English as an Additional Language (EAL)
A substantial proportion of our school intake has a language other than English spoken at home. Taken in its broadest sense, these children speak and use English as an additional language. Most of these children do well in their literacy development at school and tests at all key stages, however it can be argued that they are not exposed to the same richness of language and vocabulary that non-EAL pupils from supportive families experience. Experts in EAL argue that this causes a slight impoverishment in thinking skills and thus language skills, noticeable in a somewhat limited vocabulary range, some degree of grammatical lapses, difficulty with comprehension when reading and a gap between reading skills and writing skills.
For this reason, Al-Noor Primary has adopted school-wide approaches to literacy development to cater for this need. We do this by ensuring extended writing opportunities for all pupils in all subjects other than Arabic and Qur’an. We also use visual aids such as key words in large print, associated pictures or symbols and word banks for pupils to use when they are writing. In addition speaking & listening, reading and writing are promoted through daily lessons and weekly guided reading sessions as well as through daily phonics lesson in the Reception and Year One classes.
Children for whom English is not their first spoken language, may need extra support in accessing learning in lessons and in improving their English literacy skills. EAL pupils will be highlighted for extra support from class teachers and teaching assistants. The school will also recommend to the parents of EAL pupils that they give their children extra support in English outside of school hours. For example more time spent talking in the mother tongue with their children to develop their thinking skills, as well as providing a wider variety of experiences and opportunities to learn about the world around them, using critical questioning to encourage thinking, speaking and listening. Parent might also be asked to provide tuition or read regularly with and to their children, to help them make speedy progress in English. Improved English skills helps to improve the progress of EAL pupils across the curriculum.