- 24 Sep 2020 2:04 PM
Both the EAL department and subject teachers monitor the progress of pupils in the EAL program. This enables us to concentrate on each student’s specific needs and weaknesses so they may join the mainstream classes as soon as possible.
We asked Head of ISB’s EAL Department Christie Takacs and EAL Teacher Réka Kabelács-Balanyi how the program works.
Who is an EAL student?
A child who is a complete beginner in English, a student with some experience in English but who is not yet fluent and has not yet reached social proficiency level or a student who speaks English fairly fluently but is not yet achieving his or her full academic potential in an English-speaking environment.
How do you decide which student needs what level of support?
As a Cambridge International School, part of the application process to ISB is completing a computer-based Cambridge English Placement Test and a personal interview with the relevant Vice Principal and a member of the EAL Department.
Should there be any concerns or issues raised by class teachers or parents after attending lessons, there is a discussion among the EAL Department, the class teachers and the section Vice Principal to agree on further steps.
What methods do you use during EAL classes? How many students participate in each lesson?
The main types of EAL support are so-called pull-out lessons, with a maximum of 8 students, though it is typically 4-6 students, where we take students out of English Language and Literature lessons and teach them English at their level and with more focused attention from the EAL teacher. The second type of EAL support are so-called push-in lessons where an EAL teacher joins 1-4 students in regular classes and helps them keep up with the others. The EAL teacher acts as a teaching assistant just for the EAL students in the class.
EAL teachers and students maximise the use of technology in and outside of the classroom to make learning more accessible and interactive for students and to build up their confidence. EAL teachers have experience with digital learning environments that enable students to enjoy not only the actual lessons but also the homework.
How do you measure students’ progress?
We follow an assessment framework that measures students’ progress in all four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Additionally, we give Cambridge placement tests throughout the semester and monitor the students during classes. All teachers comment on EAL students' progress and classwork. EAL is not graded, but success is based on attitude and ability to participate fully in mainstream classes.
When can an EAL student leave the program? What are the conditions?
Students need to reach a certain level of competence in written and oral English in order to return to mainstream classes. These levels are determined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR or CEFRL).
With the approval of all teachers, EAL department, and the Vice Principal, EAL students are returned to mainstream classes at the beginning of any semester.
For more information please visit: https://isb.hu/eal.php