EAL (English as an Additional Language)
At Boston High School our aim is to enable our students to meet their full potential. We therefore make provision to meet the needs of our English as an Additional Language (EAL) students with the aim for them to achieve success academically and socially. Students are identified to us on entry from Primary Schools or, if they enter the school at a later date, we assess their EAL need if necessary. All Year 7 EAL take an official British Council based baseline test in English, by our EAL Co-ordinator Mrs E Fyson, which looks closely at different aspects of written English, the ability to read for specific purposes and the ability to understand and use grammar, spelling and punctuation accurately. These results, covering vocabulary and grammar, are disseminated to the whole staff and, if necessary, our EAL coordinator uses Enrichment Lessons to withdraw students for extra English language support. Their progress within the year group is carefully monitored and compared to the progress of other students to ensure that no student is left behind, with future testing and support. This is in addition to the baseline English test that all Year 7 take.
As a school embracing diversity, we strive to recognise and celebrate individual strengths including linguistic talents by entering students who display competency for a GCSE in their first language. Students who show these strengths can also proceed to take AS level in their mother tongue increasing their UCAS points when applying for university.
Intervention is also offered by the EAL coordinator periodically providing additional support in core English Language and English Literature lessons as well as offering extra specific EAL tuition as required by Mrs E Fyson. Further internal support in the form of an easily accessible dictionary in classrooms is available in subject classrooms such as in the Science and Maths departments where subject specific terminology and phrases can be translated as necessary.
Parents can also use the following website to further support EAL students at home: https://ealresources.bell-foundation.org.uk/teachers/effective-teaching-eal-learners
Some of the strategies used at BHS use games to encourage confidence in speaking English and in improving pronunciation, giving students subject-specific wordlists, as they are often unfamiliar with vocabulary specific to a certain topic. This also gives students the opportunity to explain things in their native language first and then look at how this translates to English. The impact of this can alleviate a great deal of stress, particularly when the student knows the answer but are unable to give it due to problems with language acquisition.
We recognise the extra effort put in by students where English is a second language and are extremely proud of their achievements.