School Calendar
February  2018
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postheadericon English as an Additional Language Policy



Content of policy:

The policy is addressed under the following headings in compliance with legal requirements and good practice as set out in Circular 0053/2000


(1)        Role of the language support teacher

(2)        Collaboration between the language support teacher and the class teacher

(3)        Organisation of Language Support

(4)        Identification of pupils requiring language support

(5)        Assessment of language proficiency

(6)        Programme Planning

(7)        Recording and monitoring of pupils’ progress

(8)        Individual teachers’ planning and reporting



1)    Role of the Language Support Teacher:

v  Giving the children social/conversational language

v  Giving the children academic language fluency (accessing the curriculum and socialising with peers and with the school community)

v  Co-ordinating annual intercultural events (usually around the European week/day against racism

v  Providing information to teachers on intercultural matters from time to time


2.  Collaboration between the language support teacher and the class teacher:

  • Collaboration between the language support teachers and the classroom teachers takes place informally from time to time during the school week.
  • Teachers are encouraged to consult EAL teachers regarding curricular support
  • Teachers on occasion consult EAL teachers regarding upcoming assessments in the classroom
  • Teachers occasionally make EAL teachers aware of upcoming work/projects/themes in the classroom
  • Class teachers keep language support informed of EAL students’ progress/reactions/integration in classroom – usually verbal but happens regularly
  • Language Support Teachers are aware of the feedback from class teacher forms that are available in Up and Away (pg.s 22 and 23) and will use these where suitable/necessary.
  • Class teachers given a copy of the thirteen themes raising their awareness of these themes and how they connect to the curriculum in general
  • EAL teachers will use the same Language for RSE ( e.g. body parts) as class room teachers
  • Classroom and EAL teachers consult on a weekly basis regarding areas where EAL can support the work being done in the classroom (e.g. Phonics, vocabulary, letter formation)
  • Classroom and EAL teachers exchange English Termly Plans


3. Organisation of Language Support in this school:

Support for EAL students is organised on a withdrawal model. Students are grouped  according to their needs e.g. age, ability, language ability etc. English reading support with a focus on comprehension and vocabulary is provided as a follow on support for students at later stages of language development who may have completed their specific period of EAL support. Language support sessions range from 30mins to 50 minutes depending on the age and stage of the students. Sessions are co-ordinated so that there is minimal disruption to classroom activities.


4. Identification of pupils requiring language support and assessment of the language proficiency of pupils for whom English is an additional language:

The BIAP is used, in communication with parents during an interview with parents and their children for all infants entering the school. In the case of EAL students additional information regarding language in the home, reading materials in the home,  etc. is gathered. Once children are in the school for a short period communication between the language support teachers and the classroom teacher further establishes the student’s needs in relation to language support. All new International students to the school are assessed using the PSAK during the first term in school. Tests are administered before the Parent-Teacher Meetings which are normally held in November.

For students who come in at a later stage, information on their prior learning is gathered from their parents and from their previous school if possible. Where this is not possible as much information as possible is gathered from their parents/carers. The PSAK Placement tests (Set 1) are used to establish the student’s proficiency in relation to the language proficiency benchmarks.

The thirteen themes from Integrate Ireland Language and Training form the basis for instruction in EAL. The first two themes, ‘Myself’, ‘Our School’ are covered with  students each year and the other themes are rotated from year to year. Currently EAL teachers use Super Me 1&2 (Oxford Press) to complement the Junior and Senior Infant Programme.  The Way Ahead Series 1-6 (MacMillan) is used from First through Sixth Classes.


5. Assessment of Language Proficiency


The Primary School Assessment Kit


The PSAK is administered in November and April/May.

The results are used to inform planning, teaching and evaluating pupil progress.

Test results will also be used as evidence of need for further support in cases where a student has already had two years of language support.

Standardised tests will be used in all cases except where the student’s level of English is such that attempting such a test would be inappropriate or would cause undue distress.


Other methods of assessment are as follows:

  • Teacher observation
  • Teacher designed tasks and tests
  • Portfolios/folders of work
  • Theme based evaluation forms/checklists
  • Questioning (oral)


Parents attend parent teacher meetings in the first term. The suggestion that a translator (adult) be brought along to the meeting is made in cases where there is a significant language barrier. Every teacher in the school is familiar with the report cards in the ‘Up and Away’ with visuals to aid understanding and the use of these is encouraged. Samples of children’s work are viewed by the parents at parent teacher meetings.


6. Programme Planning


  • The English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and the thirteen Units of Work underpin all EAL instruction.
  • The timetable is drawn up in consultation with the Classroom teacher and Learning Support to facilitate the most efficient use of time.
  • Programmes of work are devised in consultation with the Class Teacher.
  • EAL teachers constantly research the most up-to-date resources available.  Resources reflect diversity in culture, language and customs.
  • Resources are listed in the Termly Plan.


 7. Recording and monitoring of pupils’ progress.

Pupils progress is monitored using the following:

  • PSAK results
  • Checklists
  • Way Ahead Test results
  • Super Me evaluation sheets
  • Pupils’ folders
  • Teacher-devised tasks and tests


    8. Individual teacher planning and reporting

 EAL teachers plan together on a weekly basis in consultation with classroom teachers.  Our planning includes Termly Plans and weekly plans.  Monthly progress reports are kept on file in the office and in the Teacher’s folder.


Success Criteria

  • Closer correlation between work done in the language support room and work on curricular areas in the classrooms.
  • Increased evidence of socialisation of EAL students with their peers and within the school community in general
  • Ongoing and expanding engagement with the Primary School Assessment Kit



Roles and Responsibilities

The policy will be implemented through the co-operation and engagement of all members of staff.  Language support teachers will:


  • Purchase, maintain and store EAL materials
  • Attend EAL workshops as they become available
  • Inform Class Teachers of resources and materials used in EAL


Timeframe and responsibility for ReviewThis plan will be reviewed by all staff at regular intervals.  
Ratification and Communication This Policy will be communicated to all relevant parties. 

Ratified by the Board of Management on __________________________


Signed:  ____________________________________________________

Chairperson, BOM

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