We currently have 125 EAL pupils, these range from pupils newly arrived to the country with limited English to those pupils who are fluent in two, even three languages. This equates to approximately 13% of our school. Our largest cohort within our EAL pupils speak Cantonese as their first language but we also have twenty further languages spoken in school.
Self-determination theory states there are three innate needs of an individual, these are relatedness (a sense of belonging within a group), competence (a sense of one’s ability to complete tasks) and autonomy (a sense of ability to work without guidance). When these needs are fulfilled, both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are maximised in learners (Wang et al., 2019). Students who have limited language skills are often unable to meet these needs.
To unveil what is good practice for EAL intervention models. In more modern times, the use of the push in approach has become more common and recommended. Research by Saunders, Foorman and Carlson (2006) on English Language Development revealed the pull out approach to reap better rewards.
At PHS we look to adopt both these methods of intervention for all of our EAL learners. They must have equal opportunities to access the full curriculum with quality first teaching to support their learning.
There is Mr.Deberque and Mrs.Curties who work as the EAL coordinators for school and Mrs.Cameron who is our EAL TA. Every pupil has the opportunity to be provided with an iPad to use at school and at home to allow for instant translation of written and spoken instructions and resources. Each pupil has an EAL passport which explains to staff their proficiency in English, their home language and further information to help support them in their lessons based on the CEFR levels. There is then a referral process for staff to follow if they feel they need extra support with a particular pupil.
Using EPT (English Proficiency Test) data alongside NGRT, progress tests and internal data we identify those pupils that need additional support, as an extra to their curriculum support. This is provided through intervention sessions delivered by our staff or external support when first language support is needed. We also try to provide enrichment opportunities such as Mahjong.
Where possible we offer pupils the opportunity to add to their qualifications with a GCSE in their home language and/or GCSE in English as a second language where this is felt needed.