English Language Policy
Ennis Educate Together N.S
English Language Policy
EAL Policy- Ennis Educate Together National School
This policy was devised following a consultative process with all interested parties and is guided by the relevant legislation such as DES Circular 0015/2009, Primary School Assessment Kit, DES 2007, the Toolkit for Diversity in the Primary School, 2007, Intercultural Education in the Primary School, Guidelines for schools, NCCA 2005 and Up and Away IILT 2006
This policy was drawn up in order to
- Promote and facilitate the inclusion of all children in Ennis Educate Together
- Promote the EAL pupils’ development of English Language proficiency so that they can gradually gain access to the curriculum
- Ensure that pupils are encouraged and facilitated to maintain a connection with their own culture and language
- Nurture each child to develop his/her potential in a caring environment where the talents of each child are valued
Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school
The main aim of this policy is to create an inclusive school environment which reflects and affirms linguistic, ethnic and cultural diversity and the ethos of Educate Together.
Ennis Educate Together ideally hopes to achieve the following by introducing this policy
- To enable pupils of ethnic minorities to have a sense of belonging
- To provide supplementary teaching and additional support and resources for those pupils for whom English is and additional language
- To maximise the progress, academic attainment and personal achievement of EAL pupils throughout the curriculum
- To promote the welfare of EAL pupils within the school by valuing and raising an awareness of ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic diversity in the school
- To promote effective home school links and increase parental involvement among parents of children for whom English is an additional language
- To ensure that EAL children use English confidently and competently
- To provide as much and as often as possible opportunities for meaningful interaction in the form of collaborative work and partnership work, where EAL pupils can mutually support and learn with others
- To promote collaboration among teachers
Role of the language support teacher
The primary responsibility of the language support teacher is to promote the pupil’s development of English language proficiency so that he or she can gradually gain access to the curriculum, ultimately achieving the same educational opportunities as English- speaking peers. This is achieved by:
- Preparing the pupil on an ongoing basis to access mainstream learning , initially, in part and later, more fully
- Helping pupils to develop appropriate strategies and skills to support future formal education in general
“In collaboration with parents and mainstream class teachers, EAL support teachers identify pupils requiring additional language support, assess pupils’ proficiency in English using the assessment materials, devise appropriate language programmes, deliver the programmes and record and monitor pupils’ progress. They share their expertise with mainstream class teachers and assist in developing and disseminating good practice to support the development of students’ English language proficiency.” Circular 0015/2009
The responsibility of the language support teacher is to deliver a programme of English language tuition which is based exclusively on the primary curriculum and which prepares and supports the child in
- Accessing classroom learning
- Socialising with peers
The language support teacher however, cannot teach the curriculum and this remains the role and responsibility of the mainstream teacher (Up and Away p. 5)
“The principal objective of the language support programme is to integrate the pupil as quickly as possible into all mainstream learning and activities of the school.” (Up and Away p. 20)
Collaboration between the language support teacher and the class teacher
Mainstream classroom teaching themes are aligned with the thirteen units of work of the EAL programme. These units are:
- Our school
- Food and clothes
- Colours, shapes and opposites
- People who help us
- Transport and travel
- Seasons, holidays and festivals
- The local and wider community
- People and places in other areas
- Animals and plants
- Caring for my locality
Mainstream class teachers keep the language teacher informed, on an informal basis, about forthcoming themes or units of work in the different subject areas and about how the EAL pupil is reacting in class and coping with interaction with peers. Mainstream class teachers also monitor the EAL pupils’ progress in the mainstream setting through the agreed following IILT documents:
- Checklist for observing progress during the silent period (see Appendix 1)
- First feedback from class teacher shortly after arrival of new language support pupil (see Appendix 2)
- Feedback from class teacher on progress of language support pupil (see Appendix 3)
Collaborative teaching takes place through the Literacy Boost initiative, a literacy programme developed by staff members to promote positive attitudes to reading and to increase the Reading levels of all pupils in targeted classes, through the medium of Team Teaching.
Planning is organised through the DEIS literacy team, which includes support staff.
Organisation of language support in this school
Pupils who have less than B1 proficiency in English (based on the Primary School Assessment Kit), may be withdrawn from class on a timetables basis
Team teaching may occur in six week blocks in targeted classrooms as part of the Literacy Boost initiative within the school
Identification of pupils requiring language support
The principal objective of the language support programme is to integrate the pupil as quickly as possible into all mainstream learning and activities of the school.
