The EAL teacher works in partnership with Bailiwick schools to help meet the needs of pupils who are learning through English as an Additional Language.
These days it is not uncommon for teachers to find pupils in their classrooms who have English as an additional language. Schools in Guernsey are no exception.
Some of the mother tongue languages we find in Guernsey are Portuguese, Latvian, Polish, French, Spanish, Thai and Urdu.
It is understandable that pupils with EAL will frequently come under the umbrella of special educational needs at the school they attend because EAL is seen as a 'need'. However, it is important to appreciate that a lack of English fluency does not necessarily mean that the pupil has special educational needs.
Most of these children have already attended school in their own country and so have prior knowledge and skills, especially in areas such as Maths and Science. For this reason they should, as far as possible, be placed in teaching groups which reflect their cognitive abilities rather than their ability to speak English.
Some argue that a modified curriculum should exist for those who do not have English as their mother tongue. Yet the whole curriculum is an ideal language-learning syllabus. It provides pupils with a real purpose for using the new language.
Pupils with EAL also tend to learn much faster when the language is put into a relevant context.
How Do EAL Students Often Feel On Arrival?
- The term culture shock is sometimes used to describe the initial period of adjustment in a new country. It outlines the anxiety and helplessness that can be felt. Many children adapt easily but others find it more difficult. Some children may experience feelings of frustration or display behavioural problems, whereas others withdraw and become anxious. Adjustment may be difficult and can be a lengthy process. The EAL teacher serves to aid this adjustment by helping these pupils to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas successfully in English.
What is the Role of the EAL Teacher?
- The role of the EAL teacher is to:
- To offer information and advice to schools on the inclusion of EAL pupils in the school environment and how best to support their learning across the curriculum
- To work in partnership with class teachers in identifying gaps in English competency and set targets for ongoing improvement
- To carry out assessments and monitor the progress of pupils
- To support pupils with EAL on an individual and small group basis
- To provide written reports for both the school and parents.
- The EAL teacher visits pupils who are newly or recently arrived in Guernsey. These pupils may have little or no English, or may have a good level of English but would benefit from an initial boost of additional support to aid their language learning.
- The aim of the EAL teacher is to help raise levels of competency in English. By the end of their support, the pupils' knowledge of English will be at a sufficient standard to enable them to follow the curriculum with ease and in this respect, be on a par with their peers.
Making a Referral
- If your child has English as an Additional Language and is due to start at school, please contact the headteacher who will arrange for the appropriate support.
- The EAL teacher will then carry out an assessment to determine what your child's needs are and what support should subsequently be received.