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English as a Second Language

English as a Second Language

Introductory Statement: 

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines to school staff on the delivery of English as an additional language. Our original policy was written in 2010. This update is our first update. This policy will provide a basis of consistency and quality while allowing for flexibility in the delivery of EAL service. The aim of our EAL policy is to ensure that pupils develop the competence to use English confidently as a means of learning across the range of curriculum areas: 

Rationale: At St. Columba’s National School we acknowledge children's differing culture, backgrounds and language. The EAL service enables the students whose primary language or language of the home is other than English, to develop their individual potential, both socially and academically, within the school system. Aims and Objectives: At St. Columba’s National School, we are committed to providing appropriate provision of teaching and resources for pupils for whom English is an additional language and for raising the achievement of all pupils. We aim to: Identify individual EAL learner's needs. Recognise the talents and skills they bring to the school. respond to the needs of the EAL learner. Support EAL learners in accessing and engaging in the National Irish curriculum. The main objectives are to raise the achievement of EAL students and to promote ethnic, cultural and social diversity. Role of the Language Support Teacher: The primary role of the language support teacher is to promote the pupils development of English language proficiency so that he or she can gradually gain access to the curriculum. The pupil remains the responsibility of the mainstream class teacher who will work closely with the EAL support teacher. In collaboration with parents and the mainstream class teacher, the language support teacher, Identifies pupils requiring additional language support. Assesses the pupils proficiency in language Devises an appropriate language programme. Delivers the programme. Records and monitors the pupil's progress. Identification of pupils requiring language support: We determine the child's oral proficiency in English through teacher observations and initial assessments from the Up and Away programme. Assessment of a pupil's proficiency may not be accurate in the early days of school (especially in the Infant classroom). During this time the language support teacher acts as a support for both the mainstream class teacher and the EAL pupil, ensuring that the pupil understands the routine of the school day the rules of the classroom and the school the procedure for asking permission and going to the toilet where the important parts of the school are located These are some of the approaches taken to ensure that the EAL pupil feels comfortable in their new school. Often older children entering senior primary classes or pupils who enrol during the year can experience a greater challenge as they have a more developed sense of 'difference', which can often act as an obstacle to settling into their new school. Approaches such as a 'Welcome pack', visual timetables and tours of the school for both the pupil and their family are undertaken to help the newly arrived pupil settle in. Up and Away programme is used to assess the development of the pupils abilities in English. The assessment tasks from the Up and Away programme test a pupils proficiency across the four language skills ( listening, speaking, reading and writing) and allow for a profile of the child's initial proficiency and progress to be developed. Collaboration between class and EAL Teacher In collaboration with parents and the mainstream class teacher, the EAL teacher identifies pupils requiring additional language support. The EAL teacher assesses pupils' proficiency in English using the named assessment materials. The results are discussed with the class teacher and an appropriate language program is devised. The class teacher will inform the language support teacher about forthcoming themes or units of work in different subject areas where additional help is required. The class teacher will keep the language support teacher informed about how the pupil is reacting in the class and coping with interaction with peers. Organisation of Language Support in the School: Language support students once identified are assessed in the proficiency of English language outside the classroom. Language support teacher arranges timetable to ensure all qualifying children are receiving language support. Flexibility in the delivery of language support is required and various models of support are delivered, depending on the child's age, class and learning requirements. Pupils are withdrawn from class and work is completed in small groups. In-class support also takes place with Junior and Senior infants during literacy power hour time, in the form of station teaching. Small group work also takes place on with Junior and Senior Infants as part of an integrated curriculum (Aistear). In the senior classes children are usually withdrawn in small groups and English language support is based on their needs in relation to school work and social interactions required at the time. EAL teachers also work in collaboration with the class teachers of the senior classes to assess the children's needs and support them in their English language acquisition. Programme Planning 1. Identifying EAL learners. 2. Aiding the 'settling down' period. 3. Collaboration between class teacher and EAL teacher. 4. Initial assessment 5. Devising a specific language programme for individual pupils/groups. 6. Delivering language programme. 7. End of year assessment/progress assessment Recording and monitoring of pupils progress: The language support teacher will record and monitor pupils progress by - Initial assessment Teacher observations Teacher questioning Pupils work samples Meeting with class teacher to discuss progress both in the language support class and in the mainstream class. End of year assessment/ progress assessment Timeframe and Responsibility for Review: This policy will be reviewed in spring 2021.

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