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A new foreign language

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Tim is learning a new language

All our EAL pupils at Fyling Hall are given the opportunity to learn a new foreign language whilst they are with us. Whilst many of our overseas pupils are here primarily to improve their level of English many pupils also join French or German lessons. Some may have already done some French but many are beginners.

All of the pupils who come to French lessons mention how different our classes are to the lessons in their own countries. They love all the interactive work as they are all encouraged to speak and participate in a wide range of activities whatever their level. Language is all about communication and whilst accuracy is important, conveying a message that is comprehensible is much more desirable in day to day interactions.

"If you talk to a man in his language, that goes to his heart," said Nelson Mandela.

Simply learning to ask how someone is feeling in their own language makes them feel valued and indicates that you want to know more about them. Having non-native English speakers in a classroom adds new dimensions to lessons, where we can discuss similarities and differences in languages, how they sound, where words come from, and in particular how the language is put together to communicate our thoughts and ideas. Learning a foreign language often makes us all stop and appreciate how amazing our EAL pupils are and how much progress they make during their time in the school.

Tim joined Year 9 French classes in September having done some introductory lessons in Hong Kong. He loves the lessons, joins in with great enthusiasm and is making great progress, particularly in writing and understanding. It is wonderful to see him interact with his peers within the group and for them to realise that it doesn’t really matter if they make a mistake. Language learning is all about being sympathetic to another pupils efforts to communicate. Learning a new foreign language is great!

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