English as an Additional Language (EAL)
St. Joseph Catholic High School is a vibrant secondary school, proudly catering to a diverse community of 966 students. Nestled within a dynamic cultural tapestry, our school embraces a linguistic spectrum that spans over 36 languages. Notably, 52% of our student body speaks English as an additional language, fostering an environment that celebrates and cherishes linguistic diversity.
Inclusive Learning Environment
At St. Joseph’s Catholic High School, we believe that every student's sense of security, acceptance, and appreciation is integral to fostering effective learning. This commitment is especially significant for students learning English as an additional language. Recognising and valuing their home language and cultural background is at the core of our educational philosophy.
Bilingualism as a Strength
Our school proudly acknowledges bilingualism as a strength, recognising the unique and valuable contributions of our English as an Additional Language (EAL) students. We celebrate the richness that diverse language backgrounds bring to our community. This celebration extends beyond the classroom, permeating our school's ethos, curriculum, and the promotion of cultural diversity.
St. Joseph’s Catholic High School adopts a comprehensive approach to support our EAL students. Our commitment extends across every facet of the school, ensuring that our ethos, curriculum, and cultural initiatives are designed to embrace and enhance the learning experience of every student.
Our dedicated English as an Additional Language (EAL) department is committed to equipping learners with the vocabulary and social skills necessary for curriculum proficiency. Through specialised programmes and initiatives, we aim to foster confidence and independence in the usage of the English language. Our holistic approach recognises the unique challenges and opportunities presented by language diversity, creating an inclusive learning environment for all.
Newly arrived EAL students
Upon arrival at St Joseph’s Catholic High School, EAL students undergo an English proficiency assessment using The EAL Assessment for Secondary Schools. Those identified as New to English (A) participate in intensive English language programmes, temporarily withdrawing from non-core subjects to receive additional support. They are reintegrated into all lessons as their proficiency improves.
EAL learners experience a comprehensive English grammar and vocabulary curriculum through a tailored scheme of work, adjusted based on individual needs, backgrounds, and interests. We foster a cross-curricular approach, linking language acquisition to other subjects for a holistic learning experience.
EAL intervention refers to small group, focused English lessons designed to improve students’ English language proficiency. EAL students assessed below full level fluency will be invited to attend EAL intervention lessons to help them to improve their English.
EAL Weekly Interventions
- Focus on reading, writing, speaking and listening. This will last 35 minutes and will run from Monday to Friday.
- Curriculum-based reading and research projects once a fortnight. Presentations given to the class, so that all knowledge is shared and reinforced.
- Focus: SPaG, structure (i.e. PEAL), use of subject specific vocab, syntax, connectives, upgrading language choices.
Exam Preparation and Special Arrangements
Curriculum areas are supported with writing and adapted papers. Additionally, in public exams, students may be granted extra time and have access to a bilingual dictionary. Students are given the opportunity and are encouraged to take an MFL GCSE examination in their home language by the end of year 10.
Monitoring and Evaluation of EAL Student Progress
To ensure that progress is being made, EAL students are regularly assessed, and targets are set in accordance with the English proficiency level. The EAL department monitors students' progress.
For any further queries regarding English as an Additional Language at St Joseph’s Catholic High School, please contact Ms Ura (EAL Coordinator) at J.Ura@st-josephs.slough.sch.uk
Useful Websites for Students
Here are some websites that will help students to practise their English at home:
Duolingo – http://www.duolingo.com/
English language activities. Sign-up for free!
A4 ESL – http://a4esl.org/
English grammar and vocabulary quizzes.
Using English – http://www.usingenglish.com/quizzes/
English grammar quizzes.
Eng Vid – http://www.engvid.com/english-lessons/
English grammar video lessons. Sign-up for free!
Many Things – http://www.manythings.org/
English Games and Activities
How parents can support:
The following websites may prove helpful as they include activities and games, all which help with English language development.
- BBC Bitesize KS3 / http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/
- BBC Bitesize KS4 / http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/
- BBC World service Learning English / http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish
- British Council / http://www.britishcouncil.org/
- A4ESL / http://a4esl.org/
- TESOL / http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/index.asp
- English Club / https://www.englishclub.com/learn-english.htm
- World English / http://www.world-english.org
- Lexical Tutor/ http://www.lextutor.ca/
- Resources to support Inclusion/ http://www.communication4all.co.uk/
- ESL Lessons / http://iteslj.org/Lessons/