Pupils are identified for language support through the following process:
- Obtaining feedback from class teacher using ‘First feedback from class teacher’ document
- Language support teacher carrying out basic assessment using ‘Initial interview assessment for new pupils’ (Up and Away page 21)
- Language support teacher identifying the most appropriate period for child’s class each day, taking the age, class and English language proficiency of the pupil into account
Language support teachers ensure that the global benchmarks of communicative proficiency in relation to listening, speaking, reading and writing are adhered to.
Assessment of the language proficiency of pupils for whom English is an additional language
- Formal testing of the pupil using the Placement Set of the Primary School Assessment Kit takes place at least six weeks after they have begun language support
- The Language support teacher may use Set 2 of the PSAK to assess progress when the first six units of work have been covered; Myself, Our school, Food and clothes, Colours, shapes and opposites, People who help us and Weather
- The Language support teacher may use Set 3 of PSAK to assess progress when all thirteen units of work have been covered: Myself, Our school, Food and clothes, Colours, shapes and opposites, People who help us, Weather, Transport and travel, Seasons, holidays and festivals, The local and wider community, Time, People and places in other countries, Animals and plants and Caring for my locality
When a pupil has achieved level B1 in all language skills i.e. the receptive language skills of listening and reading and productive skills of spoken interaction, spoken production and writing (UP and Away P.36), then he / she is deemed to have achieved the minimum level of proficiency to access the curriculum in the mainstream setting and is no longer entitled to receive language support.
The school principal applies to the DES for additional support for pupils who have not achieved level B1 in all language skills and require language support for more than two years.
In reference to Circular 0138 / 2006 : “Pupils may be excluded from the test if in the view of the school principal they have learning or physical disability which would prevent them from attempting the test, or in the case of newcomer pupils, where their level of English is such that attempting such a test would be inappropriate.”
It is generally accepted that pupils who have not reached level A1.3 of the language proficiency benchmarks may not be tested with standardised tests
Reporting to parents
Communication with parents whose mother tongue is not English is facilitated in the following manner:
- Home School liaison teacher may organise events to foster integration in the school e.g. language classes for parents, induction day for parents of junior infants, coffee mornings targeting newcomer parents
- A welcome pack in all relevant languages given to all parents of newcomer children
- All school communication published in all relevant languages, where feasible
- Annual/ Biennial International
Mainstream class teachers have agreed to align classroom planning and teaching with the thirteen units of work of the English Language Proficiency Benchmarks A1 / A2 / B1. Language support may be organised in level – appropriate groups of 3 to 6 pupils and may be withdrawn from class on a daily basis.
Collaborative planning and teaching takes place through the Literacy Boost initiative, a literacy programme developed by staff members to increase the literacy levels of all pupils in targeted classes, through the medium of Team Teaching.
Planning is organised through the DEIS literacy team, which includes support staff.
Language support teachers in collaboration with the school principal make decisions regarding purchase of resources, books and materials used in language support.
An inventory of language support resources has been compiled (See Appendix 1). Language support programmes currently in use:
- Here’s Patch the Puppy 1 & 2
- Little Bugs 1 & 2
- Jolly Phonics
- Jump Aboard 1, 2, 3 & 4
- Smile Please
- English Language Learners themed readers
Recording and monitoring of pupils’ progress
With reference to Circular 0015/2009: All documentation in relation to the administration of tests must be retained by the school for audit/inspection purposes.
- PSAK assessments are kept by the language support teachers in their classrooms
- Collated results are kept in the school principal’s office
Individual teacher planning and reporting
Language support teachers maintain a weekly / fortnightly teaching plan and a monthly progress record using an agreed template (see Appendix 2)
Long term planning is carried out using the agreed template provided by the Primary Professional Development Service.
- Inclusion of EAL pupils in Ennis Educate Together
- Progress of EAL pupils
- Feedback from school principal, teaching staff, SNAs, parents, DES inspectors
- Implementation of the policy
Roles and Responsibility
The school principal will monitor implementation of the plan.
All teachers will be responsible for implementation of the policy
This policy will be implemented from September 2010
Timetable for Review
This policy will be reviewed at the end of the school year 2010 / 2011. The review will be co-ordinated by the school principal and language support teachers
Ratification & Communication
Policy ratified by BOM on __________________and circulated to all school personnel. ___________________________________________________________
- Circular 15/2009 Meeting the needs of pupils learning English as an Additional Language, DES
- Intercultural Education in the Primary School, Guidelines for schools, NCCA, 2005
- Primary School Assessment Kit, DES, 2007
- Toolkit for Diversity in the Primary School, 2007
- Up and Away, IILT, 2006
- Intercultural Guidelines for Schools, INTO
- Circular 138/2006 Supporting Assessment in the Primary School, DES