English as an Additional Language or Dialect

What are we doing at Nedlands PS to support EAL/D students?

In 2020, there are approximately 185 EAL/D students across the school from K-6.  Teachers use the EAL/D Progress Map to determine the stage students are working at, to show student progress, and to determine future teaching focus for these students. 

Students with very early stages of English acquisition receive additional EAL/D support in the form of a weekly lesson with Mrs. Margaret Parker, our EAL/D Specialist Teacher.  Teachers liaise with Mrs. Parker about students and class work, then work in small groups on related topics. Home language is valued at Nedlands PS, and students are encouraged to use their home language knowledge to support their acquisition of Standard Australian English.

The language support program provides additional assistance in English for the students in Stage 1 and Stage 2 (Beginning and Developing) and some in Stage 3. The program aims to build confidence, improve fluency, extend topic vocabulary and encourage the correct usage of Standard Australian English, both orally and written.

Nedlands PS also provides a reading intervention program for students in Year 1-6, who are working at below expected levels. Many of our EAL/D students are able access additional explicit reading instruction during these frequent sessions.

Oral language is a focus in our early years at Nedlands PS, and Explicit Vocabulary instruction is a part of our collaborative approach to teaching and learning in Kindy – Year 2.  All students are provided with explicit vocabulary instruction, to enhance their oral language, reading and writing.

Class teachers at Nedlands PS all provide differentiated learning within all learning areas, to support and scaffold the learning of EAL/D students. They are involved in ongoing professional learning to broaden their knowledge of best practice in supporting EAL/D learners. Nedlands PS has a relationship with Highgate PS Intensive English Centre, and we work with these expert teachers to improve our EAL/D teaching practice.

Helping your child to learn English

Many parents want to help their child or children with their English but are not sure what they can do to help. In fact, the best way for families to support children learning English is to maintain the child’s first language at home. You do not have to talk in English to help your child learn English. It is more important for you to use the language that you can use best and are most comfortable speaking. By doing this you can provide models of grammatically correct sentences and access to a wide vocabulary. It can also help if you refer to the name of the language when you speak in that language to your child. This helps them to make connections between their different languages.

What to expect when children are learning a second language?

Many children become silent when first exposed to a second language. This silent period can last months and can be important in developing understanding. It is normal for children who are learning a new language to mix the two languages and to make mistakes. The four broad levels below are used at school to track students’ progress in English use and understanding. A student’s progression through these levels varies according to individual needs and factors.

Beginning English (Progress Map Levels 1-2)

This level describes students new to learning Standard Australian English (SAE) who begin to understand and experiment with short, simple language structures. Students begin to develop social language. The learning environment is supportive and clearly structured. Teaching should focus on developing both social and academic language. Students are not pressured to produce English.

Developing English (Progress Map Levels 3-4)

At this level student are developing overall understandings of SAE and continue to experiment with using less formulaic and more innovative language structures. Students become more equipped to understand and use English in a range of learning contexts. Teachers encourage active engagement and provide a range of ways for students to demonstrate their learning.

Functional English (Progress Map Levels 5-6)

This level describes students who are extending and consolidating their use and understanding of Standard Australian English. They are gaining the confidence and skills needed to use English independently in a variety of learning and social situations. Students continue to be monitored closely by their teachers.

Competent English (Progress Map Levels 7-8)

Students at this level can competently use English in most social and learning situations. They are confident about their ability to communicate in English. Their production of English continues to be characterised by their Home Language and cultural understandings. Ongoing evaluation supports students’ progress.

Here are some resources to help your child to practice their English at home. There is no expectation that they should do this but if they are enthusiastic and wanting to practice it is best to do it in an enjoyable way.

  • Read to your children often. Make it enjoyable.
  • Support their home reading by setting up a daily routine to listen to your child read from their home readers.
  • Help your child to build their English Vocabulary-label objects around the home and talk about what you see when out and about, in your home language and in English.
  • Feel free to ask your child’s classroom teacher about current learning topics (e.g. Science topics) so you can discuss these with your child in their home language.

Online Resources

These sites are not endorsed by Nedlands Primary School.

They are links to some online resources that you may find suitable to use at home.

http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/earlyyears/supporting_children_learning_esl.pdf

This document, Supporting Children Learning English as a Second Language in the Early Years (birth to six years) has a particular focus on children in the three to six years age group and supports children’s transition into school.

http://readingeggs.com.au/

ABC Reading Eggs makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games and activities.

http://www.starfall.com/

Mainly online reading activities for younger learners.

http://www.english-4kids.com/

Printable ESL Worksheets, Games for ESL Classrooms, EFL Videos Tutorials, Powerpoint

Lessons, Interactive Vocabulary & Grammar Activities.

http://www.esl-kids.com/

http://www.eslflashcards.com/

Printable flashcards to build vocabulary.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/

From Britain, this website has different interactive stories and games.

http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/

Learn English Kids has lots of free online games, songs, stories and activities for children to have fun and learn English too.

http://www.usq.edu.au/users/sonjb/projects/web_reviews/websites.asp

ESL/EFL Website Reviews (for older learners) from the University of Southern Queensland

http://www.manythings.org/e/easy.html

Interactive Vocabulary games (no sound required)

http://translate.reference.com/

A website that can be used for the translation of words.

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