At Citipointe Christian College (CCC), approximately 1 in 4 students in Years Prep to 6 will not be native, English language learners. These students, being possibly bi-lingual or multi-lingual, will have English as a language in addition to their home language or languages. The English as an Additional Language (EAL) teachers develop EAL programs in the four macro-skills of English – Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. At CCC, these EAL programs reflect consideration of each year level’s academic objectives.
The process for entry into these programs is as follows: upon enrolment at CCC, new EAL students in Years 1 to 6 will have a general English language review according to the national standards Bandscales, produced by the National Languages and Literacy Institute Australia (NLLIA), for Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. For the Prep students this will be a slightly different process – after 6 or 12 months of English language immersion in their mainstream class, Preps will be reviewed at the end of either Semester One or Two. Following these assessments and reviews, students may be recommended to be supported in a variety of ways.
Firstly, some students, who are beginners in use of academic and social English in the school setting, may be recommended to attend an Intensive English program of up to 9 lessons of EAL per week, for up to four terms. This alternative program, presented in small groups, focusses on development of foundational English language skills, use and knowledge.
Secondly, others who are intermediate to near native English language users in the playground and in their mainstream classes, may be recommended for up to 4 focused English lessons per week. These students will attend one lesson each of Listening, Speaking, Reading and/or Writing. In all of these classes, the students will be taught in a withdrawal program, in small groups.
Finally, current, CCC, EAL support initiatives include a ‘Fill the Gaps’ program for individual, middle and upper primary school students. These students’ enrolment timing means they may benefit from additional and foundational phonics and reading comprehension or oral reading work. The students are supported weekly by a teacher aide in short, one-to-one sessions.
Twice yearly, included as part of their child’s class, Semester, progress report, parents of EAL students will also receive an EAL progress report according to the Bandscale Levels 1 to 7, developed by NLLIA. In addition, students are monitored for twelve months or more, once they leave the EAL program. This is to ensure students exiting the program, transition successfully to the demands of the mainstream classroom academically and socially, when they no longer have direct EAL teacher support. Similarly, EAL regularly liaise with the Student Support Department and Learning Extension staff where necessary and report back to class teachers, regarding EAL individual students.