English as an Additional Language (EAL)

About EAL

We have pupils from: Scotland, England, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Kenya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Hong Kong, Arab Emirates, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Angola, Turkey, China, Algeria, Ghana, the Czech Republic, Georgia, The Gambia, and other countries.

At the moment, there are 66 languages spoken in our school including: Mandarin, Arabic, Dari, Persian/Farsi, French, German, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Hungarian, Cantonese, Italian, Pashto, Somali, Hakka, Punjabi, Urdu, Malay, Turkish, Yoruba, Kurdish, Hindi, Serbian, Algerian, Twi, Basque, Czech, Dutch, Georgian, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Nepali, Shona, Lao, Mirpuri, Tamil, Ukrainian, Swahili, Fula, Wolof and others.

We have a large number of pupils who are fully bilingual and, in some cases, multilingual, as well as many who are developing bilinguals i.e. they are fully proficient in their first language and are developing skills in English. Every year we also welcome pupils who are new to English.

Hillhead wants all pupils to be aware of the richness and diversity of languages within the school, and it aims to ensure that bilingual pupils feel that their bilingualism is recognised as a very positive asset.

At present we have 1 members of staff, Mrs Gostanska. When it is needed, our students also may receive additional support from Glasgow EAL Specialist Team.

On arrival, pupils who speak other languages undertake the initial EAL assessment and the department plan how to best support the young person in developing their English language skills.

EAL staff in the school support pupils across the curriculum from S1 to S6, working in mainstream classes with subject teachers. They also support pupils in small tutorial groups.

EAL staff work closely with class teachers to advise them on language backgrounds, strengths and areas for support for bilingual pupils.

SQA qualifications:  ESOL

English for Speakers of Other Languages


SQA now offer ESOL qualifications at National 2 through to National 6 (Higher) for certain bilingual pupils who arrived in the UK during their secondary education, as an alternative to English exams.

At present EAL offers these exams in 6th year.

EAL working with parents

EAL are present at all Parents’ Evenings.

If you wish to contact us at other times please phone the school office 0141 582 0100 and we will be happy to make an appointment with you.

Home Language

EAL would like to stress the importance of pupils continuing to use their own language at the same time as developing English skills.

Research has shown that it is important for pupils developing English skills to maintain their home language. Skills and concepts develop in the first language and are then transferred to the new language.

Language is a vital part of our identity and important for self-esteem.

Websites for learning English

There are some excellent websites which EAL pupils and their families can access to develop their English language skills.

Free home-learning project packs:


· http://www.eslgamesplus.com

· http://www.digitaldialects.com/

· www.anglomaniacy.pl

Different levels:

· http://www.5minuteenglish.com  (excellent – pick from ‘Lessons’ e.g.: Vocabulary, Reading, Grammar, Listening)

· http://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/ – a variety of materials, e.g. videos with questions

· http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/

· http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround (BBC news adapted for younger people)

· http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/learning-english/games-social/

· http://www.usingenglish.com/

e.g. http://www.usingenglish.com/comprehension/5.html (reading passages with questions at different levels)

· Headway course from Oxford University Press:

https://elt.oup.com/student/headway/?cc=gb&selLanguage=en (here you can select the level and grammar or other aspects within)

· http://online.seterra.net/en (online map game)


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions


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