Embark on a voyage of learning

English as Additional Language

Purpose and Philosophy

The Junior School EAL programme is designed to meet the needs of ISH students whose native language is not English. These students receive lessons in English in small groups to meet individual needs as well as classroom support while they acquire the language,vocabulary and structures which they need both to function effectively within their classes and to integrate into the school community.

EAL at the International School of Hamburg

The EAL curriculum offers continuity and progression from Primary 3 to Grade 5 and is taught in a supportive environment that promotes pleasure in learning and pride in achievement. It provides the fullest possible support for students learning English, who make up a large part of the school population, as they become independent learners in an English environment.

The EAL department’s goal is for all non-native English speaking students to be independent learners in the regular classroom where English is the language of instruction. This includes an ability to be successful communicators in the broad social “culture” of the school, as well as in the smaller academic environment of the homeroom class, and requires independence in both BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills) and CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency).

Methodology & Curriculum

The EAL department takes into consideration the personalities involved and the developmental stages of the students. Emphasis is placed upon the importance of interaction and environment for the natural development of language. Methodology is varied and multi-sensory, recognizing that children learn in different ways and have different learning styles. Wherever possible, the language taught is closely related to the work covered in the classroom. EAL teachers work collaboratively with classroom teachers to provide balance amongst academic, social and structural language challenges students face to be successful in an English academic environment.

The EAL curriculum addresses social and academic language throughout the Speaking and Listening portion of the curriculum. While the Reading and Writing section of the EAL curriculum continues to support social language, the emphasis is on building academic language and supporting students to meet grade level academic challenges in Literacy, Math and IPC. EAL resources are vast and varied to meet the diverse needs and challenges of students, teachers and curriculum. While many hands-on resources are used, there is also considerable use of technology through iPads and digital resources.

Program of Instruction

  • EAL Literacy is class with small group instruction that meets daily during Literacy times for students new to English. The focus is building basic English vocabulary and structures; building academic language; and in grades 1-5 reading and writing and literacy concepts. Students can remain in this class up to 2 years.
  • EAL Literacy during German is a class with small group instruction that meets during German time, so mother tongue German students will not attend. It is an extension of EAL Literacy, continuing to basic English vocabulary and structures; building academic language; and in grades 1-5 reading and writing and literacy concepts. Students can remain in this class up to 2 years until all areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing) of their English foundation are strong.
  • EAL Transition is a class with small group instruction that meets 3 times a week outside of classroom Literacy. Students in this group usually have strong oral English skills and are continuing to build academic language; structures; and for grades 1-5 reading/writing.
  • EAL Push-in Support is offered in the classroom 2-3 times a week during reading, writing and math. The main focus is supporting and scaffolding EAL students to achieve the same lesson objectives as the rest of the class.

For answers to frequently asked questions about Junior School EAL, please follow the FAQs link to the right.

Objectives of Junior School EAL

  • to help students use English to meet personal, social and academic needs in the school environment.
  • to promote and encourage individual and natural acquisition of language through the school environment.
  • to help students gradually integrate into their classrooms as they acquire the English skills needed ensure school success based on each student’s stage of English and cognitive development as well as learning styles.
  • to help students become independent learners in an English language classroom.