English as an Additional Language (EAL)

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The English as an Additional Language Team: works in partnership with schools to Support them to meet the needs of pupils who are learning English as an Additional Language and pupils from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. Support includes: help when children enrol in school; teaching and bilingual support for children in class and help for parents with school communication and advice on bilingualism.

Many Edinburgh schools have pupils whose first or home language is not English. Over 90 languages are currently spoken in our schools, including those from established communities such as Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Cantonese and more recently arrived languages such as Arabic, Mandarin, Polish and Romanian.

The English as an Additional Language (EAL) Service teachers in school can help:

• Those pupils who are new to English
•Those pupils at the early stages of acquiring English
•Those pupils who speak English more fluently but who still need additional support to achieve their academic potential

The EAL teachers also work with:

•Professionals from other agencies
•Parents/carers of bilingual pupils
•Local community groups

What the EAL Service offers:


•EAL Teachers work in nursery, primary, secondary and special schools, supporting bilingual pupils in liaison with their teachers

Bilingual Support

•A small team of Bilingual Support Assistants work with early stage learners in schools. They are fluent in English and one of the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Mandarin, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu
•They can also help parents and schools to build effective partnerships

Advice and support for schools, agencies and parents on:

•Assessment, resources, teaching strategies
•Linguistic and cultural matters
•Inclusion, achievement and race equality
•Professional development of school staff
•Arrangements for external/alternative examinations
•Contacts with local community services, such as language classes for adults, interpreting services, community support groups and others

To find out more about EAL teaching at Leith Primary School, contact the school office.