With over twenty five languages spoken at Addeys and all world continents represented, Addeys truly is a cosmopolitan educational establishment. Culturally rich and diverse, our student population is a fertile learning ground that has great potential.
Increasing and improving the profile of our language diversity and EAL student population, increases sensitivity to issues that matter in our community. It is vital that our students see their bilingual abilities as great skills and their cross cultural knowledge and experience as grounded maturity, a strong foundation from which to construct their future education and employment.
EAL students make up 39% of our student population. Staff have an informed approach to lesson delivery to ensure that bilingual and new arrival students can understand objectives and increase literacy levels is at the centre of improvement for EAL students.
The expression of our EAL student population through the arts, accreditation of language skills at GCSE, and the student voice through the Student Council are areas of strength and ones that we nurture and value highly.
New arrivals are top priority at Addeys. A six week intensive English language programme of work is provided for students who have little or no English when arriving at the school. The four skill areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing are developed within an interactive learning environment where students gain practical experience. This programme is essential in providing a basic toolkit so students can begin to access the full curriculum.
Students from all year groups attend lessons together in small groups. This ‘vertical curriculum’ allows students to interact, demonstrate and mentor each other in their journey to English proficiency. For withdrawal from lessons, care is taken to group students based on their ability levels and to ensure that English based lessons are linked to topics covered in the wider curriculum. An emphasis is put on learning correct grammar and building skills for extended writing.
There are dictionaries that cover almost all of the 25 languages spoken at Addeys and these are available to students to use at any time. We also have a rich resource base covering all four skill areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing with access to e-learning facilities and software.
As EAL students have a disadvantage when it comes to exams, controlled tests and coursework, any student who struggles with English is provided with direct assistance in all subject areas by the EAL coordinator. This mentoring ensures EAL students are organised and aware of their school work commitments and deadlines. Language assistance is always available for GCSE students and after school sessions provide extra-curricular time for such students.
Community language exams provide our EAL students with the chance to gain accreditation in their first language. This really is at the heart of our ethos in EAL as we seek to raise the profile of community languages and instil in our students the importance and value of our first languages and our ethnic diversity. Using the ASSET examination framework we are able to provide examinations in the following languages:
Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Cornish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu, Welsh and Yoruba.
All students who speak another language are tested and guided toward achieving a GCSE level language qualification before they leave Addeys.
We are keen to promote the use of all the languages that our students speak. For several years now we have had a very successful project enabling students to do a GCSE in their home language.
In addition for a number of other languages (including Yoruba, Swedish and Tamil, for example) it is now also possible for students to achieve qualifications in the new Asset Languages scheme. These can be taken in any of the key areas (speaking, listening, reading, writing) and can count the same as a GCSE result or higher.