Top 5 ways NAIS Pudong Supports EAL Learners
The 23rd April is the anniversary of both the birth and death of the famous English playwright and wordsmith, William Shakespeare. As a master of the English language, it is no wonder that it has been recognised as English Language Day.
At NAIS Pudong, we love words. Language underpins all our daily activities and social interactions, as well as our academic success. We understand, therefore, how important it is to enable students to become confident, fluent and articulate speakers both in English and in their home languages.
Here are our top five ways that we support our EAL learners:
1. Immersive Philosophy
While we strive to support every child through a bespoke provision and tailored curriculum, we also recognise the need for students to access English through the mainstream classroom. In our immersive model, students access the curriculum at an age-expected level through facilitation, differentiation and additional support.
At NAIS Pudong, we understand and value the importance of bilingualism. Research has repeatedly shown that learners of multiple languages develop increased pathways in the brain and often present signs of sharper cognitive functions, increased problem-solving aptitides, and strong verbal and math skills.
This is why we celebrate bilingualism. We encourage students to translate between languages, and to build pathways and make connections. We are proud of our diversity, and through a range of language-focused and international-themed events and curricula, we ensure our students are proud too!
3. Bespoke curriculum
However, we do recognise that not all students are at the same stage on the same path of their English language acquisition journey. Through our Beginner Programme, which offers intense and targeted support to students speaking English for the first time, we ensure students are curriculum and classroom ready, setting them up with the tools they need to feel safe, sociable and articulate within both social and academic situations.
For students working at an intermediate level, class teachers and language specialists run small group intervention sessions to facilitate enhanced curriculum access. This support varies from class to class and year group to year group. Key focuses include the pre-teaching of core concepts and vocabulary, filling in the gaps with punctuation and grammatical knowledge, and intensive catch-up reading interventions.
We feel that class teachers are best placed to identify and plan for students based on their current learning. In the Primary School, this means that teachers within each year group work closely within teams to monitor, tweak and plan these interventions to fit every topic and objective, and to meet every child's needs. In the Secondary School, EAL experts and language specialists follow recommended schemes, employing a range of practical and robust methods to ensure language learning is both fun and thorough.
5. Teaching Heroes
Of course, none of this would be possible without our outstanding and dedicated teaching team. All teachers, whether of mainstream or of intervention groups, utilise their knowledge of the CEFR Framework and Teaching English as a Second Language training to promote bilingualism, develop their curricula and support groups and individuals on multiple levels.
Our ethos, that all learners are language learners and all teachers are language teachers, permeates everything we do.
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