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Aims & Philosophy of the EAL Department

The English as an Additional Language department at QM exists to support girls in their individual learning at the School. By collecting information about the girls’ educational, linguistic and social background – including length of time in the UK, literacy skills, languages used at home, ethnicity and religion – the department is able to provide bespoke learning programmes to help each meet their goals. To this end, the department supports and encourages the integration of all EAL girls into the School but ensuring they have the linguistic skills to access what is being taught in mainstream and enrichment classes. This is also done by promoting awareness of issues that particularly affect EAL girls throughout the School. By maintaining a strong sense of cultural origin, the department is able to promote ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity. Examples include within the curriculum, through Chapel and Assemblies, during the celebration of international festivals and by supporting the work of the International Council and International Society.

What makes the EDL Department unique from those at other schools? 

The department considers an individual approach to be a major factor in securing adjustment and integration into the boarding school life for many EAL girls. Lessons are therefore small group sessions, with some individual sessions where necessary and/or possible.

All programmes are individualised. Some girls require individual tuition; others participate better in small groups and work towards specific examinations. EAL timetables are often adjusted and reviewed throughout the year as girls’ needs change with their progress or lack of it. In their first EAL lesson, all new EAL girls receive induction designed to ease them into the new environment.  Support for EAL girls can take several forms and are specific to the girls themselves. Support may take any or all of the following forms depending on girls’ needs:

The development of vocabulary, grammar skills, writing, reading, pronunciation & spoken fluency and listening skills, through a variety of activities including games, conversations, CDs, workbooks, language course books, ICT technologies etc.

Language support and study skills to enable a girl to make progress in a specific subject, e.g. through vocabulary development that is specific to a subject.

Tuition for internationally recognised EAL qualifications, such as IELTS (necessary for university entries), University of Cambridge examinations such as PET, FCE and CAE; IGCSE in English as a Second Language for girls whose level of English prevents them from gaining the GCSE in English Literature and English Language. Sitting these qualifications also helps to set measurable goals and measure girls’ progress through standardized tests.

The EAL department also supports the School’s aim of promoting integration of home and international girls through enrichment activities such as the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, Spanish El Carnival, Chinese New Year, International Gourmet Society, Language Exchange Suppers and International Exchanges.