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English as an Additional Language (EAL)

EAL Students at Waterhead Academy

Students classed as EAL could be any student who is bilingual, has acquired or is acquiring English as an Additional Language.

EAL students make the most progress within a whole school context, where students are educated with their peers. Therefore, Waterhead Academy seeks to ensure that all pupils are enabled to access the curriculum and that learning activities are highly tailored for EAL students to make sure that they have a fair chance of contributing and making progress. Teachers have responsibility for ensuring that students can participate in lessons and will have awareness of good practice in providing for our EAL students in a classroom setting.

All staff will see bilingualism as a positive and life enriching asset. Bilingualism is celebrated in our lessons, curriculum and displays. We promote language development through the rich use of language.  EAL students whose English is still weak are actively encouraged to use their mother tongue in order to learn about the current topic. More fluent EAL students are encouraged to use English, in order for them to work quicker and better as there is no split attention. The language used on the corridors should be English.

Our aim is to address the needs of EAL students within the classroom. However, sometimes it will be appropriate for students to be withdrawn from some mainstream lessons to receive highly tailored, strategic support.

At Waterhead we recognise that most EAL students do not have SEND needs, but have skills and knowledge similar to monolingual English-speaking students. Their ability to participate in the full curriculum may be in advance of their communicative skills in English.

 Strategies to be used with students with no or little English:

  • Explicitly teach keywords.
  • Only teach the most important part of the current topic. Build on that.
  • Flipped learning. Give the PPT/keywords for next lesson so students can familiarise with it.
  • Writing frames. Writing is the hardest skill for EAL students so they need a framework to work with.
  • Visual aids in lesson.