The EAL programmes at RIS are dedicated to optimising individual learning and potential for students who are learning English for the first time or not yet proficient in English. Students in need of EAL services are identified through admissions at entrance. Homeroom teachers also help identify EAL children and their ability through observations in the first few weeks when the child enters the school.
To provide the appropriate support to these children, after the entrance tests and observations, another test is given to ascertain the child’s strengths and areas for development. They are then classified into three different types of EAL learners. The following is a very brief summary of our EAL learners:
1) EAL Learners - They have just started to learn English and need a lot of support in increasing their communicative competence.
2) EAL B Learners - EAL Basic users. Their communicative competence is better than EAL children as some may have already been learning for 6 months to a year. They still need support, especially in reading and writing.
3) EAL Learners - EAL Independent Users. Their English is as good or almost as good as their first language.
EAL children will receive 3 forty-minute lessons by EAL support teachers in a programme called English Language Support (ELS). Individuals or small groups are taught English using EAL pedagogy. This is intensive EAL support aimed at accelerating acquisition.
EAL B children are placed into the YLE, KET or PET preparation programme depending on their year. These are Cambridge EAL language test preparation classes taught by the Homeroom teachers. These class sizes are very small as the lessons are taught while the other children, who are proficient in English, are taught either French or Mandarin in another classroom.
EAL and EAL B children are taught from both the Cambridge Primary/Secondary Curriculum as well as the Cambridge Primary/Secondary English as a Second Language Curriculum. The aim is to increase their communicative competence and develop their reading and writing skills so they can access the main curriculums and communicate with their peers and teachers.
EAL children are assessed regularly through both formative and summative assessments to inform planning and set targets. A baseline test is given at the start of the year followed by four summative assessments. A banding of 1-9 as well as a colour code is used to monitor the children’s progression and attainment.
The School offers externally marked Cambridge YLE/KET/PET exams, which are great at motivating the children to learn; as they have an award ceremony at the end of the year where they receive certificates for their achievement. EAL support teachers run after school activities for EAL children as an extra booster class to help speed up English acquisition.