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Working with new arrivals

Welcoming the pupil into school

  • Make sure you pronounce the pupil’s name correctly.
  • Identify 2 or 3 ‘buddies’ to support the pupil during the first few weeks, choosing good language and learning role models. If possible, include a buddy who shares the same language as the pupil.
  • Make time to show the pupil around the school so they can familiarise themselves with their surroundings, for example, library, hall, toilets, staff room, various departments etc. Going over the canteen arrangements 1:1 is important.
  • Draw up and use a list of basic phrases in English and the pupils’ home language with the other pupils

Planning lessons

  • Identify the learning objectives for the EAL learner. These may be different from those of the class.
  • Identify the key language of the lesson – do the tasks in the lesson lead the EAL pupil to understand and be able to employ new vocabulary?
  • If you have TA support, ensure that TAs have a copy of the lesson plan and are on board with strategies.

In the Classroom

  • Position the pupil near the front of the class in lessons with direct view of the whiteboard, so pupils can see clearly and pick up on gestures and body language.
  • Involve the pupil in practical tasks such as handing out equipment.
  • Remember that the pupil will be working from their first language into English: encourage the pupil to use their first language when they are still developing fluency, to work through ideas, to translate into English and retain vocabulary.
  • Provide the pupil with an age appropriate bilingual dictionary.
  • Use normal speech patterns. Speak clearly and use gestures, actions, facial expressions to support understanding in English.
  • Group the pupil relevant to his/her cognitive ability. Being grouped with less able learners (unless there is a specific learning need) is de-motivating and is likely to limit a learner’s long term achievement.