English as an Additional Language (EAL) and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) at South Island School
At South Island School we are committed to giving every student the best opportunities to succeed. Many students who come to our school do not have English as their ‘mother tongue’ – that is, their first and primary language.
Some of these students – known as ‘BMLs’ – Bilingual or Multilingual Learners – need extra help to improve and extend their English in order to achieve their potential in all their subjects.
The EAL department offers a range of English enrichment classes and activities to help these students. Alongside this extra help, all teachers at SIS receive regular training in techniques and strategies for teaching bilingual and multilingual students in their classes.
Year 7 students are assessed during their first weeks of English library lessons and the EAL teachers at SIS determine whether they need extra help with reading, writing or speaking English. Small groups of students are then given Intensive English classes in place of a second World Language subject.
Other students are withdrawn to a small group during fortnightly library reading lessons and given extra English help which focuses primarily on boosting their reading and grammar skills and practise with writing different types of text.
Year 8 and 9 students continue these classes, and any new students are assessed when joining the school and placed in Intensive English and/or reading withdrawal as appropriate.
Year 10 – 11
Year 10 and Year 11 students who need some extra English support are placed in English Enrichment classes. These run fortnightly for two hours.
Students revise the reading skills and writing styles which they need to master for English Language IGCSE. They also focus on improving their grammar and building their vocabulary.
In Years 12 and 13, selected BML students are put into EAP – English for Academic Purposes – classes. In these classes the students bring work from all subject areas and receive help in the structure and grammar of longer written tasks. Also, IBDP/IBCP Language and Literature texts and tasks are explored and extra help is given to students to understand the complex texts that are studied at IBDP/IBCP level.
Some students also choose to attend one-to-one sessions in their study periods to get some individual help.