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EAL advice request

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Lauren1, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Lauren1

    Lauren1 New commenter

    Would anyone be able to offer advice on this?
    I've got a child starting in September, straight into y6, having been educated previously in France. Though English by birth and with English parents, the child knows little English in terms of reading and writing. I used a running record today to see where any gaps were and just how 'bad' the reading would be and we got as far as Wolf Hill Level 1. I've never had an EAL child before, let alone one with this unusual situation of being thoroughly English speaking but not reading or writing. I also have the nagging suspicion through conversation that we may struggle in areas of the curriculum for reasons other than language barriers. I appreciate every year is important in terms of learning, but I'm sure you can see why I'm having kittens in terms of y6! Would anyone be able to advise me in terms of where to begin / manage the situation so that a) the child settles into school comfortably - previous experiences not pleasant apparently and b) I can best prepare her for what's to come having already been told she will be sitting the SATS next summer? The child knows she is 'behind' - child's words not mine and from spending time in class today, that feeling is true.
    Any advice as to day to day handling and what works to help her would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    If they speak english fluently I'd chat to your SENCO. If not do you have EAL support in your LA?
     
  3. languageisheartosay

    languageisheartosay Occasional commenter

    If you use symbol software in your school, remember that the screen reader will read and re-read the same instructions without sounding fed up! Also the possible symbols for key words will be visible in the graphics panel. You can copy text from Word to the program (e.g. Widgit's Communicate:In Print). It will then read/re-read on demand (headphones!) and the highlighter will bounce along. The British English voice is acceptable - especially to someone who speaks English but is not a confident reader/writer. A predictive writing program with an age-appropriate lexicon would also help and one can actually type along quite quickly - and hear back the results. Try and provide extra graphics for key vocabulary in all topics. Check out understanding for the words that go with the maths operations as this is 'jargon' usage really. I found Sparky Teaching's We Have a Problem on the TES site (free introductory download available) and it's been really successful support for the language of sums in words.
    Good luck.
     
  4. Lauren1

    Lauren1 New commenter

    Thank you, for all advice - I'll look into what both of you suggest. Our LEA is next to invisible these days for a variety of reasons. I'll contact the LEA but know that at the moment, for a variety of reasons, I'll hear nothing. I can but try!
     
  5. If the child is SEN then he will need SEN provision as well as EAL. It is therefore doubly important that he is properly assessed and his reports from previous schools are used to determine whether he is just EAL or EAL and SEN - this will make a huge difference to the speed at which he is able to progress.
    If he is average or more able he will probably make rapid progress as he will also have support from home.
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Relax and allow them just to join in first. Let them copy other children's work (sit with those of similar oral ability/personality) as they will pick up letter patterns and all that often. Speak to your SENCO about some urgent phonics work and they will pick up reading and writing fairly quickly.

    She can be disapplied from the SATS if she has been in England less than two years and is recognised as EAL. Look in to this and stop worrying about it. The disapplying comes after the actual SATs, so if she makes great progress, as is likely, then she can sit them with all her friends.
     
  7. Lauren1

    Lauren1 New commenter

    Thank you for that information re SATs, very helpful.
     

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