Attending an English-speaking school when English is not your first language can be a daunting experience for children of any age. Making friends when joining a new school can already be tricky, but add to that the language barrier and it sometimes seems like mission impossible! Then there is the difficulty of having to follow instructions, take part in lessons, and sit tests and exams for most subjects, in English. A very scary thought for many new parents and children who move to a new country or a new school.
Fortunately, the BCB community is a very supportive one and any new child, whether they speak English or not, will always be welcomed with open arms by the staff, children and parents that make up our school. Each new term brings us new children with English as an Additional Language, and with them comes the opportunity for everyone to learn about new cultures and languages. As Primary teachers we all have many years of teaching in international settings, and this gives us the ability to understand and empathise with EAL students.
We are constantly adapting our planning, resources and activities to help our students, no matter what their English ability is, and we carefully seat EAL children with class buddies and partners who will be able to support them in their social development too.
One essential part of an EAL student’s day is the EAL lesson they receive from our specialist teachers. After a careful initial English level assessment, students are placed in tiers corresponding to the level of need they have. This will then determine how many EAL classes a week they receive and what content will be taught to them. Our EAL teachers use a variety of techniques and resources to support their students and to ensure children can more easily follow the class curriculum as soon as possible. By working hand in hand with the class teachers, they provide EAL students with the highest possible level of language learning.
To learn more about our EAL programme, and to hear some useful tips and strategies you can use at home with your children while they learn English, please join our Parent Workshop dedicated to Primary EAL on Tuesday 8th November, 2022 at 9am.