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New EAL Y9 student - must do GCSE

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by kazbrum, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. kazbrum

    kazbrum New commenter

    Hello there,
    I am an NQT so don't have too much experience of teaching EAL kids, so looking for some advice.
    I have a very bright Chinese lad that only arrived in the UK in March, with no English. He has been put in a highly able top set group of 32, which is fine as he is a very bright lad. His English is coming along well. However, I am still struggling with how best to help him, since he has not covered the basics, whilst the rest of the group have been completing the FCSE and we are now already preparing for a mock GCSE CA so they have a taster of what to expect in KS4. I had tried to add some chinese script from an online translator for certain presentations that I did (checked by a fellow native speaker pupil) in an attempt to help him.
    I feel terribly guilty that I don't have enough time to go through things with him other than give him a Y7 text book and give him work to complete on Linguascope.
    I have now found out that due to the school's policy for the e-bac, he will have no choice but to complete GCSE French even though he is starting to learn the language at a very late stage.
    Please can you give me any advice on what I can do to help him catch up and eventually succeed at GCSE? I was thinking maybe a grammar workpack for over the summer holidays and continue to do lots of KS3 vocab things from the text book / Linguascope this term? But not sure if that is useful as it is usually the grammar that requires the explanations!!
    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks! x
    PS. His home situation is that his Mum has married an English guy and can just about get by in English, his Stepdad can speak a little Chinese...not sure if this helps with independent work at home or not...

  2. mlapworth

    mlapworth Occasional commenter

    Can't he do GCSE Chinese?
  3. When I was in Y8, so probably a bit older than your Chinese boy, I changed schools and found myself in the position of having to cope with English as first foreign language. I had started Latin in Y5 and English in Y7, and for my new class, it was the other way round. What helped me was the following: I got the Y7 textbook which my classmates had used, wrote all the vocabulary on little cards and spent lots and lots of time studying that. I revised vocabulary I couldn't remember every day, words I got right every other day and so on. Additionally, I worked with Cambridge's "Essential Grammar in Use" (don't know if something like that exists for French) and had a private tutor who taught me once a week. After 4 months, I had caught up with the group. Now the boy has the additional problem of having to learn English. But learning French vocab could help him a lot, because he will have to know the English equivalent.
  4. Exactly. Trying to cram him through French is going to be a big ask for you and him. Imagine arriving in a Chinese medium school and having to learn say Japanese as well. That would be so confusing.
    I would have thought that preparing for GCSE Chinese would help consolidate his English as well. A bit of a win win situation.
  5. kazbrum

    kazbrum New commenter

    Thanks for your responses. Vocab cards would be a good start, hadn't thought of that. I've already given him the text book that we use to try and get him to catch up, and I've also got a teach yourself French CD which he is working through but not sure how useful that is since his English is also only just developing.
    He will be doing GCSE Chinese, that's a good point. In which case there would be no need for him to do GCSE French unless he really wanted to.... will speak to HoD and point that out!


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