We are a truly global school here at Magdalen Gates Primary School, speaking over 23 languages. We are very proud of this and we celebrate all the different languages and cultures that make us so special.
EAL – The Department of Education definition
A pupil’s first language is defined as any language other than English that a child was exposed to during early development and continues to be exposed to in the home or community. If a child was exposed to more than one language (which may include English) during early development, a language other than English should be recorded, irrespective of the child’s proficiency in English.
EAL – The Ofsted definition
English as an additional language (EAL) refers to learners whose first language is not English. These definitions therefore cover the following:
- Pupils arriving from other countries and whose first language is not English.
- Pupils who have lived in the UK for a long time and may appear to be fluent, but who also speak another language at home. These pupils are often not entirely fluent in terms of their literacy levels.
- Pupils who have been born in the UK, but for whom the home language is not English (e.g. Bengali children who are born in the UK, but arrive at school with very little English due to having spoken only Bengali at home and within the community)
- Pupils who have a parent who speaks a language other than English and the child communicates with in that language (ie. bi-lingual children)
It is important therefore to recognise that:
- Children who have British citizenship can still be EAL.
- If parents write on their child’s admission form that the child speaks English as a first language, when it is clear that one or both of these parents is a speaker of another language, the child is very likely in fact to be EAL, and it will be necessary to check this.
If you have any questions about these definitions or if you think your child should be recorded as EAL, please contact Sally Lynn via the school office