English as an Additional Language (EAL) Program
I have had the pleasure of working at Hillsmeade since its opening in 2003. During this time I have worked as a classroom teacher, focussing mainly in the junior school. I have recently joined the Intervention team, assisting with the EAL program (English as an Additional Language).
As the Hillsmeade school population now includes a number of families who speak an additional language, this program is an exciting opportunity to assist our students. Although they are privileged to share another language with their friends and families, the Victorian curriculum acknowledges the need to support our English language learners.
As part of the Intervention team, I am developing programs to support these students. Prep and grade one English learners attend EAL sessions with me for three 30 minute classes per week. Students participate in a number of ‘hands on’ and formal activities which allow them to practise speaking English, build their vocabulary and undertake learning in a small group situation. These learning opportunities have already shown increased achievement for our students.
Our English learners are also supported within their classrooms through collaborative planning which caters for multiple skill levels. Classroom teachers also have access to professional readings and information from the EAL network to support them in catering for our students.