English as an Additional Language (EAL)
At The British College of Gavà all teachers are collectively responsible for each student’s English language development, and the school is committed to the maxim that every teacher is a language teacher.
Nonetheless, the role of the English as an Additional Language (EAL) department is to provide a more targeted, personalised and impactful approach for those students that might require additional support in their English language acquisition.
The EAL team also provides assistance to teachers in both the classroom environment and outside, in a dedicated space for students that might require additional language support.
The initial and continuing aim of the school EAL’s strategy is to focus holistically, consistently and palpably on improving student access to the curriculum by supporting them through the stages of their English language acquisition.
The EAL Department works with numerous support methods such as:
- EAL assessment and monitoring of English capability
- Different collaborative dynamics with teachers such as specialist (1-1), targeted (small groups) and universal provision, using specific EAL resources.
- All teachers have EAL continuing professional development.
The British College of Gavà team is always exploring and considering new directions and tools to provide the best language support to our students.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) department provides targeted one to one or small group lessons for students that require additional support in their English language acquisition, with the aim of all students accessing the curriculum. We also assist teachers in and out of the classroom in our dedicated space (the language hub)
EAL ( English as an additional language) rather than ESL (English as a second language) support helps students already immersed in an English speaking environment acquire the type of English that will help them access curriculum content, and produce academic English in oral and written forms. Our aim is not just to teach general English but to help contribute to our students becoming confident, multilingual learners.
When parents first contact our admissions team we liaise and organise a written English language assessment and oral interview with our EAL coordinator. Based on the result of this assessment we may recommend a period of initial intensive English language support.
This additional support takes place outside of school time, every Tuesday and Thursday from 4.30 - 5.30 in our EAL Academy. In addition to this the EAL department provides support during school hours, to help students access the curriculum.
Our primary goal is to assist all students in accessing the curriculum as soon as possible, with this in mind we provide either 1-1 or small group English language invention lessons that focus on curriculum access.
We conduct an initial CEFR language assessment, as well as a written assessment. In addition we conduct both formative assessments to evaluate as students progress and summative assessments to evaluate when students no longer need EAL support.
At BCG English language support for all of our students is a crucial part of what we provide. We consider all of our teachers to be language teachers and we have regular professional development sessions on how important it is to integrate content and language in lessons. Having said this, should our initial assessment indicate that there is a need for initial intensive English language support to access the curriculum, then there will be an additional fee.
As stated above, these additional lessons are conducted outside of school time.
The parents' role is vital, both to support their child in their language acquisition and to communicate with the school about any issues. Entering a new school where lessons are taught in a different language can be a stressful experience. We try our hardest to make this transition as stress free as possible, but to do this the more communication and cooperation we have from parents, the easier this transition is. Furthermore, research clearly shows that maintenance of the first language has been found to accelerate the process of learning a second language (Cummins, 2017; Baker, 2001; Dressler and Kamil, 2006). Bilingualism and multilingualism is our aim, so please try to help us by maintaining your home language, as this will make the process of learning English quicker and less stressful.