and Leading Edge School
Language development to enhance performance
“New arrivals to the“ school are carefully
inducted and the support given for those
who are learning English is excellent. ”
(Ofsted June 2008)
School Context
11-19 school with 980 students.
48% of our students are on the SEN register,
68% speak English as a second language.
35% receive Free School Meals.
The school is situated in one of the top 10 areas
for multiple deprivation in England.
BSF school, wave 5.
Sixth Form opened September 2009.
Over 40 newly arrived students join the
school every year with EAL needs.
 Little or no English on arrival
 Low levels of literacy in home language, little or
no experience in writing anything down
 No previous schooling
 High level of numeracy or literacy in another
language (Scripting left to right v right to left)
• Conceptual understanding on a par with very able
•Language issues not a barrier to learning
•Home Languages accredited
•Parental engagement essential
•Celebration of cultural diversity
Every Language matters
A range of languages is spoken in most curriculum areas
Focus on raising achievement in home language impacts positively
on performance in other curriculum areas
Extra curricular lessons in Arabic, Latin, Panjabi and Urdu. Somali
Priority on developing the communicative skills of our students:
Year 7 and Year 8 students do the Lingua Badge Award (in house
certification and badge)
All students in Year 9 do a level 1 qualification in French (FCSE),
Asset level 1 also being trialled
At KS4 students can opt for an Applied French with business GCSE
All KS4 MFL students are prepared for the British Airways Flag
There were 124 entries (Year group 180) for Level 2 languages in
year 11 this year. Languages included: French, Somali, Tamil,
Spanish, Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, Polish, Arabic, German, Portuguese,
Persian, and Bengali.
To facilitate the testing of Asset Languages, students are being
trained as examiners.
Somali parents will be taking Asset Language exam next year
Languages and Culture are taken
outside the classroom
Business Links - Workshops at British Airways
Language immersion days, including cookery and music workshops.
Visiting theatre groups
Close links with universities, particularly SOAS – work shops and
summer schools
Cross curricular links – Active languages project P.E. and French –
London Metropolitan University
Tree Buddies project with Green Corridors, Horticulture, Art, EAL
Achievability for all – work with Westminster University on Language
acquisition for students with learning difficulties
Co-construction of learning project with Creative Partnerships
Languages an asset not a a barrier
Clear language focus - pre-teach rather than simplify
Careful audit of language skills (home language
Language free Maths test
Staff training on EAL focused teaching : questioning,
exemplifying, illustrating and modelling.
Every teacher an EAL teacher - school literacy focus
EAL offered as an option at KS4 and KS5 for both early
and advanced bilingual learners.
Induction programme and tracking for new arrivals
ensures they are on track quickly.
Personalised timetabling, including doubling in some
areas, all negotiated with students.
“In class, the learning of those at an early
stage of learning English and those who
have difficulties with their learning is
extremely well supported by teachers and
teaching assistants who play an active role
in the planning and delivery of teaching..”
(Ofsted June 2008)
What pupils say helps
Pupils motivation to learn
and desire to achieve
School’s stance on
celebrating cultural
Writing frameworks to
help present work
Visual aids
Other pupils using home
language to aid
Dictionaries in home
languages & English
Marking that gives
Models of what is
Extra support from EMA
Induction and buddy
Target groups
In addition to teaching those at an early
stage of learning English, the school
identifies high achievers who are held
back because, whilst good, their English is
not good enough to pick up nuances, and
ensures that they too are helped.”
(Ofsted June 2008)
New Technologies enhance
Video conferencing
Pod casting
Sound field systems
Key areas for advanced bi-lingual
Language register: Colloquial v formal language
Idioms: She needs to pull up her socks
Collocations: e.g. high probability, crystal clear, user friendly
Comparisons: bright – brighter v intelligent – more intelligent
Passive: use of passive will enable the writer to speak in the
abstract The water was boiled
Modal verbs: you must v would you
Nominalisation: Using nouns in the place of verbs can make
communication more formal: Crime was increasing rapidly and the
police were becoming concerned V The rapid increase in crime was
causing concern among the police.
Pronouns: incorrect use leads to ambiguity and repetition of noun
inhibits fluency
Top Tips to ensure EAL students achieve
Disseminate information on new arrivals as soon as possible
Allow them to settle in before assessing them
Ensure all teachers see EAL teaching as their responsibility (awareness of processing
times when questioning etc.)
Ensure everyone is aware that low language performance does not equate to low
cognitive ability – regular training updates
Give them a sense of ownership and belonging, the ‘buddied’ student becomes the
buddy .
Celebrate cultural diversity
Act promptly where there is a differential between verbal and non verbal CATS score
(average can be misleading)
Engage parents: Coffee morning and offer of accreditation in Home Language
Ensure that teachers use lots of visuals , examples and modelling
Creative timetabling; Reduce the number of GCSE options and double in some
subjects, Arrange for an advanced bi-lingual student to do early GCSE and then attach
to a language rich KS4 class for lessons
If withdrawal arrangements are made ensure that reintegration is well organised
Vary the delivery to suit the needs of the learners, some year groups will have
withdrawal EAL groups in Key Stage 3
When changing the timetable or arranging additional classes ensure that the student
is involved from the outset
Want to know more?
Grace Dawson
Dormers Wells High School
Tel. 0208 813 8671