrose Hill, EAL children are only withdrawn from class for focus and targeted support which is time limited as emersion in a mainstream classroom is essential.
Schools should also make sure that:
- Specialist English as an additional language support should be available for new arrivals from qualified teachers or teaching assistants who have received appropriate training and support.
- More advanced learners of English should have continuing support in line with their varying needs as they develop competencies over time.
The teaching staff use the NASSEA Assessment Framework to assess EAL children on arrival and throughout the child’s duration in school. This framework establishes a baseline from which to track progress in all aspects of English acquisition- Listening and understanding, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The school have a good link with EMTAS service for translation facilities for parent meetings, assessments and continued support for our children who are at the early stages of learning English.