Trentham School is lucky enough to have language learners from many diverse cultural and language backgrounds. We provide extra support for students who speak other languages in addition to English. This support is provided by teachers in small groups or as in-class support. The Ministry of Education provides funding for the school to offer English language programmes to students who have English as an additional language to help them reach the academic level of their peers.
The students are taught using The English Language Learning Progressions (ELLP) which outlines the learning stages of English language learners. It covers Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.
Language can be seen as having two major aspects: social language and academic language:
- Social language is for communicating in interpersonal contexts and can be either spoken or written. It may take place at school (in social exchanges in and out of the classroom) or outside school. It may include “functional language”, which is used for buying something at a shop, making an appointment, getting information, and so on.
- Academic language is for learning and communicating in educational contexts. It can be either spoken or written, and its main purpose at school is for learning within the curriculum.
Initially our focus is on the student’s social language which then moves to academic language as their English language improves.
Barbara Waller is the ESOL teacher at Trentham School.