Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
20 May, 2017

EAL: How parents can support their child in learning English

EAL: How parents can support their child in learning English
EAL: How parents can support their child in learning English

On Thursday and Friday, primary EAL hosted open mornings for Years 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6. Parents were invited to join the EAL classes and to work with their child, as well as the other students and the EAL teacher.

Parent support and involvement is one of the key indicators of academic success so it was wonderful to see so many parents taking this opportunity to join in a learning experience with their child.

We also hosted a brief workshop on how parents can support their child in learning in English, based on the latest research in applied linguistics and neurolinguistics.  Bilingualism and multilingualism have been shown to have brain benefits throughout a person’s whole life – from greater cognitive activity and strengthening of neural pathways while they are learning, to helping to stave off age-related symptoms later in life.

The research also stresses the importance of first language proficiency for second language development, which can leave parents in a tricky situation – with only 24 hours in a day, what should my child focus on?  In general, we would recommend starting with the at-home learning from the class teacher. As this learning is through English, it is developing the language skills students need for academic success in English. Along with this, children should also be reading in their first language to strengthen their literacy in their foundation language. Then, if your child is not too exhausted, listening and watching favourite shows in English (either with or without subtitles in English or your language) is an excellent way to acquire vocabulary and structures naturally.

Please do not give your child grammar or writing to do at home unless this is one of their passions! We need students to enjoy English so we try to present these skills in an enjoyable way in the class. Although we can’t predict the future, there is a very good chance English will be a lifelong companion in their academic and professional lives so we want them to look forward to their English learning.

The ppt presentation from the workshop will shortly be made available on the EAL Firefly page, with translated versions to follow. If you have any questions about EAL or second language acquisition, please feel free to email:

Update from: Ms. Anne Burraston, Head of EAL