At Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School we believe that children with English as a second language are entitled to the full National Curriculum programme of study and all teachers have responsibility for teaching English as weell as subject content.
What research tells us?
Although learning a new langauage takes time, know two or more languages gives students many advantages. To start with, the student may go through what is a 'Silent Period' where the students may not respond but will be listening to the language. This is a natural stage for acquiring a new langauge.
Students will require time to process a new language without feeling anxious and need to be encouraged to speak and write once they have gain some confidence as 'comprehensible output' is needed for language to be acquired.It usually takes a year or two to obtain what is called a 'conversational fluency'.
Academic language proficiency is the ability to understand and produce increasingly complex oral and written language. Achieving this is the key to success at school. Research has repeatedly shown that EAL learners usually require five years of sxposure to academic English to catch up to native speaker norms.
Reading is a crucial part of academic lanaguage proficiency development aas it provides expansion of academic vocabulary. This is the reason why all students at our school are encouraged to read. It is important that students maintain their home language as Bilingualism is enriching and has a great positive effect on academic performance.
Speaking and Listening
- Students need to listen and tune into English
- Need opportunities to be able to talk and express opinions
Reading and Writing
- Students who are able to read and write in their first language will make rapid progress in English
- It is important that students read materials that are appropriate to their reading ages.
Using a dictionary
Bilingual dictionaries can be useful when students start to learn the language. However, translating word for word and slow the pace of learning.
THe EAL team can help with students that may be:
- Those at a very early stage of acquiring English
- Those who speak English fluently, but may still require additional support or monitoring to achieve their academic potential.
The staff work closely with teachers, Heads of House, Heads of Department, parents and other professionals from other agencies.
When students arrive at the school the English Language support needs are assessed by the QCA EAL Assesment Scale and, if needed, appropriate support is put in place.