- How we support English language learners at Lyndhurst
When a child with English as an Additional Language (sometimes known as ESOL) joins the school, the class teacher works with the EAL Coordinator to assess their English language proficiency and devise appropriate support. This may include 1:1 or small group sessions. Children with EAL learn best in the classroom, alongside their friends and peers, so our aim is to equip them to join in with class learning as much as possible.
English language proficiency continues to be assessed throughout a child’s time at Lyndhurst so that an appropriate level of support can be maintained; we have many bi- and tri-lingual children at Lyndhurst who do not require any additional support with their English learning.
- If you do one thing… Home Language
At Lyndhurst we prize and celebrate every child’s home language and strongly encourage parents and carers to maintain it in all aspects of family life. This includes supporting your child’s learning at home.
The best way to help your child to improve and develop their English language is to help them become really secure and confident in their home language. They need confident and positive home language role models (parents and siblings are ideal!). Show your child that you are proud of your home language and that they should be, too!
Having a strong foundation in their home language helps children to learn English (and other languages) and to develop strong literacy skills which can be used across all their languages. It is vitally important for families to be able to communicate openly and confidently in a common language.
Don’t worry about confusing them – children have amazing brains and can easily cope with different languages!
You can find out more here:
Ideas for supporting your child develop home language at home.
- Share books and stories with your child. If you have books or eBooks in your home language, that’s fantastic – but if not, don’t worry! Look at the pictures in an English language book, or if they are confident readers in English ask them to read to you and translate it for you. Talk about the pictures and the characters, the action and the plot. There are enormous benefits to sharing books with your child – you can read about them here: https://literacytrust.org.uk/blog/reading-children-so-powerful-so-simple-and-yet-so-misunderstood/
- Use your home language to go over homework instructions with them and plan what they are going to do.
- If they need something explained to them , or to do research, do it in your home language. Maybe you can find a video which is in your home language, too.
- If your child can write well in your home language, talk to your child’s teacher about writing some of their homework in your home language.
- Talk to your child about what they are learning at school.
- Check the class website or newsletter to keep up to date with what your child is learning.
- Ask your child about the story or book they are reading at school. Younger children usually have a story every day at school and older children usually have a class read. All children have quiet reading time each day – what did your child read today? Was it any good?!
- Discuss the topics that they are learning about, using your home language. You may be able to help them understand something better, give them some new ideas or suggest something that they can share with the class from your own family’s experience or your own knowledge.
- Retelling stories is a really important skill for every child, so encourage your child to tell you the stories they have been reading with their class, or about the book they are reading.
- Play language and talking games with your child and the whole family to help your child to develop confidence in their home language. These can be useful at the end of the day when everyone is tired!
Here are some Talking Games to try at home. You can play them in English or in your home language – or both.
If you can’t print them out, don’t worry! You can copy them or even make your own using paper and pencils!
Top Trumps is a brilliant game and you can make up your own categories – superheroes, book characters, TV characters, types of food (yummy factor, yucky factor!). If you haven’t seen Top Trumps before, take a look (https://toptrumps.us/pages/how-to-play)
English language activities and online game sites:
https://www.ictgames.com/ (maths and English)
Read-alongs, eBooks and audiobooks in English and other languages: See the Library page.