English As An Additional Language

The EAL programme at Asia-Pacific Fredfort International School aims to help students develop the language skills needed to participate in the mainstream classroom. When students join the school, their parents are asked to fill out a language profile that describes their previous experience with speaking and learning in English. Should the profile indicate that a student’s mother tongue is not English, and that the student has never used English in a school setting, the student is then referred to the EAL department, where their language skills are assessed. EAL teachers assess students’ needs in order to determine the type and level of support required. Students are assessed using a developmental language continuum. This continuum identifies students’ language proficiency across the domains: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Assessment tools include an oral interview, an English listening and reading comprehension test and a Benchmark reading test, and a short writing task. Students may be enrolled in a pullout EAL class, receive in-class support, or receive a combination of the two. EAL pullout classes are for beginner level students. EAL lessons place emphasis on preparing the students to able to cope with the language demands of the UOI. As the students’ language skills progress, the class emphasis integrates more classroom content in order to support learning in all subject areas through an inquiry-based approach. In addition, in-class support is an important part of the EAL programme. All beginner students receive push-in support, as do students who are not yet proficient in English. The purpose of in-class support is to ensure that all EAL students are supported with the academic language of the classroom, while allowing them opportunities to interact with their peers. This support will vary in different classes but can include small group work, shared teaching, individual instruction and one-on-one support. When students have reached a standard of competence (according to the exit criteria in the continuum) that allows them to participate actively in their homeroom classrooms, they are exited from the EAL pullout programme, and their parents receive a letter notifying them that their child has been exited. This decision is made in consultation with the Homeroom teacher. The student’s progress in the mainstream classroom is monitored and further EAL support is available as required.