English as an Additional Language (EAL)
EAL is offered as a support subject to students who do not have English as their mother tongue. Students are withdrawn from timetabled subjects for this support. The students are often exempt from Irish and are therefore withdrawn from this subject, so they do not need to miss any of their timetabled classes.
Students can take English Proficiency examinations and receive one of the CambridgeUniversity English Certificatessuch as the Key English Test (KET), the Preliminary English Test (PET) or the First Cambridge English Test (FCE). These are globally recognised qualifications which are very useful when applying for third level college, training or apprenticeships, and employment in any sector. Some third level institutions require that students who do not have English as their first language take one of these proficiency exams.
Students who have little or no English are given intense English classes to meet their individual needs and are therefore withdrawn from as many classes as possible until they are able to cope with the language. They are not withdrawn from practical classes such as woodwork, art and physical education.
Instruction given includes the four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Apart from beginner English, course books for the relevant Cambridge Certificates listed above are followed – KET, PET and FCE course books for schools. Beginners follow the ‘English in Mind’ student’s starter book which is specifically written for teenagers.
As EAL is primarily offered as a support subject, the majority of the material for these classes is taken from Junior Certificate or Leaving Certificate course books. The material uses key words from each subject area to teach English grammar structures, tenses, and specific vocabulary. It was designed and written at Trinity College, Dublin and is available on their English language support website with links to all subject areas both at Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate levels. www.elsp.ie
Students can use the material and work independently online by following the links to the exam level, the subject and the modules within each subject. There is a key at the end of each work booklet with answers.
Cirriculum Review through Polish and English Languages
This year, for the first time, Polish students at Riversdale Community College, were invited to participate in a new programme that County Dublin VEC is developing, in order to assist Polish-speaking students with their school studies.
A Polish-speaking tutor was provided to assist a group of Polish students in reviewing some of their ordinary schoolwork. The review took place, (through both the Polish and the English language), on Wednesday afternoons during the spring and summer school terms.
The programme took place in Luttrellstown Community College, in Blanchardstown village. Polish-speaking students from Luttrellstown Community College, Riversdale Community College, Castleknock Community College, and Coláiste Setanta, were all invited to take part in the programme.
This was an great opportunity for students from Poland to have part of the school curriculum reviewed through both Polish and English. It is believed to be important for students to review the curriculum through their first language as well as the new language, if they wish to improve their understanding of school subjects. This also provides them with an opportunity to continue to develop an academic vocabulary in their mother tongue which is important if they hope to take Polish as a school subject at Leaving Certificate level.
Polska szkola w srody
Nazywam sie Bartek Tokarski i jestem uczniem klasy 3H. Jestem z Polski i jezyk angielski nie jest moim podstawowym jezykiem, wiec dyrektor szkoly zorganizowal ekstra zajecia z angielskiego. W kazda srode po zajeciach szkolnych jezdzimy na dodatkowe zajecia ktore odbywaja sie w jezyku polskim, jak i angielskim. Prowadzi je pani Kasia. Zajecia odbywaja sie w godzinach po poludniowych od 14:00 do 15:30. Uwazam ze to jest super pomysl, poniewaz powtarzamy materially z 1, 2 i 3 klasy na Junior Cert-y.
Written by Bartek Tokarski. 3H (EAL Class)
Wednesday Polish School
My name is Bartek Tokarski and I’m a student in class 3H. I come from Poland and English is not my first language. That’s why the principal of our school organised extra English classes. Every Wednesday after school lessons, we go to those extra classes which are in the Polish and also the English language. The woman that teaches us the classes is called Ms. Kasia. These classes run from 2 pm to 3.30 pm. I think that these extra classes are a great idea. We can refresh the material from 1st, 2nd and 3rd year which is very helpful for our Junior Certificate.
Translated by Oliwia Wegorowska. 3H (EAL Class)