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Identifying Children who are Learning EnglishAs An Additional Language(EAL) and who may alsohave Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities (LDD)Guidance for Early Years Foundation Stage Practitionerson Assessing and Supporting Young ChildrenJanuary 2009DESIGNED BY PEAR TREE DESIGN 0845 838 2898 Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved0000-01 (00/00)100% recycled paperUsing vegetable based inks

Section 1Learning EAL in the Early YearsPrinciples and Best PracticeThis pack contains information aimed at supporting all youngchildren who have English as an additional language, and helpingpractitioners in the Early Years Foundation Stage to decide whethera child has EAL and LDD.The following best practice principles and guidelines will support allchildren’s developing speech, language and communication skills.The strategies that you should provide for all children will alsosupport children learning EAL.ContentsSection 1Section 2Principles and best practice for all children learning EAL Principles4 Best practice guidelines to support all children6Identification and assessment of additional needs EAL/SEN identification & Assessment Flow Chart11 Information and assessment form13 Observational Assessment of Stages of learning English16as an additional languageSection 3iSupport materials Guidance for Supporting Expressive Language Development21 References and further information26Identifying Children who have EAL and Special Educational Needs – September 2008Guidance for Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioners on Assessing and Supporting Young Children3

Section1: Learning EAL in the Early YearsSection 1Supporting Children who are learning English as an Additional LanguagePrinciplesStructure and StaffingFamily and CommunityThe Child’s Voice All children are entitled to equalaccess to the whole curriculum.Do we:Do we:Do we: Ensure we have structures andpractice that promotes general bestpractice in supporting and developingyoung children’s speech, languageand communication? Encourage parents that use of homelanguage will support their child’slearning, well-being and self imageand encourage them to continueusing it? Listen to child’s attempts atcommunication, encourage andattempt to ‘interpret’ what theyhave said? Ensure correct spelling andpronunciation of children’s andparents’ names? Encourage parents that the child’scontinued use of home language inthe setting will support their child’sdeveloping communication skills andlanguage, including English? Partnership with parents and carersis fundamental to a child’s learningand development. Learning and using more than onelanguage is an asset and is a learningopportunity for both children andadults in the setting. Good development of a child’s firstlanguage has a positive affect on thedevelopment of other languages. Children learn language in socialsituations, by interacting with adultsand other children.PractitionersDo we: Refer to ‘Best Practice to SupportYoung Children’s Developmentof Speech Language andCommunication’ and ensure thatthis is in place for children andfamilies for whom English is not theirfirst language? Ask on application form for homelanguage(s) and religious/culturalinformation and find out what sortof learning experiences the child hashad at home? Have in place systems to support staffin accessing interpreters etc? Offer a home visit where parents mayfeel more relaxed and able to talkabout their child’s strength, interestsas well as a full range of languageskills and experiences? Know what to do if the child’s languagedoes not develop or we are concernedabout the child’s development? Value language diversity andunderstand the importance of thedevelopment of the home language ina child’s learning, well being andpositive self image? Recognise that children new to Englishmay need additional adaptations tothe learning environment?4Identifying Children who have EAL and Special Educational Needs – September 2008 Provide positive imagery, ensuringchildren’s home languages andexperiences are reflected in thesettings resources, eg CDs, story tapesin the child’s first language, books inthe child’s first language, puzzles, roleplay resources, creative resources,pictures and posters? (When a childis new to learning English, do not mixthe languages too closely, eg readthe story through in the child’sfirst language then read it throughin English.) Allow children new to English someperiod of time when they may justlisten before they respond, whilst allthe time talking to them, observingand monitoring their progress. Silentperiods can vary in length, butit important that adults continueto talk and communicate with the child? Provide lots of experiences andactivities that promote languagethrough play, embedding languagein the actual and concrete? Plan for times when the child can beinvolved which require little or noEnglish – eg sharing out drinks atsnack time? Repeat key phrases in play, requestsand books to reinforce key messages? Offer activities to provide appropriatelearning opportunities thatchallenge children? Explore using multi-lingual staff andencourage parents from a rangeof linguistic backgrounds and culturesto come in and enrich the setting? If possible, use a buddy system,linking older children who may sharethe same language; allow childrento communicate in their first language? Record observations of all the child’scommunication skills, includingnon-verbal and other signsof understanding and keep languageprofile records involving regulardiscussion with parents? Offer support to access someactivities in the setting, eg wholegroup times, taking child to differentareas to play alongside them? Use lots of opportunities to modelnew experiences and expectations?Guidance for Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioners on Assessing and Supporting Young Children5

