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Chawson First School

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English as an Additional Language


What is EAL?


English as an Additional Language (EAL) recognises that many pupils learning English already know more than one other language and are adding English to their repertoire. EAL can be broken down into early stage learners and advanced learners of EAL.


Early stage learners are pupils who are at the earlier stages of learning EAL. This is often used interchangeably with ‘new arrivals’ or ‘beginners in English’.

Advanced learners of EAL are pupils who have had considerable exposure to English and no longer in the early stages of acquiring the language.


It should not be assumed that an EAL learner has a SEN in cognition and learning unless their progress is notably slower or markedly different than for similar pupils.

The SEN Code of Practice (DfES, 2001) makes this clear by stating:

“Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.”