At Castleton we pride ourselves on supporting children that have English as an additional language. These children supported by our specialist EAL teacher in our EAL provision.
Key Principles of Additional Language Acquisition
EAL pupils are entitled to the full National Curriculum programme of study and all their teachers have a responsibility for teaching English as well as other subject content.
Access to learning requires attention to words and meanings embodied in each curriculum area. Meanings and understanding cannot be assumed, but must be made explicit.
Language is central to our identity. Therefore, the home language of all pupils and staff should be recognised and valued. Pupils should be encouraged to maintain their home language.
Although many pupils acquire the ability to communicate on a day to day basis in English quite quickly, the level of language needed for academic study is much deeper and more detailed, and can require continuing support for up to ten years.
Language develops best when used in purposeful contexts across the curriculum. The language demands of learning tasks need to be identified and included in planning. Teaching and support staff play a crucial role in modelling uses of language. Knowledge and skills developed in learning the first language aid the acquisition of additional languages. A clear distinction should be made between EAL and Special Educational Needs.
Five Stage Model for Language Acquisition
- New to English
A child may:
- Use first language for learning and other purposes.
- Remain silent in the classroom.
- Copy/repeat some words and phrases.
- Understand some everyday English expressions but have minimal or no English literacy.
- Follow day-to-day social communication in English.
- Begin to use spoken English for social purposes.
- Understand simple instructions and follow narrative/accounts with visual support.
- Develop some skills in reading and writing
- Become familiar with some subject specific vocabulary.
A child at this stage needs significant support.
- Early Acquisition
A child may;
- Participate in learning activities with increasing independence.
- Express themselves orally in English but structural inaccuracies are still apparent.
- Requires ongoing support in literacy, particularly for understanding text and writing.
- Follow abstract concepts and more complex written English. A child at this stage requires support to access the curriculum fully.
- Developing Competence
- A child may:
- Developing oral English well, allowing successful engagement in activities across the curriculum.
- Read and understand a wide variety of text.
- Written English may lack complexity.
- Demonstrate evidence of errors in grammatical structure.
A child at this stage needs support to access subtle nuances of meaning, to refine English usage, and to develop abstract vocabulary.
A child at this stage can operate across the curriculum to a level of competence nearing to that of a pupil who uses English as his/her first language. They may still make grammatical errors and need support to develop their linguistic skills.
A child at this stage can operate across the curriculum to a level of competence equivalent to that of a pupil who uses English as his/her first language.
All EAL pupils are assessed in line with the school’s assessment procedures at Castleton Primary School.
We also use Flash Academy to develop the language of our children who have English as an additional language. To find out more about Flash Academy, follow the link below or watch the attached video.