Guidance For Early Years Practitioners On Supporting . PDF

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Guidance for Early Yearspractitioners on supportingchildren learning English as anAdditional Language (EAL).August 2017

ContentsIntroduction. 2How do we know if a child is EAL? . 2Definitions of EAL . 2Principles and Best Practice . 3Practitioners and Learning . 4Statutory requirements in the Early Years . 7The Characteristics of Effective Learning . 9UN convention on the Rights of the Child . 10Assessment of education provision . 11Strategies for supporting/developing communication in English . 13Appendix 1Observations of EAL and suggested Practitioner Strategies . 14School EAL proficiency requirements new codes . 17How to identify and support EAL learners with Special Educational Needs . 18Appendix 2Case studies. 20Ofsted inspection quotes and improvement needed quotes . 20Frequently asked questions. 21Books for EAL Learner . 22Games for Early Years EAL Learners . 23Useful links/references . 241

IntroductionWe can do a lot to support children who are learning EAL in our Early Years settings. These daysthere are many instances of bilingualism and multilingualism within our settings, and it is our job tosupport these children in communicating effectively with adults and peers, and to ensure they areprogressing well within all areas of learning. At present, data shows that children with EAL underperform in the EYFSP compared with children whose first language is English. We therefore needto follow the specific guidance in the EYFS:“1.8 for children whose home language is not English, providers must take reasonable steps toprovide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning,supporting their language development at home. Providers must also ensure that children havesufficient opportunities to learn and reach a good standard in English language during the EYFS,ensuring children are ready to benefit from the opportunities available to them when they beginYear 1. When assessing communication, language and literacy skills, practitioners must assesschildren’s skills in English. If a child does not have a strong grasp of English language,practitioners must explore the child’s skills in the home language with parents and/or carers, toestablish whether there is cause for concern about language delay.”How do we know if a child is EAL?Below are official definitions of EAL by the DFE and OFSTED, accompanied by guidance as tointerpret them. If you consider a child to be EAL, then you must record their home language codeon the school census (see appendix 2)EAL - The Department of Education definitionA pupil’s first language is defined as any language other than English that a child was exposed toduring early development and continues to be exposed to in the home or community. If a child wasexposed to more than one language (which may include English) during early development, alanguage other than English should be recorded, irrespective of the child’s proficiency in English.EAL - The Ofsted definitionEnglish as an additional language (EAL) refers to learners whose first language is not English.These definitions therefore cover the following: Pupils arriving from other countries and whose first language is not EnglishPupils who have lived in the UK for a long time and may appear to be fluent, but who alsospeak another language at home. These pupils are often not entirely fluent in terms of theirliteracy levels.Pupils who have been born in the UK, but for whom the home language is not English (e.g.Bengali children who are born in the UK, but arrive at school with very little English due tohaving spoken only Bengali at home and within the community)Pupils who have a parent who speaks a language other than English and the childcommunicates with in that language (ie. bi-lingual children)It is important therefore to recognise that: Children who have British citizenship can still be EAL. If parents write on their child’s admission form that the child speaks English as a firstlanguage, when it is clear that one or both of these parents is a speaker of anotherlanguage, the child is very likely in fact to be EAL, and it will be necessary to check this.2

Principles and Best PracticeThe following best practice principles and guidelines will support all children's developing speech,language and communication skills. The strategies you should provide for all children will alsosupport children learning EAL: All children are entitled to equal access to the whole curriculum.Learning and using more than one language is an asset, and is a learning opportunity forboth children and adults in the setting.Good development of a child's first language has a positive effect on the development ofother languages.An atmosphere where being able to speak other languages should be truly valued as apositive skill.The use of stories, books, rhymes and songs are a vital part of worldwide cultural andlinguistic heritage.3

