EAL at St Mary’s
Here at St Mary’s we believe that developing a pupil’s first language has a positive impact on their development in English. For this reason we provide opportunities for pupils to work with teachers and teaching assistants who speak that home language. The home language sessions we currently provide are in Spanish, Polish and Portuguese, bearing in mind the high numbers of pupils from these groups who are on the earlier Stages of English.
As well as developing their language capacity, these home language sessions reflect the value we put on children’s language identity and the importance of affirming each child’s cultural and linguistic identity.
The sessions include activities that reflect the outcomes of the National Curriculum including:
· text level discussion around a shared text
· language enrichment including language structures and vocabulary
· drama, singing and role play
When a child first comes to St Mary’s their language is assessed for language fluency using the Lambeth Fluency Levels:
Stage 1 – New to English
Stage 2 – Becoming Familiar with English
Stage 3 – Becoming Confident as a user of English
Stage 4 – Fully Fluent
A child’s language development is monitored closely and Stage of English reviewed every term.
Lexia is a computer based program that we offer to learners of all abilities and can be a tailored to EAL children to help them to further develop language skills.
How can parents support their children in their English acquisition?
Support the children in maintaining and developing their mother tongue skills.
Parents should talk to their children in their first language unless they have strong language skills of their own.
Here are some websites that may be useful:
http://www.eslkidstuff.com/OnlineGamesMain.htm (For younger children)