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It’s More Than Osmosis, It’s EAL!

It’s almost the end of 2019 and we are wrapping up our ambitious learning activities with surprising and exciting stories of progress made across all levels of EAL learners.

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In EAL, all students have been exposed to the English language in more ways than just knowing vocabulary, spelling and grammar. Students’ learning is shaped by various genres, discourses and cultural-linguistic contexts to expand their understanding of what language involves.

Thus far, all our students have shown ambitious steps forward in learning, be it small or big, according to their individual learning styles and cultural circumstances. We have noticed the shy ones opening-up and making random funny jokes using the English language and while others have been surprising us with their confidence level in speaking and writing.

It is a joy to all of us here in the EAL programme to see all our students shining, not only in making sense of the language, but also developing their own personalities. That is why our EAL programme here at BSB is more than just osmosis, the ins and outs of grammatical correctness. It involves holistic learning approaches and outcomes that gradually move from basic communication to more academic language that caters to the school’s curriculum.

As we dive into the new year, we will continue to support all our students with the integration of specific texts that are largely accessible in everyday language and in the curriculum by using the ‘comprehensibility plus’ learning approach. This approach allows our students to stretch their imaginative thinking skills higher so that the text they read or the language they use is simplified but also challenging.

Our students are also eager to bring in and use their first languages in our classrooms. EAL teachers acknowledge and incorporate ‘translanguaging’ to ensure a supportive learning environment as a critical learning resource to further enhance the development of the English language.

We wish all our students and parents a happy and joyful holiday break and to see you all in 2020!

By Dawit (David) Hailu

EAL Specialist Teacher