Ways to support children with EAL
There are more and more children attending early years settings with EAL. This can cause challenges for early years practitioners.
For practitioners working in early years there are many factors to consider first of all one being that
The Early Years Framework states that all settings are to be inclusive of all children
All children in early years should be treated as individuals and to allow for effective practice practitioners need to consider circumstances and situations that they may not be familiar with. To ensure inclusive practice is truly inclusive practitioners need to find out children’s background information and understand what their home language is. Children’s home language is important, this is the language that children are fluent in and they will use this to communicate with. Children should not be discouraged in using their home language, using home language can help learn an additional language.
Many practitioners find it difficult in being able to assess whether children fully understand the learning, however if children’s understanding in their home language is effective then practitioners just need to find ways to support children in learning spoken English. Learning English may take time, you will find that children will use both languages and often sentences will contain both languages.
For children with EAL it can be very frustrating when trying to communicate their wants and needs as sometimes this cannot be understood. It is important to work closely with parents to share information about all aspects of children development.
Children who are learning English often thrive and learn best where practice is excellent; key factors include the inclusive attitude and ethos set by leaders and managers this is required of all practitioners in the settings.