Introduction

This booklet is designed to give some background about the EAL program at the International School of Brno (ISB) as well as practical suggestions to help children adjust to an English medium education.

Please contact the division principals or the EAL coordinator with any questions or concerns you may have at anytime at:

sona.stepankova@isob.cz, dylan.vance@isob.cz or matthew.smith@isob.cz

As part of the ISB Admission procedure, new students who have some knowledge of English are tested to determine their level of English. The child’s listening and speaking skills will also be assessed. See Appendix 1 for entry testing details. Depending on the results of these tests, the school should quickly agree with the parents that registration in the EAL programme is necessary.  

What is EAL support?

English is the primary language of instruction at the ISB, which means that students learn in English. EAL support is available for any student whose first language is not English and who needs additional language support. EAL support can take various forms. For beginners, children will be pulled out of some subjects (usually foreign languages) to be taught the fundamentals of the English language. As their proficiency improves, the lessons will become more writing focussed, more subject focussed and there will be more in-class support, where the EAL teacher may even come into the mainstream classroom with the students. It is important to point out that our EAL students remain full members of their classroom and that most of their educational needs are met by the class (or subject) teacher, who will adapt tasks and/or objectives for these students with the support of the EAL teacher and the Adaptations and modifications document. While the EAL teacher is responsible for the students’ progress in English proficiency, the class/subject teacher still has overall responsibility for the student’s learning. 

The aims of the EAL program

Who receives EAL support?

When a new student whose mother tongue is not English is admitted to ISB, he/she may still need time to develop their conversational and academic skills in English. The family of a child may indicate this during the registration process or this need will be identified by the teachers during the first days of school. If the student’s English proficiency is below the required minimum level to enable them to participate fully in class, it is recommended that the parents/legal guardians register the student in the EAL program.

ISB Year

Recommended for EAL

Year 2

No prior English knowledge and/or not used to speaking English

Year 3

Below A1

Year 4-6

Below A2

Year 7-9

Below B1

Due to the nature of learning activities and expectations of the kindergarten and year 1, EAL in the form of pull-out sessions is not usually recommended.

How often do students receive help in the EAL program?

Students registered in the EAL program receive support depending on their stage of English development and their personality. For example, beginners (A0-A1) will receive more support than more advanced students. As a student’s proficiency improves, the number of lessons decreases while students more frequently remain in their classrooms and receive more focussed, specific support fewer times per week (See ‘What is EAL support?’). Year 2 will receive fewer pull out EAL lessons due to the way young children learn languages but may be supported by an assistant in the classroom for literacy. 

Timetabling the EAL lessons

The EAL timetable is shared with the families when their child enters the programme. The general rule is that EAL learners who are very new to learning English (A0 to A2 level or A0-A1 for low primary) have foreign language lessons replaced with EAL lessons, but they may also miss other subjects. 

The timetabling details are decided between the EAL coordinator, class teacher and division principal on an individual basis.

EAL Curriculum

Learners follow the Cambridge Primary and Secondary English as a Second Language curriculum framework, designed and created by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. These frameworks provide a comprehensive set of progressive learning objectives for learners of English as a Second Language. They are based on the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which is widely used around the world to map learners’ progression in English. In addition, EAL teachers support the EAL students to meet the school’s curriculum objectives.

EAL students in the mainstream classroom/Individual Education Plan (IEP)

ISB class/subject teachers and other staff members always help to make our EAL students feel comfortable and integrate them in the classroom as quickly as possible. They identify their language-related needs with the help of the EAL teacher and apply teaching practices to address these needs. The teachers look realistically and critically at the ISB curriculum and determine subjects and specific objectives where language acquisition may be preventing the student from meeting all requirements at the year level.

For more information on the responsibilities for EAL students, see Appendix 2.

Grading

No grades are given in EAL classes. However, the EAL teacher is in regular contact with the parents and students, so that all parties can keep track of their child’s progress. In addition, their EAL IEP is sent home every half term during the reporting period and a  short note of the child’s present needs and situation is also included in the report. When teachers have observed that most stage objectives are being met, a Progression Test at the correct stage will be administered to confirm this progress and will be included in the EAL report to families. In addition, the EAL teachers collaborate with class teachers when writing reports and goal setting.

Informal assessment occurs continuously throughout the year.

Homework

Homework is not regularly assigned in EAL but students might be asked to complete some homework to follow up their classes. EAL students are also expected to regularly review language taught in class using their notebooks, and any flashcards, videos, etc.

Service Fee

The fee for this service is 3000 CZK per month. The invoice is sent to families on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis once a student has been registered. Should a student leave the program after the fee has been paid, a refund will be sent to families by the school secretary.


