On entry to the school, all overseas students are given an English Language test. Depending on the results of these tests, students who need EAL attend EAL lessons instead of mainstream English. Students in the Sixth form, Years 12 and 13, who score below a certain level in the test must take EAL as one of their options so that they have the necessary support for their other subjects and can achieve the necessary level and qualifications for university in the UK, if applicable.
There is no extra charge for EAL lessons in Years 9, 10 and 11. However, in Year 12 we do make an extra charge as these classes are in addition to the normal curriculum offered by the College.
The normal allocation of classes is six 50 minute lessons per two week cycle in Year 9; increasing to seven 50 minute lessons in Years 10,11, 12 and 13.
The courses followed are aimed at improving student's standard of English whilst enhancing their appreciation of British culture. Literature in English is also studied, albeit at times in a simplified version. In Year 9 students are prepared for and take their PET exam at the end of the summer term. In Year 10 we study IGCSE Second Language English. This is a one year course culminating in the IGCSE exam in the summer term. In year 11 students take their IGCSE First Language English which is the same language IGCSE as the mainstream students. Any student who achieves a grade B or higher in this exam will not need any further EAL support or qualifications in the Sixth Form. In Year 12 students follow a course that prepares them for the IELTS qualification, this is a necessary qualification for any non-native speaker who wishes to study at a UK or USA University.
There is an extensive EAL section in the College Library, with a wide selection of simplified readers and other books. Many of them are English classics and students are given guidance and advice about appropriate books to read. In the Middle School (Years 9-11) some time is spent in class reading.
We offer external qualifications in Years 9-12 to ensure that students joining the College for just one or two years are assured of leaving us with an internationally recognised qualification. We aim to support language development in all areas of our students lives. We have EAL mentors who work with and support our new entrants in the first weeks of term helping them with any linguistic or cultural problems that they may have. We run an EAL support session every Thursday in the library where EAL students can have support in other subject preps where language may be proving a challenge. This support is offered by teachers and student mentors working together.