The second language programme should be at the centre of an International School curriculum, not on the periphery; all staff should be aware of the issues involved, and the concept can only be put into practice with the full support of school leadership.

(M. Carder, 2007)

International schools, as well as local schools in English-speaking countries have an increasing population of students who do not have English as their first or dominant language, who are faced with the challenge of learning English while they are learning content. While we may once have presumed that English-language schooling would be enough to help them develop the English skills they will need to succeed at school, we now know this is not the case.

A strong EAL/ELL programme is at the heart of language provisions for every school with bilingual/multilingual learners. Provisions for EAL/ELL vary immensely across schools, depending on the context, learners and budget. Good EAL/ELL programmes have the following elements:

CEC offers a variety of services relating to EAL/ELL:

  • Full-school audit or departmental audit
  • Advising on programme structure, curricula, and resourcing
  • Professional development for EAL staff

Professional Development Programme for Teaching Assistants

Given the numbers of students with EAL/ELL in international and state schools, providing robust support across the whole school can be challenging. Providing appropriate professional development programme for Teaching Assistants is one way to maximise the knowledge base in a school, and allow for qualified support in all classes. CEC has developed a two-day CPD programme for teaching assistants, to provide them with knowledge and skills to become skilled EAL/ELL assistants.