Practitioners and LearningThings to consider:Practice and provision:Do we? Ensure we have structures and practice that promotes general best practice in supportingand developing young children's speech, language and communication? Ask on our application form for home languages and religious cultural information, and findout what sort of learning experiences the child has at home? Ensure correct spelling and pronunciation of children's and parents' names? Offer a home visit where parents may feel more relaxed and able to talk about their child'sstrength and interests, as well as a full range of language skills and experiences? If possible, assess a child in their first language, and involve the parents in the assessmentprocess? Do we value children's first language in print, and children's early attempts in mark makingin different scripts? Recognise that children new to English may need additional adaptations to the learningenvironment (PECS, visual timetable, signing)? Support staff to find resources, and to find interpreters to support children and families withEAL? (eg; google translate for newsletters/information, link with language schools, or otherfamilies with the same language). Provide lots of experiences and activities that promote language through play, embeddinglanguage in the actual and concrete? Ensure children learn language in social situations by interacting with adults and otherchildren? Offer differentiated and challenging play activities to support language development(storytelling with props)? Provide positive imagery ensuring children's home languages and experiences are reflectedin the settings resources in order to develop a child's well-being and positive self-image?The child:Children with EAL might have to learn: A new set of sounds and sound groupings New intonation patterns A new script or alphabet A new set of sound symbol relationships New vocabulary New grammar New non-verbal signals New rules about social conventions and language Ability to relate to people and express feelings and emotions in a new languageDo we? Allow children new to English some period of time when they may just listen before theyrespond, whilst all the time talking to them, observing and monitoring their progress?Understanding is almost always in advance of spoken language; it is important that childrenshould not feel pressurised to speak until they feel confident to do so. It is essential thatadults continue to talk to the children, respond to their non-verbal responses and involvethem in all aspect of the Early Years setting. Plan for children to be included in smaller groups which include children who are fluentEnglish speakers?4

Plan for times when the child can be involved which require little or no English e.g. givingout snacks or drinks at snack time?Listen to a child's attempts at communication, and encourage and attempt to interpret whatthey said?Ensure children know survival language? e.g. toilet, hello, goodbye, yes, no, drink, unwell.Ensure ALL children have access to all adults (teacher, bilingual workers etc)Constantly model language in a variety of situations (formal and informal) and give arunning commentary during activities, to support children’s understanding and access toappropriate vocabulary.Praise ANY attempt by the child to join in conversations (non-verbal, verbal - and givecorrect words).Explain social contexts to children in their own language (through interpreters) so that theyfeel comfortable with routines and cultural differences when they start at the setting.The Family:Do we? Ensure the family still use the home language regularly so that they support their child’slearning, well-being and self- image, as well as their developing communication skills inboth languages. Ensure that parents and families are involved in the setting, community, and share theirculture and language with the setting (use bilingual skills for story-telling, labelling, sharinginformation and artefacts/skills). Encourage the sharing of bilingual books between settings and home. Sharing songs andrhymes in home languages reinforces similarities in patterns of languages, and fostershome to settings links. Parents and bilingual staff can help translate favourites such as“twinkle, twinkle, little star” and “heads, shoulders, knees and toes” as well as sharingtraditional rhymes and songs. Link older siblings so that younger children still have access to their home language withinthe setting (translation). Provide them with information – times, attendance, holidays, lunch/snack, policies,home/setting links – and know that they understand this information. Celebrate our children’s families festivals Know about family customs, religion, dress code Ensure we know the pronunciation and spelling of family names. Ensure we have an effective method of communication with the family Use the family to gain information to help the child settle – likes/dislikes, routine,strengths/weaknesses (All about me) Show properly that they are welcome, and make just as much time for them as we do forEnglish speaking families. Ensure parents are given information/made aware of all grant entitlements (NEF, 2yr oldfunding etc. )The Key Person:Do we? Explain what the key person system is, and the benefits of it, to parents Learn some key words in the child’s home language to demonstrate we value it. Ensure we are aware of any cultural differences, festivals or food requirements of thefamily/child, including different languages spoken/known etc, and by spending time with thefamily, getting to know them, and recording any pertinent information on the applicationform.5

Regularly keep parents informed about the child in the setting – progress, likes, dislikes,interests, skills etc. by keeping strong setting/home links.Spend time modelling language and supporting the child to progress with communicationand language skillsOffer a home visit where parents may feel more relaxed and able to talk about their child’sstrengths and interests, as well as finding out their full range of language skills andexperiences.Have an open door policy where parents are welcome to spend time in the setting whenthey want to.Track language development and know what to do if the child’s language does not develop,or we are concerned about the child’s general developmentRecord observations of all the child's communication skills, including non-verbal and othersigns of understanding, and keep language profile records involving regular discussionswith parents.Use lots of opportunities to model new experiences and expectations.Track children's progress and attainment and put in interventions if needed. Ensure wediscuss concerns about children's learning with managers during supervision meetings. Ifconcerns are valid we liaise closely with the family/parents and other professionals.Inform all other practitioners in the setting our plan for supporting particular children withEAL.6

Statutory requirements in the Early Years.Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Guidance 2017 states that:Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil theirpotential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth andage five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood isimportant in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide thefoundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes inEarly Years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experiencea rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; andto speak and listen in a range of situations. Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active andinteractive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also behelped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation tofood. Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positivesense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; todevelop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviourin groups; and to have confidence in their own abi

language and communication skills. The strategies you should provide for all children will also support children learning EAL: • All children are entitled to equal access to the whole curriculum. • Learning and using more than one language is an asset, and is a learning opportunity for both children and adults in the setting.