How we support EAL students at SISD

Learning a new language can be a daunting task but learning a new language to be used in the context of one’s education can feel much more so. Here at SISD, we want every student to succeed especially those who must learn English as a second language in addition to all their other work. Our English as an Additional Language (EAL) support is offered to all age groups but we will be looking at the support offered in Secondary to ensure our students thrive socially as well as academically. 

How are EAL lessons structured? 

Our EAL program is designed with precision, catering to the unique needs of students at various proficiency levels. For those who are new to English, we provide an immersive experience with six hours of direct instruction each week. The primary focus of these lessons is to build fluency across the four essential language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Starting with foundational vocabulary, simple sentence structures, and fundamental questions, students lay the groundwork for a solid linguistic foundation. 

How do EAL lessons evolve with the student? 

As students progress and attain CEFR A2 proficiency, our tailored approach evolves. Those working towards achieving B1 fluency benefit from four hours of targeted instruction weekly. The curriculum seamlessly integrates both social and academic language proficiency, ensuring students navigate not only everyday interactions but also academic discourse with confidence. 

How is EAL support offered outside the classroom? 

In addition to dedicated EAL lessons, we provide comprehensive support within mainstream classes. Students have access to valuable resources such as sentence starters, vocabulary lists available in both English and their Mother Tongue, and English translation dictionaries. Our Language Support Assistants are an integral part of this inclusive framework, offering additional guidance to ensure that every student feels empowered in their language learning journey. 

“At our Secondary school, we take pride in fostering an environment where linguistic diversity is celebrated and supported. Our EAL program is not just about language acquisition; it’s about building a community where every student, regardless of their linguistic background, can thrive and contribute meaningfully to their academic and social landscape.” 

Megan La Caze, Head of Secondary at SISD

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