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Hi, I have had a think and a look at the Primary strategy guidance on EAL in EYFS.


Would welcome advice from people with similar experience, we are a village school and have no children with EAL so far.


Am I along the right lines with lots of :


modelling patterns of speech, repeating sentences back, giving clues to responses in your speech

outdoor play


singing and traditional repetitive stories

?stories from first language culture?

visual timetable

picture clues

getting to know a few words in first language

dual language books

music and listening games

?promoting a buddy?


I am surprised that the guidance doesn't mention signing as I would have thought that simple signalong gestures would be really helpful to start with - has anyone used (or got along fine not using!) Signalong or similar?

Thanks DM

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One things I have learnt is that you have to be prepared for a "silent period".


We have had Polish, French and Swedish and everyone of them have gone through the silent stage, they seem to be overwhelmed by the experience of listening to English and when they feel confident among their peers they will gradually start using common words.



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One things I have learnt is that you have to be prepared for a "silent period".



I second that! Don't go all out as soon as the child arrives trying to get them talking and getting going with these activities straight away, a lot of children won't even talk in their home language at first, or may start by doing so then once they realise they aren't understood properly stop this altogether and only start talking again when they feel they have picked up some English words and are confident with them. Of course they will probably communicate with their peers before the adults so they will pick up a lot this way.


The other thing I'd say is don't let bad grammar in common sentences go uncorrected for too long, obviously at first celebrate any english they come out with but then for common phrases eventually you need to encourage them to speak in whole sentences. For example we've had a young Polish boy in a previous school I worked in who learnt to say, "I toilet please." Of course at first this was great, but then when he became a more confident user of English we realised that we'd let this become ingrained for too long and it was difficult to get him into using the full sentence.

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