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					‘Teaching and Learning in Multicultural Schools’, Elizabeth Coelho, 1998.

Support for EAL Learners; A Checklist for Schools
Yes = whenever appropriate                                                  Yes   Not   n/a
Not yet = this is an area that may need special attention
n/a = not applicable, or not available at this time

Reception and Orientation
o There is a planned program of reception and orientation for students
  and parents.
o There is a team responsible for reception and orientation.
o A member of the reception team welcomes the family in a
  comfortable private space.
o Orientation materials are available in the languages of the
o Interpreters and translators are available.
o Multilingual signs and notices welcome newcomers and provide
o There is a classroom ambassador program.
o School staff communicate support for the maintenance of heritage
o Parents receive information about the availability of heritage
  language programs.
o Students receive appropriate assessment of their educational
o Initial placement is reviewed at regular intervals and/or at the
  request of students or parents.
o Parents receive information about EAL programs for adults.
o New students receive a ‘starter kit’ when they enter the school.
o There is a special fund to support students in need: e.g., for school
  equipment and field trips.

Initial Assessment and Placement
o The school has a planned procedure for the assessment of each
    student who arrives at the school.
o Interpreters are available for the initial reception interview.
o There is a procedure to assess the student’s level of proficiency in
    the first language.
o Academic assessment is conducted in the student’s first language,
    using tasks and materials that are likely to be familiar.
o Assessment of proficiency in English includes listening, speaking,
    reading, and writing.
o Proficiency in English is assessed using criteria relevant to students
    who are learning English.
o An assessment portfolio is maintained for each student from the day
    of arrival.
‘Teaching and Learning in Multicultural Schools’, Elizabeth Coelho, 1998.
                                                                            Yes   Not   n/a

o Opportunity to learn is considered in all assessments.
o Students who may have special needs are assessed in consultation
  with a bilingual educator who is familiar with the students’ cultural
  and educational background.
o Appropriate support is available for students who have had limited
  access to schooling.
o Each student’s progress is reviewed on a regular basis.

Inclusive Classrooms
o Routines are in place for welcoming newcomers.
o Students and teacher can pronounce each others’ names.
o Newcomers and beginning learners of English are seated beside
   peers who speak their first language for the first few weeks.
o The teacher makes personal contact with new students at least once
   during each lesson.
o The teacher uses interviews to help students to get to know each
o The teacher uses class surveys to learn about the students’
   backgrounds, needs and interests.
o Classroom displays are inclusive.
o Students are involved in creating classroom displays.
o Students often work with partners or in a peer tutoring relationship.
o Students often work in co-operative learning groups.
o The teacher creates a climate of support for language learning.
o The teacher knows some expressions in the students’ languages.
o Classroom routines are predictable and explicit.
o There is a rota for classroom routines and responsibilities.
o Students take on some responsibility for monitoring and checking
   homework, making sure all group members understand a task, etc.
o The teacher monitors group relationship and helps students to
   manage group work and share responsibilities.

Support for Language Acquisition
o All students receive a planned program of support for language
o All EAL learners, including beginners, are involved in an
  educational program that assists them to continue their academic
  development at the same time as they learn the language of
o Long-term support is available for EAL learners.
o All EAL learners, including beginners, have opportunities for
  interaction with English speaking peers.
o Students’ first languages are viewed as linguistic, academic and
  cultural assets.
‘Teaching and Learning in Multicultural Schools’, Elizabeth Coelho, 1998.
                                                                            Yes   Not   n/a
o All teachers consider the needs of EAL learners in planning lessons
  and choosing resources.
o All teachers have access to a skilled EAL professional who can
  assist with lesson planning and curriculum design.

An Inclusive Physical and Social Environment
o Display material is carefully selected to provide realistic and
   positive images of different cultural and racial groups.
o There is a process for evaluating textbooks and other resource
o Guidelines for the selection of resources include criteria related to
   cultural diversity.
o Students and parents are involved in selecting resource material.
o Signs, notices, and displays in the school building are multilingual,
   and reflect a variety of cultural perspectives.
o Students’ home languages are used in school announcements,
   parents’ meetings and interviews, cultural events and performances,
o All teachers in the school know something about the naming
   practices and forms of address that are usual in the various school
   communities, and can pronounce the names of all their students.
o Students are encouraged to make natural language choices in social
   interaction around the school.
o There is a variety of extracurricular activities.
o Students and parents are consulted about their preference and
   interests in extracurricular activities.
o The school awards program recognizes a wide range of talents and
   contributions, including those that may be especially valued or
   promoted in some of the cultural groups in the school.
o There is an active student/teacher anti-racism group in the school.
o Special events are planned to be as inclusive as possible of all the
   cultures in the school.
o Equal treatment is given to important festivals and special days of
   all the cultures in the school.

Support Services
o Each student’s individual progress is carefully monitored.
o When an individual student appears to be having difficulties, there
  is a planned program of intervention and support.
o The school monitors the progress of specific groups of students.
o The school takes appropriate actions when a specific group of
  students appears to be having social or academic difficulty.
o The school provides individual and group counseling services
  related to student’ academic and social needs.
‘Teaching and Learning in Multicultural Schools’, Elizabeth Coelho, 1998.

o Counselors and teachers serving in that capacity have the                 Yes   Not   n/a
  knowledge and skills required for effective cross-cultural                      Yet
o There is a procedure for conflict mediation when students
  experience ethno-cultural harassment in the school or beyond.
o The school has established mutually supportive relationships with
  community groups and agencies.
o There is an organized peer tutoring program which includes training
  and supervision. Bilingual tutors are trained to work with students
  who arrive with limited education background.
o There are organized study groups in the school.
o There is a peer mediation program in the school.
o Multilingual services are provided by trained interpreters and
o All students have opportunities to meet role models and mentors of
  diverse cultural backgrounds.
o All staff development programs include antiracism as a fundamental
o There are opportunities for teachers and students to be involved in
  antiracism training.

Parental Involvement
o The school is creative and flexible in finding ways to invite parents
   into the school.
o Written communication with parents is in a language they
o Parents’ meetings are held with specific linguistic and cultural
o Parent networks are established as a means of communication and
o Students are trained to lead their own conferences involving the
   teacher and their parents.
o Parent-teacher communication consists of a two-way flow of
   information and advice.
o Expectations regarding student attendance and behaviour,
   homework, parental involvement, etc. are negotiated, realistic and
o The school has an EAL program for adults.
o Parents are invited to help the school in ways that are appropriate.
o Organized community groups play a role in the school.
o Community groups use the school for meetings and special events.
o Parents receive helpful practical advice on how to help their
   children at home.

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