Children are identified with EAL when they enter school; this is done via enrolment information on joining our school and/or consultation with parents/carers. A child is identified as having EAL if the language(s) spoken in the home are in addition to English. When the child begins at Bonneville their language is assessed for language fluency using the Lambeth Fluency Levels:
Stage 1 – New to English
Stage 2 – Becoming Familiar with English
Stage 3 – Becoming Confident as a user of English
Stage 4 – Fully Fluent
This assessment enables us to set learning goals for the children based on their next learning steps. A child’s language development is monitored closely and Stage of English reviewed every term. Some children may receive 1:1 or small group support for their language acquisition and development. These groups tend to follow a ‘Stage not Age’ approach based on grouping children based on level of fluency rather than on chronological age. These groups use a wide variety of approaches including speaking and listening activities, games and practical activities to support their learning.
In addition, we offer a computer based programme called ‘Lexia’ which can be adjusted to suit learners of all abilities and can be used at home and in school to further develop language skills. In conjunction with our EAL co-ordinator, the Assistant Head Teacher for Inclusion oversees the collection of data for EAL children and oversees the provision in place to support them. Teaching assistants also run groups and programmes for children to further develop their language fluency where appropriate.
In some instances, it may be felt necessary to set up an Individual Language Plan for a child who arrives with little or no English. This allows staff and parents to set specific targets based around language development and identify strategies and resources to better support their progress.
It is important to note that, although children with EAL do not necessarily have a Special Educational Need (as defined by the Code of Practice), nevertheless a child with EAL may also have a specific SEN.