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English As A Second Language


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Hello,

 

I am in a dilemma :o . Would you call a child with English as a second language a special educational need? Our SENCo has left the setting without going through our SEN children, and she has entered this child as a SEN to identify their language.

Can anyone give me ideas on what to do. There was a home-school book started with A4 pictures on it (four at last look - train, chair, doll and bed??!!?) and it went home with parent but has since been "Lost". !!

The first language is Polish. The child is now repeating words when they are said to them and recalling simple repetative words i.e. at snack time - please, thank you, apple, water so they are starting. But I spoke to dad today as he speaks better english than mum who said they speak polish to him at home (Doh xD ), but sometimes they hear him say an english word in play so it must be starting to get through. How am I going to extend it? I also think the child can understand the gist of what is said as I use lots of facial, basic makaton expressions. we started a visual board but concentration is limited as just three. Please help!!

 

Thanks kizzy xx :(

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Hi Kizzy.

No this is not really a special need, this is a child who is learning English.

He will become more fluent as he comtinues to be immersed in the language. You would only technically classify him as special need if he were having problems with his home language.

Think of the things that you might do if he were an English baby and you you will be on the right track---and it sounds as if you are doing much of that already, so dont panic and give him time!

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Hi Kizzy,

I agree with Susan. If you're concerned about bilingual issues, you could see if your local authority has an Ethnic Minorities Achievement Service [EMAS] as they may come out & give advice - ours did yesterday.

 

The link someone put in the other day, I think from the Scottish ngfl, is excellent. Sorry I thought I had it bookmarked but can't find it. I'm sure someone else will post the link.

 

You can try this site for dual language resources etc

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I have children who speak English as a second language and it is not classed as SEN. becuase we do not ahve one large ethnic comunity but single families, I have had five or 6 different languages being spoken by parents. Can I also just defend parents who come to this country and don't speak English. I lived abroad for nearly 10 years, I worked and spoke Italian when I lived in Italy, but lived in spain for a year and never managed to pick up enough spanish to work, luckily i had parents to support me, also in West Africa the predominate language was french, and I never managed to speak enough to work but did use my English to teach for a while. but never in all those years would I have dreamt of speaking anything other than English at home with my parents and afterwards husband. It is so difficult to speak a foreign language to some one you know who speaks your own language. I have lots of friend who have mixed marriages and usually it is the language of the country that they live in that they speak, I really do sympathise with any one who lives in a foreign and are trying to teach their children English. I have 2 sons and have never been able to teach them Italian, because it feels so unnatural to speak Italian at home with people that don't speak Italian, even though I have Italian friends in this country that I speak Italian to. Sorry I don't mean to get on a soap box, but I know how difficult it can be. I always say to my families that they will spend months just listening then go on to practice the familiar phrases, then will start holding proper conversations with us, which is then the point that they start going home and saying things in english. It all comes in time and I just let the parents know not to worry they will pick it up in their own time the same as we did from babies. The babies just had a bit of a head start. :D:D

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We recently had a Polish girl in our pre-school, Mum and she had no English on arrival, but Dad was quite fluent. At no time was she treated as SEN, just given support with communication issues. She picked the basics up very quickly, with Mum following close behind. They tried to speak some English at home, though, as back up :)

 

She left at Christmas to move on to school - we understand she is settling in well - :o

 

Sue

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We often have EAL children, this year we have 6

4 portuguese 1 spanish 1 malayalam(Indian dialect) we do not treat them as SEN unless they have other needs as well.

 

We have signs and books in dual languages, while they may not be able to read them we do lend to parents who can use the story at home and then the story is familiar to the child when we read it in english at pre-school.

 

we learn simple songs in the languages....head shoulders knees an toes almost always works, ask parents for appropriate words, they are ususally very useful and all children learn it together. we use greetings in the appropriate languages as well as please and thank you.

 

The fact that they speak mother tongue at home is not problem. EMAS actually told one parent who had stopped using mother tongue at home to go back to it and if they really wanted to have one parent speak english and the other thier mother tongue. it is important they do not forget to speak their native language.

 

It is worth trying to find out how fluent and advanced they are in their own language, if they are fluent in that they will learn english quite quickly from you.

 

we often find the children talking in portuguese in the setting to each other and now those who had no English 6 months ago are speaking to us in english, singing songs with gusto (they really love this) bring us books have us tell them the english for the pictures and teach us the portuguese!

 

it is worth remembering to value their fisrt language as it is important to them and their parents.

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
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Forgot to say we made counting books and simple word books with clipart and a translation from parents as it helped us understand if the children were counting or knew colours etc.

 

we used

enchanted learning for their dictionaries and pictures.

 

Unfortunately no Polish but may be of use to others.

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
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EAL is not SEN - cognitively the eal children could be outperforming your native english speaker. It's very importamt for children to continue to develop their proficiency in L1, and to have high context, cognitively demanding activities provided for them to enable them to develop the language of learning as well as social interactive language. It can take up to 7 years for a child to develop fluency, for some that will be their entire fs - KS2 career. There may well be a silent period where the child says nothing, but they are assimilating language and will use it when their confidence increases. It may be that a child has SEN issues, but these will be the same as any other child may present. :D

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Our EMAS lady said the same thing, Inge. If they're to be truly bilingual they need to hear good English spoken, which with the best will in the world parents often do not or cannot; and they need to keep their first language going, which is why they need to use that at home.

Edited by Guest
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Our school is predominantly EAL and we do our best to help the parents as well as the children

 

Our EMAS teacher is resonsible for the pastoral and academic progress of the children and she gets the non-English parents into school as often as she can

 

She organises ESOL classes for them and runs workshops as well.

She also uses them as translators

 

We feel it's very important to give parents an active role and improve their knowledge of the school for obvious reasons

 

ACB

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I wondered if this might help, adapted from something EMAS gave us:

1) Children who are skilled multi-linguals often become more intelligent than their monolingual peers

2) It is essential to continue to DEVELOP their first languages

3) If we wait for a child to be sufficiently fluent in English to access school work then they can lose 12-18 months of cognitive development.

4) It is important for parents to work in their richest language so they can act as a correct model and provide advanced vocabulary and sentence construction for their child to copy.

5) Poor verbal English quickly becomes embedded and is hard to rectify

6) Depending on where you live, everything around could be shouting 'English, English!'

7) Loss of Mother Tongue creates problems of identity. In the first generation the loss is 40-60%; in the second generation the loss is 80-85%

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My class is 100% EAL I have 6 children in here on the SEN register but this is not for EAL (or i would have 26) This is for other reasons like Autism and cognitive delay. On parents evening some of the parents kept telling me that they have stopped speaking their mother toungue at home, o went mad, how can we expect children to become good multi cultural citizens if we do not allow them to develop their own nationality. A lot of our older families have lost their mother tongue and it is so sad they can no longer even communicate with their relative abroad.

It is amazing how quickly the children pick up the English with just use at school especially so young. when my class first came in in September they didnt even understand simple classroom commands, with the use of Makaton, symbols and photos alongs with continuos repetition they now can understand quite complex stories in English.

I also had 7 children who at the start of the year where in the silent phase, I insisted that these children were not pressurised into talking that they would talk in their own time and sure enough they have now they all talk freely in both language and even choose sometime to talk in English during play.

give the child time and encouragement and they with surprise you!

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