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EAL child

Guest TinklePrincess

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Guest TinklePrincess

Hi everyone!


We have a 3 year old EAL child in our setting, who is quite boisterous (and in fairness, I am not convinced that he's developmentally ready to be in the 3-5 room, but they go on birthdays).


He doesn't really speak and doesn't seem to be paying attention when he's being spoken to - usless he's initiated it by getting a book and pulling my hand over to look at it with him, for example. We have other children who speak the same home language, and he doesn't speak to them either.


Sometimes he's really active and just climbs or runs around, either hitting other children, strangling them, stealing their toys, glasses, pushing them over etc. I tell him "No, we don't hurt our friends in nursery" and he usually smiles at me and wriggles away. He's gotten into the habit of switching the lights off. Mostly he just switches it off and waits for the inevitable squeal of the other children (I'm working on getting them to stop), which he laughs at and mimics. There's another child who is English speaking, who is quite similar in behaviour, without the violence, but they're not doing it together. In fact, the EAL child often targets the other - last week he hit him on the head with a toy, leaving a nasty bump almost immediately. I believe his caregiver has signed a consent form to get in touch with other agencies, but the nursery are giving him "time to settle in".


Let me clarify that occasionally, he can be really sweet. He covered a sleeping child with a blanket last week and gave a teddy bear to another child who was ill and lying down. He is really interested in the chickens and loves picking leaves off the plants to feed to them. He can spend a lot of time there, just being really lovely. Until he grabs their tails (?) and doesn't let go. When we finally unclench his hand, he's usually pulled out a few feathers and laughs at them, mimicking the chickens' noise!


My main concern, other than the fact that we need to do something about his behaviour, is the way that the staff speak to him. They very rarely, as in, hardly ever, speak to him other than to grab hold of him and shout "No" in his home language. They all pronounce it differently and one or two practitioners make me feel uncomfortable with how often they do it and how they say it - it's like they're speaking to a dog!


I feel that if I go to management about it, they'll just tell me that they're allowing him to settle in and then throw some inclusion crap at me about the fact that they speak to him in his home language. How is it inclusion if they only ever say that one word to him?! Surely we should be encouraging him to speak English, after all, that's what h'll be expected to speak in school!


I've only been there a week - I'm not sure if I've got the authority to challenge it - the staff certainly don't seem to respect me enough yet, but that's another story!


Does anyone have any advice for me, either for the child or the staff?


Edit to add - they don't use Makaton, although it is in their inclusion policy and I do try to incorporate it into my conversations. That's a work-in-progress, but for now, the children don't know any Makaton.

Edited by TinklePrincess
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I would definately try and raise your concerns ASAP. are you the SENCO? if not then speak to them, if they make no signs of doing anything then go to the manager. This child needs support and help sooo frustrating.

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oh dear Twinkle princess sounds like an awful situation especially as you feel the way you do regarding other staff attitudes,

Does this child have english speaking parents? are you or anyone else able to enquire as to his behaviour at home ?

using visual aids with an eal child is important , yes he is settling in but there is behaviour that must be addressed taking into account his safety and that of others.

he does need to understand engliish as well as his home language , it is important for children to use and hear their mother tongue at home but whilst using some words that are in his own language this should be followed up and repeating in english.

if he is being ignored by staff and other children he is noot getting the opportunity to learn how to interact and play alongside others in an acceptable way.

if the inclusion policy is not being adhered too why have one in place?? maybe you can use this to approach manager/senco with your concerns , you are new ,using your initiative and reflecting on policy and practice. haave any of the staff received EAL training ?

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