Children who have English as an additional language (EAL) may struggle to acquire English, especially in busy classrooms. Guidance says that Children with EAL need two years of exposure to English before they are expected to be producing age appropriate English. Teachers and parents can be proactive with speech and language enhancing strategies. Here are some top tips for supporting language development.
- Pre-teach new vocabulary.
- Use symbol/photo and gestures to support language.
- Give children as many ‘real’ experiences so they can hook words onto objects/experiences that give meaning.
- Sit EAL child next to a more able child where possible.
- Repeat instructions in short sentences with the key words stressed i.e. give me the book.
- Provide running commentary when the child is playing or working.
- Use dual language books where possible.
- Provide the correct model of language where an error has occurred.
- Provide lots of play opportunities.