Home Language Support for EAL

All practitioners should value linguistic diversity and provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning. This is part of respecting each child’s cultural background and help pupils settle in.

The home languages should be acknowledged and valued. Attempting to learn a few words or phases would be beneficial and parents would usually be very happy to assist in this.

Children should have the opportunity to express themselves and access dual language materials.  Otherwise three or four years of language development can be easily disregarded. Research has shown that learning another language can greatly enhance thinking skills.

Maintaining and developing L1 (first language) skills will not hinder the acquisition of English.  Skills learned in one language are transferable to another.

Parents should be reassured that maintaining and developing the home language will support learning English. Children benefit from bilingualism.

Good Practice for EAL

  • Pupils with EAL should be placed according to their chronological age where possible.

  • Pupils with EAL should be placed with more able groups, so that they get the best role models and can be helped to reach their potential more quickly.

  • Pupils with EAL should have access to all classroom activities. Some will need to be supported or differentiated.

  • Try to encourage a language activity or game with a group on a regular basis; to allow learners to acquire new vocabulary.

  • Do not worry if the pupils are silent. This is normal and will improve as they settle in socially and gain confidence.

  • Use pictures, photos, artefacts, drawings, gestures, maps and graphics to aid understanding.

  • Use other pupils to act as a buddy to help the child and look after them at breaks; to show them the ropes, etc.

  • Allow the pupil to copy from others.

  • For younger pupils, or those not literate in their first language, a pictorial dictionary is very helpful.

  • Please encourage the use of a bilingual dictionary and give glossaries of new topics in advance, so that pupils can look up meanings and search in their native language beforehand.

  • Please be prepared to repeat instructions.

  • Include the pupils with EAL in paired reading schemes.

EAL Induction Check List

  1. Ensure friendly body language.
  2. Provide a place of safety in the room (observation point).
  3. Arrange for “buddies” to support the child socially and in class.
  4. Appoint good role models in the table group.
  5. Explain the “school routine”, e.g; bell, toilet, school layout, timetable and who should collect the child and where.
  6. Explain the health and safety procedures, e.g. fire evacuation.
  7. Explain social norms and boundaries of school.
  8. Don’t worry if pupils are silent.
  9. Welcome “acceptance and interest of pupil’s culture”.

EAL Enrolment Guidelines

The following procedures are recommended to schools at the time of enrolment of a bilingual learner.  This information is designed to ensure effective communication between parents and schools.

*Refer the child to the EAL Team.

*Make arrangements for an interpreter to be present at the enrolment meeting, if necessary.

*Follow school admission procedures.

*Confirm the first language of the child and parents/carers.

*Request details of previous schooling and copies of any school reports, documents and/or certificates. This should include passports, inoculation records and details of hearing and eye tests.

*Request an estimated level of literacy in first language and in English.

*Gather information regarding dietary requirements and/or special health conditions.

*Register with local Doctor.

*Discuss preferred communication between school and parents/carers.

*Request information on any break in education and concerns.

*Request information on religious and cultural issues.

*Request information on any possible restrictions to school activities, e.g. festivities, celebrations, sports, visits, excursions, trips, etc.

*Request details of an emergency contact (English speaker such as friends, relatives, neighbours).

*Request information on the length of time in UK.

*Provide information on the school routine; when it starts and ends and lunch times.

*Provide information on attendance at classes and notification of absence.

*Provide information on lunch and snack arrangements.

*Provide information on collecting children.

*Provide information on school outings and the process of giving consent.

*Provide information on the ways in which parents are asked to support the school ethos.

*Provide information on ‘English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)’; these are free sessions available for adults within local CLD (Community Learning and Development).

Referral to EAL Service

The EAL Teacher will carry out an EAL Assessment .  Following this, the EAL Teacher will liaise with school staff to discuss the level of support required and arrange to meet with the parents if necessary.  Where additional targeted support is required, other than that provided by the EAL teacher, an IEP (Individualised Educational Programme) should be prepared.

The EAL input provided is subject to ongoing monitoring and regular review by relevant school and EAL staff.

EAL in the Schools

Recognise the prior achievement of all children and their families and their contribution to school life and ethos. It should be ensured that an age appropriate placement is made in line with Authority procedures.

Language Line is an instant telephone interpretation service, adopted by Angus Council (for use in an emergency or for brief meetings telephone: 08452 777 778).

Anti-bullying policies and procedures for the reporting of racist incidents should be followed to.

Ensure that all pupils admitted to school from another country become registered with a doctor.

Use the appropriate HMIe Quality Indicators to ensure equality of opportunity for bilingual pupils to access the curriculum.

The Role of the School

An introductory welcome meeting should be held to provide information for parents and their children; through an interpreter if required. The EAL teacher can assist with this.

The Enrolment Guidelines are recommended to schools at the time of enrolment of a bilingual learner.  This information is designed to ensure effective communication between parents and schools.

In nursery and primary school the Head Teacher or a member of the management team, with a remit for pupil support, should manageEAL Induction and monitor pupil progress . In secondary this is likely to be the PT Additional Support Needs or the PT Pupil Care and Support.

The Role of EAL Teacher

In supporting young people with EAL (English as an Additional Language) we aim to:

  • assist schools in developing a planned approach to induction and inclusion support;
  • advise schools on pupil placement, teaching strategies, transitions, curriculum differentiation, resources and assessment;
  • provide support and advice to schools as they develop their capacity to manage and sustain continued improvement with a particular focus on the progress and achievement of bilingual learners;
  • work with schools to ensure equality of opportunity for bilingual pupils to access the curriculum, with reference to HMIe Quality Indicators;
  • advise schools about alternative assessments and, where necessary, support schools in preparing pupils for SQA ESOL examinations which may be required for entrance to university.



EAL in Action

The EAL team supports Primary and Secondary schools in Angus, based on the national document Learning in 2 + Languages.

Following the 5 Stages of English Language Acquisition, the team prioritises those at Stages 1 and 2.  The support and advice may be provided for those at Stage 3 onwards through a collaborative programme with schools. This will be recorded using the EAL Support Agreement Form’ as the implementation of good practice in schools.