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EAL and S & LT


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Hi, I have a girl in my class who's home language is polish. I had concerns over lack of speech so I asked a lady from a local nursery who is bilingual to come in and spend a bit of time playing with her to ascertain if she was just at the point of beginning to acquire English or if I was right to be concerned. I have never heard this child reply to mum or talk to the other polish children in class.

She said that she was not understanding what was being said to her in polish, let alone English. She showed pictures and said words and the girl just nods - even when the word said is incorrect. She said she didn't speak any words, English or polish and just made babbling noises.

I had already spoken to SALT who were getting back to me if she had been seen. When they did she said she would benefit from activities using 1-2 key words, which is fine and we have can do this.

But my huge question is I feel like she's not accessing the environment very well, she cries a lot, especially when there is a change in the day e.g. A transition. Has anyone taught a child with eal and speech needs in this way and could offer some advice? I've got to phone her nursery because they have sent up her learning journey and put her in 30-50months for communication and language and I need to know how they got to that conclusion!! they didn't send any info about any speech issues so I don't know if it was referred by them.

Any advice on this would be hugely beneficial, thank you. ( I'm the SENCo and I'm at a loss for where to start because of the dual language)

Lucie

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Hi

We have experience of this and actually have a little girl (english) who has 5 words only. We have taken photos of the areas of the classroom including toilet and drink and of parents so that she can point to what she wants. I suppose it's a visual timetable but the photo of parents has been useful because she also cried a lot in the first few days and us saying 'mummy soon' had no meaning to her, it must be so scary.

I'm sure you've spoken to mum but how does she communicate with her at home? Could the bilingual assistant have a meeting with mum.

In terms of nursery assessments we are in exactly the same position and I'm going to be talking to our early years service at county about it. The transition information we've received is completely incorrect 'she enjoys singing loudly' even parents agree that it's incorrect. They've really let this little one down.

I'm also a SENCo. SALT is definitely the way to go, EP might be the next step and/or referral to community paediatrician, could mum go to the GP if she is in agreement. You need to keep things practical, hands on, visual and at a one word level.

I hope you get the support and outcome you want for this little one.

Bec

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I would definitely recommend doing a home visit. Even if you have to go after school or in your ppa time. You will learn so much and be able to judge for yourself how much interaction she has in her own environment. It is also much easier for the parent to try to open up. We have quite a few non English speaking children and I ask them to bring a friend with them to the home visit if they feel comfortable with that, as then they can translate. You might not know for a while if the main problem is a PSE one or an EAL one or an sen one! Or a bit of all of them.

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you are certainly not alone! im pre-school not school but i have a FEW children like this!! (and i can tell you they are certainly not being assesssed as competent in any areas at present!) visual is definitely the way to go try early choice making with two objects first...train/car baby/book etc if she gets this then try two photos if she gets this then you might be able to get away with boardmaker pictures which would be a great help. Speak to the parents and the nursery and gather info before you call the professionals in...as dreamgirl says a home visit would be a great idea if the parents are happy about it....how are their language skills? can someone act as a keyworker for her...sounds like she might need support and attachment.

remember this is verty early days....most of the children are not 'performing' at their best yet...but it does sound as if their are more complex issues going on

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Hi has she suffered any trauma at all, has a health visitor seen her at all. Does mum say whether she speaks at all at home. I think I would certainly do a home visit if possible to see how to progress with supporting this little one. A visual timetable and a visual personal book may also help for now.

As for the assessment from the other setting, i do feel a call for a more thorough discussion on this child might explain some of the missing jigsaw.

Please let's us know how things are going.

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thank you Catma, I've got more complicated children in this class than I've ever taught before so I feel I'm in for a challenging year! But, of course, I plan to do the best I can for them!

Mum is coming in for an hour on Wednesday to talk, play alongside and discuss her daughter. I don't think she has much English at all so the bilingual lady is coming to support this. We'll go from there and in the meantime I'll speak to her nursery key worker.

Thanks everyone

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