English as an Additional Language

Who receives this service?

The Service works with children and young people who:

  • Come from ethnic minority backgrounds;
  • Can communicate with the family and sometimes with the wider community – but need to learn Engish (and Welsh) in order to get access to the curriculum and to communicate with peers, teachers at school and others who live in Wales.


What does the service offer?

  • Ensures that Gwynedd schools has a provision for children learning English (and Welsh) in schools.
  • Ensures that specific guidance and training is available for schools to plan effectively to respond to pupils’ needs.
  • Offers interventions tailored for what the pupils need.
  • A member of the team can come into the school to work for a specific time to train and share good practice in order to support the pupils to achieve targets.
  • Support for teachers to differentiate lessons for EAL pupils in order to facilitate language learning (two languages) at the same time as teaching the curriculum.
  • Support pupils to continue with their learning and use, and to get qualifications in their mother tongue.
  • Raise awareness of equality, culture, language and diversity issues in schools.
  • Support schools with the induction of pupils and families who have arrived in a new country with a language and culture that is totally new to them.


Who’s in the Team?

Senior EAL Specialist Teacher

Helen Wharton

EAL Specialist Teacher

Helen Speddy

Lowri Pijeira

Senior EAL Specialist Teaching Assistant

Ivana Rowlands


How can the service be accessed?

The school needs to make a referral to the EAL Forum if a pupil is to receive input from the Service.  The Forum meets once a term.

Before making a referral it is important that every school has firstly acted at a school level e.g. by gathering as much information as possible about the pupil and the family; by trying to find out about the experiences, language and previous education of the pupil; by ensuring that the child feels safe and happy at school.


What is the school's role?

Every school is expected to offer opportunities to support pupils who are learning English (Welsh).

A school should:

  • Ensure that there is a designated person in each school – the designated person will be the contact person.  This person will be responsible for the welfare and progress of the pupils who are learning English (and Welsh) throughout the school. 
  • Establish systems to target individuals as required
  • Develop a friendly and inclusive learning environment and ethos in the classroom for individuals who are learning English (and Welsh).
  • Develop an environment that allows time to develop specific language skills within the school day  
  • Ensure that everyone in the school knows which language/languages the pupils speak and show respect for the pupils’ first language. 

Who else can help?











What can you do at home?

  • Encourage the pupil to watch programmes of interest on television in the target language.
  • Encourage the pupil to listen to music on the radio or online.
  • Visit the local library to borrow books of interest.  Read the books together by using the pictures to understand the meaning of words.
  • Encourage your child to take part in after school activities e.g. drama / singing / football / gymnastics / swimming.  They will learn the language from other friends in the group.
  • Encourage your child to practice/play games / listen to the stories/ sing the songs/ watch BBC ‘Learn English’ films or on the British Council website (see above). 
  • Continue to speak and develop the pupil’s mother tongue at home.  It will assist the pupil to learn a new language if the first language continues to be strong.