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Children With Eal


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Not quite sure why I have chosen to write abou children with EAL for a uni assignment but I have and now I am a bit stuck!!! I have no children with english as an additional or second language in my pre-school and hope that some of you might!! For part of my assignment I have to show some of the processes that marginalise them and evaluate schemes intended to promote their inclusion. The latter is not a problem I have loads of info. However, "processes" that can leave these children at the margins of educational life is proving a stumbling block. I know it's quiet at the moment but any ideas would be very welcome :D:D

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I had a French boy in my class this past year.... Reception class

I had 11 hours support from BLISS and some handouts from them.

 

If you have any specific questions you would like me to answer, post them and I will have ago.

 

L

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As an inner london school we have had many many children who are EAL, quite often as casual entrants straight from their own country. Our languages covered LAtin America/Africa/Asia/The far East and Europe. I was EAL coordinator. We had 1 TA for the whole lot!!! We also had children who may have been born here but who have a strong EAL background eg their parents/relatives speak Yoruba although the children may not be fluent in it and their English use is heavily influenced by the home use of other languages.

 

The primary objective I had was to convince the whole staff that it was the responsibility of them all to be supporting the children. They might have a few hours a week of the TA time, but what was happening the rest of the time??

 

You probably know the following already but I'll expand for others.

We took the view(based on research by someone I can't recall) that Children learn the social and transactional language of the classroom relatively quickly (1-2 years) This is called Basic Interpersonal communication Skills or BICS. This is the language that is scaffolded by the context/cues/body language etc.We recognised that the children generally picked up day to day language fairly readily. It was the second stage of language learning that created difficulties (and that also affects children who are English only speakers); Cognitive and Linguistic academic processing or CALP. This is the language of the academic classroom and is often far less contextually embedded than social language. It can also take 5 - 7 years to develop. Therefore teachers had to be planning in the first instance activities that were cognitively undemanding but high context in the first few months(BIC zone) and then moving asap on to cognitively demanding/context embedded activities. The ultimate goal is cognitively demanding/context reduced activities: the CALP zone.

 

What marginalised the children was being left in a cognitively undemanding/context reduced zone:being left naming/copying/repeating.(How demeaning for a child who can read and write arabic or spanish fluently!!) We endeavoured to plan collaborative learning activities for EAl chn that used a more demanding skill set: matching/Sorting/Sequencing/ranking and also the use of "key visuals" (Bernard Mohan: "Language and Content" 1986 or "Enriching Literacy - Text, Talk and Tales in today's classroom": Brent Language Service isbn 1 85856163 9).

 

It's hard to do, maybe harder if you only have 1 EAL child, at least we generally had other children who would be able to translate or play with the new arrival. Before I left the school we were starting to look at the needs of our refugee/asylum seeker children and the issues that may affect their access to the curriculum. A useful publication (which I contributed to!!) is "Supporting Refugee and Asylum Seeking Children in School and Early Years Settings" Contact Southwark Council (020 7525 5000), Southwark Children's Information Service.

 

Hope this is of use. I've attched a document i put together as a result of my work in school on reducing marginalisation of EAL learners also

Cx

 

:D

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