When children are assessed as being second phase English learners and working on either the A2 or B3 stages of the EAL Continuum they join the EAL Program.
In EAL the focus is on the four macro skills of language: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
By the time students enter this phase of ESL they are able to function independently in their classroom environment but still require considerable practise in vocabulary development, grammar rules, formal spelling conventions, reading comprehension, writing forms and structures and oral fluency and correct pronunciation. Our program aims to support the work of the classroom teacher by providing more intensive instruction and revision in these aspects of English.
A strong emphasis in each session is given to oral language. Even students who have been learning English for a number of years will still be reluctant to join in class or group discussions in the classroom for fear of making a mistake or not using the right word. The EAL Program structures opportunities in each session for the students to practise oral expression, oral expressiveness and pronunciation.
Formal instruction and practise in grammatical conventions supports the EAL students’ oral and written work. The students’ own writing is frequently used as the basis for instruction as it provides greater meaning and relevance.
Vocabulary development involves the teaching of common usage words and the word lists developed in classrooms in themes or projects. The EAL Program teaches specific spelling strategies to ensure their students have a range of approaches they can use to decode written language. Basic phonics, digraphs, dipthongs, blends, base words, prefixes and suffixes enhance the sight words.
Writing requires considerable modelling for the EAL learner. Teachers model a range of writing styles that students will be expected to produce in their classrooms, such as narratives, expositions, recounts and procedures. Writing activities generally follow a language experience activity where specific vocabulary will have been emphasised for the students to refer to.
The EAL Program provides considerable support for senior students with homework and project tasks. EAL students are taught research skills such as what a glossary is used for, how to look up topics using an index, looking for key words, presenting information in graphs or charts, labelling diagrams and how to locate information using either the library or the internet.