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Brighton College

Brighton College

EAL

Teaching and Learning in the EAL department

  • Pupils are encouraged to share their news, answer and ask questions with one another about various topics and experiences and to play using English. 
  • We aim to build on pupil experiences of language(s) at home and in the wider community, so their developing use of English and other languages support one another, encouraging transference of knowledge, skills and understanding of one language to another.
  • Ample opportunities for listening and speaking are provided. Additional individual teaching time is provided with the class/subject teacher or EAL teacher as appropriate, to actively enhance the pupil’s English vocabulary for understanding, speaking and writing. 
  • Initial and ongoing opportunities for interaction with English speakers are employed by making use of a first-day buddy system and in-class talk partners.
  • Our pace and complexity of language is moderated as necessary in order to provide a good model of English usage when speaking to a pupil. 
  • Clear links between words and meaning are made. The use of bi-lingual translation dictionaries and working glossaries are encouraged. A range of EAL friendly techniques are used when delivering the curriculum.

Differentiation / Inclusion

We acknowledge that pupils who are learning English as an additional language have skills and knowledge similar to monolingual English-speaking pupils. Their ability to participate in the full curriculum may be in advance of their communicative skills in English. Therefore, we aim to provide work commensurate with their understanding, but provide language support in the form of visual aids, use of symbols/pictures, gestures, demonstrations, paired working, ICT, readers, buddies and so forth. We also provide games and activities in which speech is irrelevant, and which can provide a means of expression and communication. The importance of the ‘silent period’ in the emergent language phase is recognised and so pupils are encouraged to set the pace of their oral contributions and degree of participation.  In some cases, EAL staff may provide additional support for the pupil in the classroom or the pupil may be withdrawn for specific language input as necessary.

A Language Rich Learning Environment

The EAL department’s over-reaching aim is to provide all pupils with a language rich learning environment in order to achieve this goal we:

  • ensure that pupils are competent in the four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • ensure that pupils have a competent grasp of the underlying grammatical rules of the English language and a thorough understanding of their application. 
  • provide pupils with the vocabulary needed to successfully access the whole mainstream curriculum.
  • provide pupils with the necessary language and skills to fully access the school curriculum and realise their full potential.
  • integrate pupils culturally and socially into the school community so that they can interact confidently with both teachers and peers.
  • prepare pupils for the externally assessed Cambridge English Language Assessment Exams: Young Learners Exams (Starters, Movers, and Flyers), KET, PET, FCE and IELTS as appropriate.
  • create a supportive and nurturing environment in which the pupils can flourish, and to provide a place where pupils can come for help and advice.
  • equip pupils with language skills they can use in the world beyond the classroom. 
  • employ teaching methods and resources throughout the school which allow all pupils to have equal access to the English language, irrespective of their mother tongue.

Range of EAL Support

1:1 and 2:1 support – Pupils are withdrawn from MFL time to work in the Senior School EAL room on personalized language learning targets with Senior EAL teachers or Senior EAL Learning Support Assistant (LSA), under planning guidance from the EAL teachers.
Small group support – Pupils are withdrawn in small groups, either working towards specific EAL targets or under the direction of the subject teacher, to work with an LSA in the more focused learning environment of the senior EAL classroom.
In class support – The Senior LSA works in conjunction with the teacher in class to support learning in the mainstream. 
EAL Department runs lunchtime and afterschool ECAs to meet the needs of the pupils, many of whom it is difficult to extract from mainstream teaching.
The EAL team offer support and strategies to all staff to implement in class for pupils with EAL needs even if they are not withdrawn for support.

Cambridge English Language Assessment Exams: FCE, IELTS and TOEFL

Cambridge English Language Assessment is part of the University of Cambridge and has been providing English language assessments and qualifications for over 100 years. The Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) is an upper-intermediate qualification. It covers use of English in real-life situations and study environments. Learners are expected to understand the main ideas of complex texts taken from a range of sources (such as magazines, news articles and fiction), demonstrate different writing styles (such as emails, essays, letters or short stories), follow a range of spoken materials (such as news programmes and public announcements), and keep up in conversations on a wide range of topics, expressing opinions, presenting arguments and producing spontaneous spoken language. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language test for higher education. IELTS is accepted by thousands of universities and colleges in the UK, Canada, Australia and the USA, which use it as a standard entrance requirement. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers wishing to enroll in U.S. universities. Many English-speaking academic and professional institutions accept the test. Brighton College Abu Dhabi is proud to offer both world-class English proficiency certifications to our Senior School pupils.