Appendices:

Appendix 1: ISB Entry Testing and Exit Criteria

About Entry Testing

a) Year 2 and beginning of Year 3 students:

Testing for students this age should take no longer than 15 minutes. For students beginning Year 2, listening and speaking are to be tested using a task from a Cambridge YLE speaking test and following this Test procedure. For students arriving later in Year 2 or at the beginning of Year 3, reading (alphabetizing, recognising vowels and consonants, phonics) and students’ ability to identify colors, shapes, numbers, letters and relationships on the listening and speaking sections will also be tested.

b) End of Year 3 - Year 6 students

The testing can take up to 60 minutes. This can be broken up if necessary. EAL Progression Tests for reading, writing, and grammar skills form the basis of the assessment after a quick initial assessment using a task from a Cambridge YLE speaking test and resources from the Year 2 entry test if necessary. In addition, speaking (asking and answering questions, pronunciation, comprehension, vocabulary) and listening will be assessed.

c) Secondary students Year 7 - 9

The testing can take up to 120 minutes. This can be broken up if necessary. Cambridge KET Tests for reading, writing, and listening are the base of the assessment.  In addition, speaking (asking and answering questions, pronunciation, comprehension, vocabulary) and listening (identifying words, counting, positional auditory discrimination, situational comprehension, answering questions, comprehending statements and dialogues) will be assessed.

d) High School students (IGCSE) Year 10 & 11

The testing can take up to 120 minutes. This can be broken up if necessary. Students will write PET reading, writing and listening tests upon registration to determine their English proficiency.  In order to stand a good chance of improving their proficiency as well as meeting the objectives of the IGCSE programmes, they should begin with at least high B1.  If not, they may be recommended to follow an extended programme of study.

In addition to the initial testing, the class teacher/Man & Society and English teacher and the EAL teacher will complete a checklist indicating the student’s current level in speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar skills as well as outlining aspects of their personality and approach to learning during the first two weeks. This helps determine the type and extent of the support they will need.

 

Exit criteria

The basis for exit criteria will be when students are assessed as meeting 80% of their Stage objectives and having reached the following CEFR levels.

Cambridge ESL Stage

CEFR Level

Year 2

Approaching A1

Year 3

A1

Years 4-6

A2

Years 7-9

B1

In addition to this, the student’s personality, ability to participate in group and class tasks, and general comfort in the mainstream class will be taken into consideration when making the decision to end EAL support.

After leaving the programme, students will continue to be formatively assessed using the EAL checklist until the end of the school year and may also be supported for the initial weeks by the EAL teacher informally in the mainstream classroom. This is to ensure a comfortable transition.

High School students (IGCSE) Year 10 & 11

Students will be admitted into IGCSEs with a solid level of B1 and above. Students who have not yet achieved a B2 level of English will be advised to take English B, the English as a Second Language IGCSE course until they demonstrate a sufficient level to move into the English A class, or English as a First Language IGCSE class. Being in the English A class does not mean that a student has to take the first language exam,they may still feel more comfortable sitting the second language IGCSE.

Students will be invited to move from to the first language English class when the following criteria are considered met.

1) Students should either:

        OR

AND

2) Students should:

AND

3) Students should complete an example first language question to the satisfaction of the first language English teacher prior to moving class.


Appendix 2: Responsibilities for EAL students

2A: Registration and exit responsibilities

EAL Teacher

Secretary

Family is informed that EAL is recommended (the secretary and the division principal receives a copy of this email)

Family agrees with payment

Welcome email is sent and child is added to the EAL register

Keeps evidence of payments and preferred method of payment

Official timetable is sent to families

When a child is ready to leave the programme, family is informed (secretary and division principal are in a copy)

No further payments, possible compensation takes place if EAL was paid in advance

Update list of students to reflect change in status

2B: Teacher responsibilities

EAL Teacher

Class/Subject Teachers (with support from EAL Teacher)

Primary

Spoken language development

Literacy development (Beginner Stages)

Communicating with parents regarding EAL issues/developments

Subject specific vocabulary

General vocabulary

Communicating with parents regarding subject specific issues/developments

Updating and ensuring EAL IEP is up to date

Updating EAL IEP

Providing class teachers with strategies to aid EAL learners in the classroom

Correcting mistakes in written work/bringing mistakes to the EAL teacher's attention

Monitoring language development

General student wellbeing

Functional language

Communicating with parents on general matters

Collaborating with class teacher to ensure consistency between language, skills and strategies taught in EAL and in the classroom*

Collaborating with class teacher to ensure consistency between language, skills and strategies taught in EAL and in the classroom*

Assist class teacher in creating differentiated learning experiences*

EAL Teacher

Subject Teachers (with support from EAL Teacher)

Homeroom Teacher

Secondary

Communicating with parents regarding EAL issues/developments

Subject specific vocabulary

General well-being

Language development (including Beginner literacy)

Correcting mistakes in written work

Communicating with parents on general matters

General vocabulary

Communicating with parents regarding subject specific issues/developments

Updating EAL IEP (if a subject teacher)

Updating and ensuring EAL IEP is up to date

Updating EAL IEP (English, M&S teachers)

Providing class teachers with strategies to aid EAL learners in the classroom

Subject specific literacy development

Monitoring language development

Bringing language mistakes to the EAL teacher's attention

Functional language

Collaborating with subject teacher to ensure consistency between language, skills and strategies taught in EAL and in the classroom*

Collaborating with EAL teacher to ensure consistency between language, skills and strategies taught in EAL and the classroom*

Assist subject teacher in creating differentiated learning experiences*

* Main areas for development in term 2 2017/2018 and school year 2018/2019