Section 1: Learning EAL in the Early YearsSection 1: Best Practice; Support MaterialBest Practice to Support Young Children’s Developmentof Speech, Language and Communication Welcome all children and parentsusing correct names, showing themaround the setting and encouragetime for parents to stay and settletheir children. Try and learn some key words in thechild’s language (see Language of themonth at: Create a learning environment thatcelebrates diversity and its richness. Ensure that children and parents canaccess and refer to a daily timetablewith pictures, which can help the childand family to become aware of theroutines and structures of the session. Encourage children to explore all areasof play and activities. Help children to feel safe and secureby use of gestures, smiles and supportin order to encourage the confidenceto ‘have a go’. Ensure familiar resources are availableto positively reflect children’s lifeexperiences and community/ethnic group. Use symbols, signs and gestureregularly to aid children’sunderstanding of spoken language. Use photographs to define particularactivity areas, eg photo of childpainting, and have boxes of toys andequipment clearly labelled with wordsand pictures depicting the content. Display key vocabulary to promptadults to use target words whenplaying alongside children.Do you as a practitioner:A Unique ChildEvery child is acompetent learnerfrom birth who canbe resilient, capable,confident andself assuredhave a thorough knowledge of childdevelopment and how children learn EAL?have a good picture of children’scommunication and language in theirhome language and English outsideof the setting?take account of the fact that somechildren will understand considerablymore language than they use?recognise and support the differentmethods of communication thatchildren use?recognise that some?children maybe shy and reserved but have morereceptive and expressive languagethan they are using?think about the language skills thatare involved in the activities you areproviding and ensure that all childrencan access them?PositiveRelationshipsChildren learnto be strong andindependent froma base of lovingand securerelationships withparents and/ora key personreflect on the communication methodsthat you use with parents and ensurethat they are appropriate?discuss children’s language andcommunication skills in English and theirhome language with parents?value and use the information thatparents contribute to their child’slearning record?demonstrate good listening skills andsupport children to develop their ownlistening skills?use specific words, signs or symbols toindicate to children that you want themto ‘listen’?give children time to respondto questions or have their turnin a conversation? Observe how the child communicatesand track progress with parents andstaff (see Section 2 Identification andassessment of additional needs). Play alongside, commenting on whatthe child is doing, using short simplesentences and limiting questions(See Section 3 Support materials). Speak at a pace the child/children areable to follow and always allowsufficient time for the child to thinkand respond. Ensure that books and stories sharedwith children have clear illustrationsand supported by props, eg puppets. Always allow time for a child toobserve other children/adults duringsessions, modelling resources thatmay be unfamiliar. Praise and encourage all attemptedcommunication both verbal andgesture and adapt and expandas appropriate.6Supporting children learning EAL: AuditAdapted from the IDP: Supporting children with speech, language and communication needsIdentifying Children who have EAL and Special Educational Needs – September 2008What do we want to develop?Guidance for Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioners on Assessing and Supporting Young Children7

