Kensington School helps LJMU students support students with English as an additional language

LJMU students helped by ASFA students

Submitted by Ellie Adshead

Students from the Academy of St. Francis of Assisi (ASFA) whose mother tongue is not English have helped future teachers at John Moores University in Liverpool.

ASFA students have assisted LJMU students in their teacher training, offering them advice on how to support fellow AAL (English as an additional language).

Sue Walker, a lecturer on the PGCE course at the university, first contacted the academy three years ago to see if she would be interested in speaking with student teachers at LJMU’s annual EAL day.

Since then, Amanda Gamble, Language Acquisition Coordinator at the Academy of St. Francis of Assisi, has brought a different group of EAL students to help the university each year.

The school in Kensington, Liverpool has a large number of EAL students. Many have never had a formal education before, some arrive without being able to speak English, and others are learning English as a third or even fourth language.

The enthusiastic group took part in a carousel activity with over 25 LJMU students and talked about their experiences when they first got here, how they got along, how they were supported in class and what they personally think works best.

Amanda said, “Our partnership with LJMU is mutually beneficial in many ways. Our students can draw on their own personal experiences and help student teachers learn more about EAL students in schools.

“The day also helps our group build their confidence when speaking to new people and hopefully they feel proud to shape the future of teaching.

“As you can imagine it can seem intimidating to be put in the spotlight and talk to a large group of adults at a time, but our students are amazing and speak so eloquently about their experiences in the classroom. education, here and in their country of origin. “

The Académie Saint-François d’Assise is extremely proud of its vibrant community and more than 40 languages ​​are spoken at the school.

In 2019, students of different age groups were selected to become Language Ambassadors to help fellow EAL students read, write and speak English.

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