It’s always hard being the new kid in school. This is even harder for EAL pupils who don’t speak the same language as the other children. Schools often look for ways to integrate newly arrived EAL pupils in the smoothest way possible.
We asked some primary and secondary teachers what their top tips are to integrate newly arrived EAL pupils. Here is their advice:
Since EAL pupils aren’t proficient in English, they don’t always have the courage to introduce themselves to their classmates. It is much easier for EAL pupils to integrate into a new environment when there is someone to show them around, introduce them to their friends and be an overall support and guide.
Provide opportunities for children to socialise with others who have the same home language
It can be very reassuring for EAL learners to meet people who speak their language and who can tell them about their own experiences of learning English and integrating into the school. If there isn’t anyone who speaks the same language as an EAL pupil it can be a good idea to form a network across schools.
Teach survival language
The most frustrating and scary thing for EAL pupils is not being understood when they are trying to communicate about something important. Therefore, it’s a good thing to teach these children ‘survival language’. This consists of key phrases such as ‘I need to go to the bathroom’ and ‘I’ve got a headache’ etc…
Provide visuals to communicate
It is a good idea to use visuals when trying to communicate with EAL learners since images easily convey meaning. These can be used to teach basic rules in the classroom or to teach simple phrases.
Ensure robust induction for the pupils’ family
It is extremely important to communicate with the parents of EAL pupils and to establish whether they themselves speak English and can help their children. Teachers should also keep the parents updated on their children’s progress.
The most important thing to keep in mind to integrate newly arrived EAL pupils is to do your best to make them feel at ease. It is important to create opportunities for them to interact with their classmates, to let them know of some basic rules and to give them the tools to communicate their needs. Integration can be a long process, but these tips should allow your newly arrived EAL pupils to integrate easily.
We’d like to thank the teachers who attended our EAL Birmingham 2018 conference for sharing their tips with us.
If you have any more ideas, please drop us a note on Twitter at @FlashAcademy_HQ!
Interested in all things EAL? Check out our top 5 tips for successfully motivating EAL learners! Are you looking for free EAL resources for your school? Why not visit our resources page?
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