In Years 7–11, students study EAL for a minimum of two hours per week in small class groups. This increases to 3 hours per week in Years 12 and 13. Skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking are developed through a variety of topics which students at this stage can relate to. A wide variety of teaching materials are used, including clips from television and radio programmes, DVDs, articles from newspapers, magazines and books, material from the internet, music, etc. As well as studying and improving their language, EAL students also learn about life in Britain and British culture.
The Cambridge ESOL examinations are taken in the Trinity Term – May / June. Students are entered for the examination commensurate with their English language ability and our success rate is high. While the Key English Test for Schools and Preliminary English Test for Schools are usually easily attained at the end of one year of study, two years of preparation are generally necessary for the First Certificate in English and Certificate in Advanced English examinations, where 60% is required for a pass. Some students, however, prefer to sit these examinations after only one year of study, but it is possible to retake after another year if their result falls short of a pass. IGCSE English as a Second Language is available as an alternative to GCSE English.
Every year, the EAL department runs two cultural visits per term to encourage our overseas students to have a greater awareness of the country they are living in. Fortunately, the school is located near to London and we are able to make the most of some of the wonderful cultural opportunities that being near to the capital affords, for example watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, or visiting The Tate Modern. However, we also try to ensure that our students visit other places in our area that show our heritage, for example, stately homes and castles etc.
Visits for 2014-15 included a trip to The Tower of London, The BBC Television Centre, The National History Museum, Cambridge, Southend-on-Sea, The British Museum and The Shard.
Head of Department
Mrs C Edmunds, BA (Soton), PGCE (Soton), DELTA (Cam)