At KH8 our specially designed EAL programme provides students with the opportunity to develop their skills, confidence and abilities in a fun, engaging and interactive student-centred classroom experience. The EAL team will endeavour to personalize the educational development of individual students as far as possible, through a focus on their goals, aspirations and strengths. We aim to promote a sense of possibility and culture of achievement across all the students' subjects, and into their lives beyond school.
EAL simple means 'English as an Additional Language'. This term is used because many students in international schools are multilingual and they are adding English to the languages they already speak. The department recognises the importance of multilingualism in our understanding and appreciation of our students, their linguistic abilities, culture and backgrounds. We seek to celebrate the diverse countries and cultures we find represented at KH8! Learning any language is a cultural as well as linguistic journey, and along the way we will broaden our understanding of what it means to communicate in English, in the twenty first century.
At KH8 we understand that English, as a global 'lingua franca', is used internationally in different ways, such as in specific jobs, roles or academic contexts in schools for example, in order to help fulfil purposeful goals, such as passing exams and accessing new opportunities; it may also be used for cultural and social pursuits, like travelling the world and making new friends. In learning through Cambridge's 'Global' English curriculum we will encounter different ways that English language is used in a wide variety of situations and real-world contexts, in order to make the learning as meaningful as possible for students. The aim is to provide students with the experience of learning English that will be most useful for their lives as members of a modern international community.
KH8 adheres to the Cambridge (UK) curriculum, which emphasises the special features of British English. This is the type of English used in KH8 for academic purposes. British English forms the basis of the whole KH8 school curricula and as such it occupies a special role across the EAL curricula too, such as in the taught vocabulary spelling, syntax, idioms and expressions, as well as in academic expectations, such as written language, form and structure. Most of the teaching and learning resources and materials will be designed around the British form of English, whilst emphasising the 'global' nature of English a communication tool.
Learning a language, especially in an academic context, takes time. In practice it probably takes 5-7 years for an EAL child to close the gap on their native or bilingual peers. This is because EAL students are always chasing a moving target. As their level increases so does the demand of their subjects and the level of vocabulary and writing that is required to be successful. EAL learners are not only learning English, but also their subject content in English. This places a high demand on them and it is why progress can be slow. It is not the same as learning English in a language school!
The EAL department is set up to support your child during their language development. We are there at the start when they may be just beginning. We help them make that bridge to mainstream, but also provide support in subject classes when needed. In addition, we provide training and professional development for subject teachers so they are better equipped to support EAL students in their classes. It's a long journey, but with the right kind of support your child will make it to their destination.