Information evening 2022: click here for more information

ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) Programme 

This is an additional programme that provides the necessary help and support so students of non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB) learn to communicate confidently in English and cope with learning in the mainstream curriculum.  NESB students will be involved in an ESOL programme for a period of time- the length of time is based on the individual student's needs. 

3 Language Domains: 

  • Oral Language (listening / speaking)

  • Written Language (writing/ reading) 

  • Visual Language (viewing/ presenting)

Oral Language:

Oral Language skills (listening and speaking) provide the foundation on which other language skills are built. ESOL students need to hear language that they can understand but that also provides them challenge. Most students will probably understand more English than they are able read or write, and they need to hear good models of spoken English- they will learn much from listening and interacting with the teacher and their peers.

Talk is vital for exploring new ideas because expressing our thoughts aloud helps us to make sense of what we are learning.  By explaining, comparing, and discussing our ideas with others, we clarify our thoughts and consolidate our learning.

Written Language:

Within each learning area there is a specialised vocabulary and language structures.  There are differences between spoken and written language. ESOL students will be taught specific vocabulary, language features, and writing structures that are reflective of written texts in different curriculum areas.

Students will be required to produce a variety of types of writing for a range of purposes. Students will be encouraged to talk (in their first language as well as in English) with the teacher and their peers before and after writing to help them understand the process.

Reading - students need to be able to read a range of texts in English, that are based ideas and experiences (as well as language) that is unfamiliar for ESOL students. The students will learn decoding and comprehension skills, together with teacher and peer support they will build their understanding of unknown words, structures, cultural references and figurative language.

All reading material will be introduced by the teacher by talking about the topic, linking it to the prior knowledge and experiences of the students and discussing and teaching new vocabulary.

Visual Language:

Viewing and presenting visual information and ideas provides valuable learning support for ESOL students.  Pictures and videos help them to understand concepts and to link known concepts to new ideas. Students will be expected to interpret and create meaning from posters, diagrams, maps, cartoons and static images. By providing visual material for ESOL students  that relates to their first language is another way to encourage the development of appropriate language for talking about visual texts.


Non-English Speaking Background Student- A Handbook for Schools