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Eal Child In Class With No Support


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Hi all,

I'm hoping someone can help me with my problem. I have a EAL child starting in my class in September (Reception). He does know some english, however he is very reluctant to talk and only uses gesture on rare occasions. He was receiving some support once a week whilst in Nursery, however that person has now retired. Im not really sure where to start with him.

 

Any ideas would be very gratefully received.

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Hi

Is this the only child in the class with EAL? What is his home language?

The nursery I manage is in a culturally diverse area and with have many children and parents with EAL.

We are lucky in that we have staff who speak some of the community languages. We use images to help the children to communicate - its surprising how quickly the children pick up English when surrounded by it. You may beable to purchase books with tapes/CDs in his home language for him to listen to, along with the other children. Above all he needs to feel valued and respected.

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Hi,

 

I work in a large multi-cultural infant school.

We frequently have children with little or no English in our classes.

 

Please don't think of this child as SEN. He is a child who is learning English as an additional languge. Value him and respect him, remember his level of English, is more limited than the other children and he needs support like an English child learning English and you won't go far wrong. If you can support him in his mother tongue great, if not just take it slowly. He should respond to you non verbally before he has the language to "talk", just like a baby.

 

You might, however, need an IEP to record the extra help you are giving compared to the others.

I always provide opportunities to develop vocab acquisition, using picture cards etc.

Encourage his learning through those activities that he chooses and enjoys.

 

If his skills in his mother tongue are good then he should soon pick up the English. The problems we have encountered have almost always also been reflected in the child's mother tongue. Can you talk to the parents about this?

 

Hope this helps.

Susan

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PS

 

Don't force the talking. Very few of us can stay silent forever!

 

How about talking to or through a puppet or other soft toy?

 

He may even have progressed more than you think during the holiday?

 

Susan

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Some good points have already been made. Firstly, don't worry that he prefers to listen and gesture rather than talk - his understanding will be well ahead of his speaking, just as it would be if he were learning English as his first language. Whatever you do, don't try to force him to talk, or to give him formal instruction, as this will probably make him self-conscious and more reluctant to communicate.

 

Lots of play opportunities, for example, role play, will help him to communicate - quite probably he will talk more when playing with the other children in the home corner than when with you. Circle time can be a great way to help him to communicate, if you are sensitive about giving him activities where he can succeed and there isn't pressure on him to 'perform'.

 

In general, most eal children just need to be immersed in the new language and they will pick it up. Whatever you do, don't ask the parents to practice English with him at home - he needs to develop his mother tongue to increasingly sophisticated levels, and his English will follow behind. Don't think of him as SEN, he is a child with an additional language, not a special need!

 

I know with my own two-year-old daughter, who speaks English with me, but German with my husband, that she will often simply refuse to speak her second language. Then other times, she will love to. (Sometimes she'll fetch a German book and very condescendingly tell me that I can't read it properly, but she can, and go ahead and 'read' it to me. :o ) It just depends on all sorts of factors, and we let her make the choice. She is a lot younger, but it is amazing to see how she can play with German-speaking children, even though her German is far less sophisticated than her English. We do a German playgroup once a week and when we're there, she will use both languages, sometimes in one sentence, without any concerns. Children find it much easier to be second language learners than adults. <_<

 

I would only be concerned if the little boy in your class seems unhappy and not making relationships with others. Otherwise, in a while I'm sure he'll be using English quite confidently!

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Thank you everybody for your support and comments. I have never heard he speak to another child which is why i was concerned really as I do not wish for him to feel isolated. I have another child in the class who is spoken to in french and english, although english is his mother tongue. The parents of the child I am concerned about speak no english, though he does have siblings who do. I will try the pictures and will look in to getting some books etc. in his mother tongue. I would never force him to talk, unlike the (Nursery teacher), though he does smile alot and seems fairly happy.

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'Mantra' are a good supplier of dual language books and tapes/CDs. They provide a variety of languages including Arabic, Albanian, German, French, Urdu, Hindu, Vietnamese, Chinese, Somali and others. :o

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  • 2 weeks later...

Brilliant.

 

Now don't rush him or make him self conscious and you should go from strength to strength.

Don't worry if progress is slow either, he'll speak if he needs or wants to!

 

I shall always remember my headteacher rushing into my classroom one day to find out who the little girl was who was shouting in the toilets.

"Was she?" I replied "thats good. She doesn't usually talk at all." :o

 

Susan

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Thanks Susan :D It made my day, probably my week !

 

We were just talking to him and he mouthed some words then all of a sudden he actually said them. He seemed so happy as well, which was the most important thing.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi

 

I have read all the posts about EAL here and feel a little more confident about the little boy who will be joining us after Christmas. When he visited us with his mum he appeared happy to go off and explore, so I feel sure he will settle in next term. He pointed to a poster and said 'fish', 'bus', 'truck' so he knows a few words. His mum told me that he is slow in speaking in his mother tongue.

 

I was interested to read, Nichola C, that you said not to ask the parents to practice English with him at home. As his speech is slow in his mother tongue then I suppose speaking Thai at home will help him that way. Will it really help to have books and CDs at Pre-school in his native tongue?

 

Sue J

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Hello SueJ - If it was me I would not encourage the child to practice english at home especially if the parents aren't fluent. If he is slow at picking up his mother tongue then he will need to practice that instead which might then help him . He'll be getting enough practice and lsitening to english during the day. I don't think having CD's and story books in his native language at pre-school is a good idea. As long as he is a happy little chap and picking up words and you're provding lots of reassurance and encoragement (which I'm sure is the case) then that should be fine.

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Hi Sue, the answer to your question is it cant do any harm but it can be quite difficult to access these things. Mantra, as has already been mentioned, is about the most comprehensive source I have found.

In my experience in school, progress in mother tongue is always a good indicator of how easily a child is going to progress with English and speech/language problems are usually mirrored. But all children are different and progress at different rates and it may be that in fact there is more than one language being spoken at home and that this is the problem.

If he is naming objects from a picture though, things look fairly good to me!

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I know a child from a vietnamese background, lots of siblings in school and born here who didn't speak in nursery, or in Reception, or really in y1. She waited until y2 to join in the chat. However because we knew that she was fluent in her home language and demonstrated through her responses that she was keeping up with her peers in lots of things she wasn't panicked over. The day she decided to start chatting she was sent on messages to all her old teachers to celebrate!!!

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  • 1 year later...

This is an EAL-related question...I am doing an Equal Opportunities QA workshop on Tuesday and we are including children and families with EAL or limited use of English.

 

Does anyone know of any websites that translate basic words - toilet, coat, door, window and greetings - into any other languages apart from English.

 

Tried a 'google' but they all appear to be services that can be bought and I want it free!!

 

Ta - RB x

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This is an EAL-related question...I am doing an Equal Opportunities QA workshop on Tuesday and we are including children and families with EAL or limited use of English.

 

Does anyone know of any websites that translate basic words - toilet, coat, door, window and greetings - into any other languages apart from English. 

 

Tried a 'google' but they all appear to be services that can be bought and I want it free!!

 

Ta - RB x

46380[/snapback]

 

I've used worldlingo.com for whole paragraphs which worked well.

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There's quite a lot of EAL stuff here - I don't know if it's what you're looking for but it's an excellent site:

 

Portsmouth EAL service

 

If you're just looking to translate odd words from English to non-specific other languages, wouldn't an Emglish/whatever online dictionary do it? Also I found some Chinese writing for words like 'house' 'food' 'book' on one of the websites listed on the forum [i think] for Chinese New Year activities.

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