For some children, English is not the main language spoken at home. It is important to maintain a child’s first language as this helps with identity and ensures values and traditions are upheld.
Being bilingual can help children and young people understand how language works and make it easier to learn other languages.
Children and young people acquire language best through interaction with peers and adults although some support might be required to help them learn.
Some simple strategies for support in school:
- Flexible timetabling
- Buddy/peer support
- Help from support staff
- Time out/clubs/groups
- Use of ICT
English as an Additional Language (EAL) Team
Most support will be provided by school staff but some children and young people may need additional support with their learning. The EAL Team can help children, young people, families and schools with advice, support and resources.
The EAL Team can:
- Provide staff development.
- Suggest resources and strategies to meet the needs of children and young people.
- Support assessments of children and young people.
- Attend meetings as required.
- Work directly with EAL children or young people who have additional support needs.
- Support transition and networking of EAL children or young people.
A decision to request support from the EAL Team is made at a Staged Intervention Meeting. If the request is agreed, and EAL teachers will join the existing team around the child in planning appropriate support.
If you have concerns about your child, in the first instance, contact your school or nursery.
EAL and interpreter services are also available to support schools and families. This allows families to be fully involved in their child's learning.