Supporting children with English as an additional language (EAL)

The term ‘EAL’ is used to describe a diverse group of learners for whom English is an Additional Language. What they have in common is that they use one or more language other than English at home or in their community.

EAL learners may be at any stage of developing English language proficiency, from new to English, to completely fluent. They may have been born in the UK and been through the education system here, or be recent arrivals.


At Chalk Ridge, we celebrate the diverse range of cultures, languages and religions represented by our pupils, their families and the world in which we live. We are aware that having to learn a new language can be daunting for children and their families. We provide a range of support to children and families with EAL to reduce the challenge that these children face.


Teachers support children with understanding of English in a range of different ways.


  • Ensure there are plenty of visual references within the classroom.
  • Use drama and role play to demonstrate how language is used in real life situations.
  • Provide EAL learners with good language role models.
  • Provide opportunities to talk before writing. This could be talking to a peer or using a talking tin.
  • Ensure home languages are valued and used in school and at home.
  • Children who are new to English are provided with visuals so they are able to communicate to their teachers and peers. 


At Chalk Ridge we also run The Young Interpreter Scheme. We have a group of dedicated children who have been trained to support New Arrivals to access English and feel part of the school. This could be within the lessons or outside on the playground. 


In order to support children and families who have EAL we collaborate with the Ethic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS). This can take a number of different forms, for example a bi-lingual assessment of children in their home language. EMTAS also offer training to staff to develop their understanding of EAL leaners. In addition to this EMTAS can provide support to parents through a variety of language specific phone lines. (Link available below):


If you would like any more information on how to support your child at home, please contact the school office and ask to speak to our EAL coordinator. 

To have English as an additional language means that the language you speak or hear at home is not English.


Speaking more than one language is often an advantage to a child and is to be celebrated.


At Chalk Ridge Primary, we have or have had children who speak the following languages at home; Arabic, Polish, German, Tamil, Swahili, Kiswahili, Urdu, Romanian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Luganda and Nepali. 


Advanced Learners

If your child is EAL and an advanced learner, it means that although English is a second language they speak and write competently in English. It is important that the school knows if a child has EAL as it can affect grammar and some receptive language (understanding of technical terms) and knowledge a child has EAL means the teacher and EAL coordinator can put supportive provision in place. Many children with EAL are among the higher achieving children academically in school.


New Arrival

A new arrival is a child who is newly arrived in Britain who does not speak English. In this instance the school will instantly contact EMTAS- the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service. This service is invaluable in its help in explaining how the school works and explaining confusing aspects of the school the child is experiencing.


At Chalk Ridge, we also have a group of pupils that are trained as ‘Young Interpreters’. These children welcome New Arrivals and meet with them regularly to make sure that they are settling in well at school.


It is expected that new arrivals may be mute in class for up to 6 months as they take in and learn the language. English is often first used in social situations in the playground before the child is confident enough to use English within the classroom setting.


EAL and SEND (special educational needs and disabilities)

EMTAS are also helpful in helping to ascertain whether a child with EAL has a special educational need, or whether the language barrier is holding their progress back.


EMTAS phone lines (Term time only)

Language phone lines (for parents/carers, Hampshire maintained schools and for SLA-supported Academies). 

Please ring us on our help lines below for information and support with home-school communication or if you have any questions relating to your child’s education or well-being.


All our assistants speak good English so if you can use even a little English you can call at any of the times listed below.

If you need an interpreter for any other language just ring EMTAS: 01256 330195 or email: with your contact details and the language you speak and we will do our best to help you.


Arabic: ask for Zein Ahmed

  • Thursday 2.30pm–4.30pm
  • 023 9244 1508
  • EMTAS Base: Havant

Bulgarian: ask for Iliana Kocheva

  • Friday 2pm–4pm
  • 01256 330195
  • EMTAS Base: Basingstoke

Chinese Mandarin: Ask for Shelley Clarke

  • Tuesday 1pm-3pm
  • 01256 330195
  • EMTAS Base: Basingstoke

Nepali: ask for Sudhir Lama

  • Friday 12.30pm–2.30pm
  • 01256 330195
  • EMTAS Base: Basingstoke

Polish: 1 ask for Katarzyna Tokarska

  • Wednesday 2pm–4pm
  • 01256 330195
  • EMTAS Base: Basingstoke

Polish 2: ask for Wioletta Zbrzezna / Violetta Pugh

  • Thursday 2.30pm–4.30pm
  • 023 9244 1430
  • EMTAS Base: Havant

Portuguese: ask for Catarina Martins

  • Wednesday 1pm–3pm
  • 01256 330195
  • EMTAS Base: Basingstoke

Romanian: ask for Ildiko Ordog

  • Thursday 10:00am–12:00
  • 01256 330195
  • EMTAS Base: Basingstoke

Spanish: ask for Fiona McKenzie

  • Wednesday, 2.30pm–4.30pm
  • 023 9244 1531
  • EMTAS Base: Havant

Turkish: ask for Ozgul Springett or Kadriye Francis

  • Wednesday 1pm–3pm
  • 023 9244 1450
  • EMTAS Base: Havant

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller phone line

EMTAS telephone advice service for schools and parents/carers to answer questions relating to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils and to discuss any concerns. To speak with one of our dedicated Traveller team:

Phone 01256 330195

  • Ask for the Traveller phone line
  • Monday 11.30am–1.30pm (term time only)

Chalk Ridge Primary School are proud to be part of The Hampshire Young Interpreter Scheme.


Link to their dedicated page is here; Young Interpreters