Section 1: Best Practice; Support MaterialDo you as a practitioner:What do we want to develop?sensitively provide the correct form ofwords rather than correcting children?recast (repeat) what children have saidand extend the language?adapt your language to meet thechildren’s needs?ask open questions?value and acknowledge children’snon-verbal communicationsand reflect on your own non-verbalcommunication skills?EnablingEnvironmentsThe environmentplays a key rolein supportingand extendingchildren’sdevelopmentand learning8Section 1: Best Practice; Support Materialcarry out, record and analyseobservations of children’s developmentof EAL?discuss children’s progress with parents?take account of the environment,including noise levels, when planningactivities to ensure that it suitsthe needs of children learning EAL?ensure that you are aware of individualchildren’s needs and know howto support their languageand communication?use shared and consistent namesfor times in the day, story time, tidyup time, to help children to learnthe vocabulary and understandthe expectations?check that children haveunderstood instructions?use a visual timetable to help childrento understand the sequence of activities?use picture and written labels onresources to encourage independence?plan to meet children’s individuallanguage and communication needsduring the transition process intoand from your setting?Identifying Children who have EAL and Special Educational Needs – September 2008Do you as a practitioner:Learning andDevelopmentChildren developand learn indifferent waysand at differentrates and allareas of learningand developmentare equallyimportant andinterconnectedWhat do we want to develop?help children to build up a variedcollection of words that they can useand understand?sometimes give a running commentaryof the play children are involved in?create opportunities for children toexperience communicating for a widevariety of purposes and in creative ways?use a wide range of stories, rhymesand songs with children and supportthese with objects, actions and puppets?give children time to tell their ownstories, share their experiences or justtalk to each other?set up play activities, with appropriateequipment, linked to a story, givingchildren the opportunity to reinforcetheir learning in their play?support and challenge children’sthinking by getting involved in thethinking process with them?show genuine interest, offerencouragement, clarify ideas and askopen questions, which support andextend children’s thinking and help themto make connections in their learning?give children time to explore anddevelop their ideas, encourage themto discuss what they are doingand what they want to achieve?reflect on how you can make sustainedshared thinking work with childrenlearning EAL?plan the steps each child should bemaking and support their learning bybreaking down those steps in to smaller,achievable ones?record and analyse children’s progressand achievements in learning EAL?Guidance for Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioners on Assessing and Supporting Young Children9

Section 1: Best Practice; Support MaterialSection 2: Learning EAL in the Early YearsPeer observation prompts for childrenlearning EAL: adapted from TheInclusion Development Programme.Supporting children with speech,language and communication needs.pp.29-36Identification and assessmentof additional needs Do you give children time and space,to think and to respond? Do you speak slowly (but notunnaturally so) and clearly, repeatingimportant information as necessary? Do you try not to ask too manyquestions of children learning EAL? Do you give lots of praise each timechildren attempt to communicate? Do you provide the correct form ofwords sensitively, rather thancorrecting children directly? Do you provide the ‘social oil’ to showthat you are interested in keeping theconversation going, e.g. ‘Oh that’sinteresting, yes, mmm’? Do you ‘recast’ when talking withchildren – modelling the correct formand extending vocabulary? Do you observe what children areinterested in and model the keyvocabulary in these areas? Do you adapt your language to thechild’s needs? Do you follow the child’s lead andprovide a ‘running commentary’ onwhat they are doing? Do you ask open questions as well assome closed supportive questions? Do you value and respondto non-verbal communication? Do you give children choices if theyare reluctant to express preferences,e.g. ‘Do you want to play with thecars or the train set?’ Do you use ‘here and now talk’ aboutwhat is currently happening and keeptalk about the past or the futureto a minimum?10Identifying Children who have EAL and Special Educational Needs – September 2008Most children learning EAL will make good progress if best practiceprinciples and guidelines are in place. The following section will help youto assess all children’s progress in language and communication andidentify children who might need additional support in this area.The following forms should be used with all children learning EAL,alongside EYFS observational assessments, in the child’s first languageand in English, and the child progress record.The “Information and Assessment form” will help you to understand t

Supporting Children who are learning English as an Additional Language 4 Identifying Children who have EAL and Special Educational Needs – September 2008 Principles •All children are entitled to equal access to the whole curriculum. •Partnership with parents and carers is fundamental to a child’s learning and development. •Learning and using more than one language is an asset and is ...