English as an Additional Language

English as an Additional Language

How does Monkton’s EAL Department think differently? We provide English language courses rather than support lessons.

Our community at Monkton is enriched by the presence of our overseas students. We currently have over fifty international pupils from approximately fifteen different countries. Most do not have English as their first language and need to take an English as an Additional Language (EAL) course to fully access the curriculum. New arrivals are assessed in reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar, to determine their academic English proficiency. Where the need for EAL teaching is identified in line with Monkton's language levels, provision is both compulsory and chargeable.

EAL teaching is carried out by a team of experienced and specialist language teachers in dedicated classrooms. Lessons are taught either 1-1 or in small groups and tailored to the needs of the learners. Attention is given to developing all language skills, with particular emphasis on reading and writing which are so crucial to academic success. In addition, EAL students benefit from a dedicated EAL reading library for their exclusive use. The aim is for students to exit EAL when they have reached the required language level for full and confident curriculum access, based on our ongoing assessments. Specific provision varies for each individual, but the EAL programme is organised as follows:

Year 9

This is a foundation year offering an integrated language programme. Depending on need, overseas students may be timetabled for EAL lessons instead of mainstream English, Classics and Modern Languages up to a maximum of eight lessons a week.

Years 10-11

Students have EAL lessons instead of mainstream English, resulting in five lessons a week. At the end of year 11, EAL students will take the IGCSE in English as a second language. They will also be equipped with the language skills needed to perform well in their other GCSEs.

Years 12-13

In Year 12, EAL students join the Monkton IELTS course, not only offering specialist IELTS exam preparation but also strengthening students’ academic and functional English for their wider A Level and university studies. The Monkton IELTS course usually comprises of 5 group lessons a week or in some cases two 1-1 lessons to accommodate other timetable requirements. The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) qualification provides students with a certificate of their English proficiency level recognised by all British universities and many overseas institutions and is a pre-requisite for university entry. At Monkton, we prepare students to take the IELTS exam at the end of Year 12, with test centres in Bath and Bristol. IELTS grade requirements vary according to the course and institution but generally speaking universities require a minimum grade of 6.5 in all language skills.

In Year 13, EAL students have a bespoke pathway depending on their needs. If they achieve their required IELTS score at the end of Year 12 and show secure language use in their A levels, they will exit EAL at this point. Alternatively, further 1-1 lessons may be provided to support continued IELTS preparation, subject-specific support or core academic English skills. The aim is to reduce EAL provision in Year 13 in order to concentrate on their final A level exams.  

Outside the Classroom

At Monkton, students are immersed in an English speaking environment and as such there are many opportunities to practise authentic English use. In EAL, everyone takes part in an annual speaking competition, the International Student Voice, that leads to an inter-school final. There are also EAL Writer of the Year awards for creative writing and Reader of the Year awards for reading progress and commitment, using our extensive EAL library.

In addition to our focus on language development, we also have much fun, celebrating our diverse cultures and exploring Bath and other cities of interest with the International Community of Monkton (ICOM). The Monkton boarding houses, chaplaincy activities and extensive co-curricular programme offer constant opportunities for social English use as well as developing life skills, rich Monkton friendships and beautiful memories. 

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