EAL Program Gives Students a Boost

Concordia’s English as an Additional Language (EAL) teachers are ready to support students during Home Learning. Concordia offers a robust EAL program to non-native English speaking students who qualify for admission to help them achieve greater academic success.

“Concordia is very good at placing students so they are ready to go on the first day of classes,” said EAL Coordinator Mrs. Hazel McNaull, adding that we already have data for returning EAL students. “All new middle and high school students were tested and had their schedules before the start of school.” 

Students attest the Concordia EAL program pays off. 

“I think one of the advantages of the EAL class is that there are fewer students than in other classes.  Students have no hesitation to ask questions, and they can ask whenever a question comes to mind. We learned the basics of English - studying writing format, words' nuances, and literary analysis in EAL class helped me to write essays in other classes. We also discussed some books in the class, not as focused like in normal English class, but in a casual way, which is possible because of the small class size. Through these things, of course, I became more comfortable with reading, writing, listening, and speaking, but more than that I became comfortable with English itself,” said Yusei (G10)

“The EAL class helped improve my reading skills. Ms. Tipei gave us a reading comprehension quiz after we finished reading each chapter, so I could gain a deeper understanding and build my vocabulary,” said Mayuri (G9).

“For the two years I have studied at  Concordia, EAL has been a really big help for me. Mrs. McNaull teaches us by playing lots of fun games which has help my English improve a lot throughout those years,” said Chau Anh (G6).

Elementary EAL students will ease gently into academic work during the first week of school, with a focus on speaking and listening activities. “We make sure we get to know the students and work in small groups to practice skills,” said Mrs. McNaul.

EAL teachers vary methods and strategies so students are able to remain engaged for the length of the class. Students play fun word games like online bingo and crossword puzzles, as well as programs like IXL and Kahoot. Sometimes for the younger students, the parents join too. “We appreciate parents’ help!” 

EAL teachers provide their own skills and activities while also supporting the classroom teaching material. Because our curriculum is entirely in English, EAL lessons are “front-loaded” to focus on the vocabulary students will encounter in the classes before they are introduced. Research shows this method helps because students are seeing this language in other contexts, such as in science and social studies classes, as well as in language study.

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