English as an Additional Language (EAL)

The St Andrews, Green Valley EAL Programme

The campus and learning environment at St Andrews, Green Valley is entirely unique. Positioned amidst pineapple fields, golf courses and walking trails, we are lucky to enjoy the facilities and open space that many international schools only dream of. Our children move from lesson to lesson through open-air corridors and across large playing fields, and regular events such as music concerts and drama productions even take place outside!

Our EAL programme consists of two pathways:

1. English as an Additional Language pathway:

This pathway is applicable to children who can speak enough English that they can read, write and have a simple conversation.

2. English Immersion Programme (EIP) pathway:

This pathway is applicable to children from Year 5 and above who can speak, read and write little to no English.

On my son’s first day, he was nervous about not understanding the language, making friends and finding his way around his new environment but of course, in a couple of days, everything became so familiar to him. Since then, he has woken up every morning so happy to go to school. He has now made great friends with his classmates who come from all over the world! He has made such great progress with his English in such a short time and is now very much a part of the St Andrews community.

The first time that I saw my two sons discussing something together in English at home, I realised how much they had improved since joining St Andrews. Every time I see my sons riding on the school bus with a smile on their face, or chatting together happily about their school day, I really feel like we made the best decision.

English as an Additional Language pathway:

We align the Cambridge EAL Curriculum with the mainstream Primary Years Programme (PYP) in primary school and the British National Curriculum in secondary. With a combination of in-class support and specialised small group tuition in pull-out classes, the Green Valley EAL department strives to ensure our students achieve confidence and success in all aspects of their English language acquisition.

Aims

At St. Andrews, it is the aim that students who receive English as an Additional Language support will:

  • achieve short-term acquisition of sufficient functional English to ensure a successful integration into the social life of the school
  • acquire a developed long-term academic English proficiency to ensure success in the mainstream classroom without EAL support

 

These aims are achieved by:

  • providing a welcoming and supportive ethos around the school and in classrooms
  • planning imaginative, interactive and effective lessons
  • ensuring that tasks are well-supported by concrete and visual materials, especially for pupils in the earlier stages of English acquisition
  • providing all teaching staff with information and strategies concerning the needs of EAL students
  • ensuring teachers work collaboratively to meet the individual needs of EAL students

Exiting the EAL programme

Students’ attainment in EAL is assessed through a combination of formative assessment in EAL classes and summative assessment in mainstream classes; these assessments gauge progress in reading, writing, speaking and listening throughout the academic year. This information helps inform planning and provides the EAL and classroom/subject teachers with data concerning their students’ progress both individually and in comparison with their non-EAL classmates. EAL teachers meet weekly with their EAL students’ classroom and subject teachers to discuss lesson content and to ensure that EAL students can access the curriculum by meeting the same objectives as their non-EAL cohort. The classroom/subject teachers and EAL Department regularly review their students’ progress collaboratively to determine when a student is ready to function within the mainstream classroom without additional support. Once it is decided that a student is able to access the curriculum at a level comparable to non-EAL students based on established benchmarks, the student is able to exit the EAL programme.

English Immersion Programme (EIP) pathway:

The goal of the EIP is to introduce non-English speaking pupils to an English-speaking mainstream curriculum. No previous English skills are required to join. Upon entrance into the EIP, students are assessed and grouped into one of three levels according to their current English ability. These levels are: Introductory, Foundation and Academic. Depending on this level, they are placed in a certain number of mainstream classes with their year-level classmates. This allows students to naturally grow in their English language ability, as well as learn from their peers. In addition, students are not excluded from social skill building opportunities.

Exiting EIP and entering EAL:

At the conclusion of each term, students are assessed using both formative and summative assessments in order to evaluate whether each individual student is prepared to move to the next level of the program. Once they have reached Level 3, they will enter into their year group’s English as an Additional Language class. When students have reached foundational language levels appropriate for mainstream classes, they will exit the EIP and their only English support will be from the EAL teacher.

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