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Recommended Induction Procedures for New Arrivals

Before the child arrives  

  • Consult office staff as they are first point of contact for the family.

  • Allow time before the first meeting to acquire bilingual translations or arrange for an interpreter if necessary.

  • Meet parents to collect key language and educational background information about the pupil. The ’Addendum to the Admission Form’ provides a useful questionnaire for parents. Assure parents that as a school you value other cultures and languages.

  • Give introductory information to parents. Mantra Lingua publishes software which can be used to personalise a ‘Welcome Booklet’ in different languages. A copy of this is available with the EAL Support Team.

  • Ask parents to bring in any reports, school texts and exercise books from the pupil’s previous school. Also advise that the pupil may bring reading books in the first language to school.

  • Check whether parents would be able to provide a bilingual dictionary for the pupil. If not request one on loan from the Education Library Service in Reading.

  • Let parents know that the teachers will communicate regularly with them through a home-school links book to inform them how the child may be supported at home.

  • Check correct spelling and pronunciation of pupil’s name. Use a phonetic notation alongside.

Induction Pack
  • Provide an induction pack for the admission of bilingual pupils. It could include:

    -information about the English school system (the publication ‘Learning Journey’is available from the DfE website: www.parentcentre.gov.uk in different languages)

    - a plan of the school

    -an outline of the school day

    - the homework system and how to support their children at home

    - calendar of term dates

    - who to contact to get information about their children’s work and progress, and if they have any concerns

    - uniform or dress requirements with a labelled diagram and suppliers

    - lunch arrangements and a sample lunch menu, including information of benefits, such as free school meals.

    - information about the local public library with map

  • Share background details such as a copy of the completed ’Addendum to the Admission Form’ with class teachers, support assistants, mid-day supervisors.

  • Pupils should not be placed in the bottom set where they are not cognitively challenged and do not access good models of English.

  • Talk to the class about the new child’s country of origin. Help the children in the class to understand that the EAL child needs help in learning English but has a complete language of her/his own, which in turn they could learn.

  • Display examples of the child’s home language and pictures of his/her country to make the pupil feel welcome. Parents can be asked for help.

When the child arrives

  • Set up a “buddy” system.

  • Introduce or pair with other pupils who speak the same language.

  • Ensure the pupil’s name is pronounced correctly.

  • Show the child around the school again for re-familiarisation. Make sure that the office, toilets and the water supply are shown.

  • Ensure that one or two members of staff have time with the child and are a regular contact point throughout the day.

  • Make sure that the school routine and timetable are understood. Show in diagrammatic form.

  • Make sure the buddy system is working. Give the buddy an opportunity to think about the needs of a newly arrived bilingual. Review progress and give advice to the buddy.

  • Sit the child near to the front of the class, to facilitate frequent eye-contact with the teacher.

  • If the child is literate, encourage writing in the home language though some children prefer to make attempts in English.

  • Display pupil’s first language writing in class. This will help raise the profile of the pupil as one who has ability and skills.

  • Ensure that older literate pupils have a bilingual dictionary and an indexed vocabulary note book.

  • Set up a home-school links book.

  • The pupil will get tired very quickly as considerable concentration is needed to learn the new language. Allow the pupil time out from class activities.

  • Beginner bilinguals will always be slower when given instructions, such as lining up.

  • Some children remain "silent” for up to a year. This is not a “passive” stage. During this time the child will be watching, actively listening and tuning in. Previous experiences will be related to new contexts.

  • The provision of an environment that is generally inclusive and supportive is more effective for the rapid progress of children new to English than any formal teaching of language particularly if this is done in isolation. In fact any formal language teaching will be ineffective, if not accompanied by these elements.

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