“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” – Flora Lewis
The English language, which is the main medium of instruction at TKHC, forms one of the vital pillars of the school. The linguistic abilities and learning styles often differ from learner to learner. The school, has therefore, introduced the EAL programme this year to cater to their varied linguistic needs of students.
While all students of TKHC follow the same English curriculum, EAL provides extra scaffolding and support for those who need it in their regular English lessons. Lessons are taught at a slower pace, with closer monitoring. Group work and pair work are encouraged, along with the incorporation of technology in the form of auditory, visual and kinesthetic aids. Vocabulary is reinforced through context-based questions. Platforms such as Kahoot, Quizlet and Edpuzzle are used to infuse interest and enthusiasm. Additional Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) materials are used occasionally as an added resource by teachers.
Apart from the regular English lessons, students who are the most challenged are given extra exposure in the After-school EAL classes where further simplified language is looked at. A strong reading habit is constantly encouraged in order to widen their range of usable vocabulary. Students are also encouraged to avail of the level-appropriate books in the EAL library in Room 204.
Foundation Years Programme (G7-G8)
The EAL programme is designed to ensure that G7 and G8 students are provided a non-intimidating environment where they feel confident enough to be able to express themselves without the fear of making mistakes, which they realise are nothing but a part of learning. Activities such as presentations, oral reading and class discussions help them slowly gain confidence when speaking in front of a small audience.
The G7 students, at the start of the year, learn to use the appropriate vocabulary needed to describe basic information about themselves – their looks, personality, preferences, friends and family. They learn to describe their school lives, compare various forms of schooling, write articles using simple vocabulary and sentence structure. Writing short poetry, such as limericks, teaches them to experiment with words and be bolder with their usage. Exploring story-writing, such as fables and folktales, helps fire up their imagination, further encouraging them to seek out new words to add to their ever-expanding range of vocabulary, while honing their ability to form grammatically correct sentences.
The G8 students learn to comprehend texts correctly, while reading for gist initially and then look for details. Activities such as essay writing and article writing help develop their written expression while honing their grammatical skills. The students also learn to be part of the ‘Literature Circle’ when analysing the novel Wonder, where each member is given a specific role, such as looking at challenging vocabulary and figurative language, discussing abstract questions and summarising chapters. Class presentations, along with discussions and debates help develop their confidence and public-speaking skills.