Due to the diverse nature of Addis Ababa, a sizeable portion of our students speak English as an additional language. To address this, we ensure that all EAL learners undertake an EAL assessment. Students are prioritized based upon their needs and offered either in-class or pull-out support. Teachers adapt their lessons to the needs of EAL learners. By following EAL learning strategies, teachers can help EAL students reach their educational potential and play a positive part in school life, the community and society as a whole. The potential among EAL learners for bilingualism is particularly important, as it increases mental ability such as problem-solving, creativity, and memorisation. Teachers therefore consider the role of learners’ first language and are aware that the acquisition of a new language goes hand-in-hand with cognitive and academic development. In meeting the needs of EAL learners teachers:
- Use more visuals in the form of pictures, photographs, and so on, to help learners make sense of new information.
- Use graphic organisers such as tables or grids to help learners organise their thinking.
- Develop interactive and collaborative teaching and learning styles and activities.
- Think about the language demands of the curriculum (oral and written) and provide models, exemplars and supportive frameworks for learning and understanding.
- Use drama and role play to make learning memorable and encourage empathy.
- Get learners to work with partners or in small groups using the language for a specific purpose rather than out of context.
- Maintain and develop learners’ first language alongside improving their English.
- Provide opportunities to talk before writing and use drills to help learners memorise new language.
- Support language development through key phrases and structures rather than key words.