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Help please

 

There is a boy in my class who I think could be considered EAL. He was born here but mum is Arabic. As he was born here we were not entitled to any support. His English language comprhension and spoken language is very poor and when this was discussed mum said it was very poor in Arabic too. I've asked for an assessment in his own language and told this was not usually done with childrn so young. (5). It is really help with the profile I'm seeking. I understand all can be done in his own language except cll 4-9. We have lots of photos in his learning journey that we could discuss to assess his understanding (at the time of the activities he generally enjoyed them but none of his spoken response indicated much understnding). He does engage in practical activities but needs a lot of visual demonstration initially. He is confident and popuar and has no problem choosing where to play. He is beginning to pick up some sound in Letters and sounds and can now write a lot of theim following a model.

 

 

Well back to the point! I really don't know if he generally doesn't grasp a lot of what we are doing or if it is because of the language barrier. Do you think it would be a good idea to get an arabic speaker in to assess his comprhension and spoken Arabic and also look through learning journey to discuss other areas notable kuw. Or indeed what else can I do!

 

Sorry it was so long winded! Plus we are having an interal moderation this year so more keen than ever to get it right! :o

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This is a really difficult one, isnt it?

However, a child who is born here should still be considered to be EAL if their first language at home is not English, as you suggest.

 

In the school that I worked in where we had a very high percentage of EAL children, we were also heavily supported by community language speaking LSAs and NN. Generally speaking, although not always, those children who had the poorest English language skills were also struggling with concept development and attainment in other areas.

 

If you do not have access to an arabic speaker and you are uncertain of this child's understanding then I dont think that you can score the points. You can score those points where you are sure the child's activities are secure by his responses but if you have any doubt then it is fairer at this stage to omit. Especially as mum says his language and conceptual development are poor in his mother tongue

 

We always found that when re referred our children on for any sort of support ( ed psych. particularly) then the first port of call was a mother tongue language assessment.

 

Hope that helps a bit.

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Erm not sure if this will help.

 

Maybe you could get key phrases off the internet or the parent which would help you to interact with the child.

 

You can get Dual language storybooks...maybe get him to re-tell a story that way.

 

The arabic asseser idea is good, but will it cost extra money?

 

Maybe get pictures from home to encourgae speaking?

 

Sorry if this doesnt help.

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It depends on your LA, whether or not they fund language support, and I would certainly query the idea that they don't until the children are 5. It is the LAs remit to 'narrow the gap' and improve outcoems for children and from what you have said this is a child that is lkely to score low on the profile and would therfore fall into that bottom 20%.

It may be that you will need the Senco on board, they can often tap into resources that you are not aware of.

 

it may also be worth asking mum if she can tell you more about his language at home.

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Not much to add really - completely agree with Susan and Mundia - don't forget the purpose of the FSP is to help Yr 1 to plan so it really does need to be the picture of what he does independently, otherwise it's not going to support his progress in any way.

Cx

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have you tried getting the family to record key words so that you can use them for your observations. I work in a pre-school and we have access through our PVI to a EAL kit which has a lot of information and recording aids.

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If you've had discussions with mum then presumably mum speaks English. Could you take a photograph of him doing something at school and send it home in his learning journal, asking what he can tell you about the photograph. Mum (or another adult) could then translate what he tells them. That might give you some idea of how much he's understanding/taking in?

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