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EAL child with Special needs

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by toniab, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I'm after a bit of help/advice. I've got a boy in my class (year 1) who has EAL <u>but</u>
    has special needs to. The main issue is that is doesn't
    understand/speak his home language (Urdu) and he doesn't
    speak/understand much English either. Therefore he is making very little
    progress in any area. I've looked in various places for advice but none
    seems to help as all that comes back to me is that EAL children aren't
    special needs, which I know, but the difference is, that this boy does
    obviously have severe communcation problems. He's now school action
    plus, is on the list for the Ed pysch, and is receiving SALT, which
    isn't helping much! Does anyone have a child with similar problems and
    have any help they could offer? he can just about say some initial
    sounds, which he's been doing since reception and he can write his name.
    He can't follow classroom instructions and is very clumsy/ has poor
    gross/fine motor skills.
    Thanks in advance
  2. Poor lad, it must be bad enough to find understanding in 1 language difficult let alone 2. Do you have access to an EAL teacher/support worker? (if not the lea should look into this) What level of english do his parents have, we have several pupils who are EAL one of whom is Turkish, the teacher spoke to his parents and made a list of key words in turkish which the staff learned, to help and it really did. Good luck.
  3. RamC

    RamC New commenter

    Use photo's and objects to give him choices first. You could also introduce some key signs, (such as in Makaton). These will give him some power to make choices. I start with one key sign, (usually 'more') and as we slowly progress I use a Go Talk to offer the English and home language in key phrases, accompanied by a sign or photo. Symbols are helpful to progress into but initially your tools need to be not based on a specific language. However, using a clear pictorial timetable will enable him to know what he is doing next, and using audio cues throughout the day such as 'time to work' and 'finished' music that remains the same, he will gradually learn the routine. Avoid using too much spoken language and work on the level of understanding he has- your SALT will be able to do a language assessment (in conjunction with an interpreter) and will be able to tell you how many words to be using. A child in my class with SEN and EAL works on a 1-2 word level for example. Good luck! :)
  4. languageisheartosay

    languageisheartosay Occasional commenter

    I sent you an email - hope it arrived!
  5. I was just about to post to say that I found some amazing resources on here last night for just such a child, when I noticed that it was the poster above [​IMG]. I used some of these resources today very successfully and my pupil felt very proud of themselves! I use a lot of small world play to help build vocabulary i.e. farm set, dolls house, playmobil etc as you can build up from single words to 2-3 word answers, include prepositions/question words etc through play, and games like Shopping List etc. Photocards are also invaluable - SENTeacher has a bit on it where you can type in a word and it will find a photo for you to make cards with.
  6. Hi
    I work with a lot of EAL children who have little or no language in home language and english. I often work with these children individually at first then in pairs. We do lots of simple games using objects for example having a feely bag with 6 objects in and playing what is in the bag. I play with the children modelling the language and repeating the same activities day in day out eventually they start to say invidual words. I also have a puppet, hairbrush, sponge, cup, spoon ,bed, toothbrush and i modell to the children brushing hair ect then they have a go and i modell the language .eventually they start to know a few verbs. I have made a number of resources which are posted in the resource bank which may be useful.

  7. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    Oh my goodness - at last! Sorry, not to revel in these children's difficulties, but I've been searching for someone experiencing this exact issue. We also have a problem that families don't believe us when we say it's important to carry on speaking your home language at home. I have a child in my class who was not speaking her own language at home, so the parents assumed she was confused and then started speaking English to her. We are looking for this a lot as we had a child in school who got to year 2 before we discovered wasn't speaking her home langague and barely had any English either. Where I am the problem is made worse because we have no dominant ethnic community and only support in 2 languages from LA staff. Will delve into your resources. Thanks.
  8. languageisheartosay

    languageisheartosay Occasional commenter

    If you mean me, then thanks! This is part of the PM I sent to toniab: ... if you need some more free
    resources you can see the index of what I have on TES at my blogsite
    http://languageisheartosay.com t sounds like you need to start very
    low and be looking at very basic concepts such as checking on matching
    i.e. cognitive skills which apply across all languages, 2 or 3-word
    sentences etc. I expect your S&LT may have indicated the same.
    Contact me if any problems with the resources. (The index on the site is helpful because it isn't always easy to know what to enter into the TES search box for activities which have been devised for 'speech & language' rather than the school curriculum.)
    It is always very tempting when one meets a child with a 'foreign' language home to consider that to be the sole cause of apparent failure with English. But children with ability in the average range can be very quick to pick things up and many schools placed where there are ethnic minority families will see variations in the speed of acquisition of English and school skills. It is really important to try and determine whether the child 'just' doesn't speak English or has a SLCN problem across the board in which case there is much greater need for careful assessment of language skills, approximate non-verbal ability level and of course health checks that the child can hear and see! Even observing a parent interacting with the child using the home language can be very revealing. Does the kid appear to follow the conversation (even if you don't)? Or is there a lot of eye-pointing and gesture being used to get him to do simple tasks like handing named items, pointing to things in pictures etc.?

  9. Hi Toniab,
    Sounds like you could use some PECS systems? Repetitively showing and explaining the symbols for basic actions and objects could help him become more familiar with his surroundings/what is expected of him, and really encourage some development. www.BSLforKids.co.uk have some great resources, like PECS flashcards and communication boards. They are really useful, and so effective, I know a load of people that have used them and they've been really succesful. Maybe once he's got used to the symbols, you could introduce him to some BSL? It would be an excellent way to get him communicating. Best of luck, if you need any help or advice feel free to ask :)
  10. Hi there. Have you considered using Talking Postcards?
  11. morning star

    morning star New commenter

    PECS is not just an alternative word for symbols - it is a very specific programme designed for encouraging communication in students with Autistic Spectrum Condition. I am also fairly sure that it is a trademark so you might want to be careful using it as you do in a commercial context.
    There are lots of different ways to use symbols which are not PECS. PECS is a symbol EXCHANGE system where the child hands a symbol to an adult and receives a desired object in return so very clearly cannot be used as flashcards.
    Child in OP certainly sounds like one who would benefit from using symbols in a communicative way. I'm astonished that SALT can't see a way forward because of the EAL issues. My entire SLD class has English as an Additional Language as is probably true for quite a lot of London schools.
    You need to find symbols or photos which are motivating for the child (eg favourite activities, particular toys) and use them in such a way as the child can point to the appropriate symbols as part of an interaction. Don't use them as flashcards - none of us learn language on a stimulus-response basis. It has to be part of a meaningful, pleasurable interaction.
    Signing may be a helpful way forward but it is important to establish what the child's main difficulty is. Single signs can sometimes be easier to learn than single spoken words but not all children find signing to be the easiest way into language. BSL has a completely different grammar to spoken English so would only very rarely be a good choice for a hearing child with language difficulties.

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