EAL is taught within the vibrant and welcoming Learning Skills Department, where the multi-cultural ideal of inclusivity and cultural diversity is valued and promoted.
The EAL Department consists of two fully qualified and specialist teachers, who have a wealth of teaching experience in both UK and international schools.
On arrival at Downe House, all students whose first language is not English will be tested and EAL support will be offered according to need. EAL lessons are delivered individually and are chargeable. Students will follow a General English course tailored to their specific needs until they have attained a level of English commensurate with their age and the academic curriculum. This is usually around a CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level C1, equivalent to Cambridge Advanced, across all four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
In the Sixth Form, all students who require English to satisfy visa and university entrance requirements will study for IELTS (International English Language Testing System). They will be entered for the IELTS examination when their teacher considers them able to successfully achieve the score stipulated by their chosen institutions. This is usually a minimum band score of 6.5 with 6.0 across all four skills or 7.5 with 7.0 across all four skills for Russell Group universities and Medicine.
Students are encouraged to actively accelerate their own learning through immersive activities such as: recommended wider reading; watching challenging TV programmes; listening to topical radio podcasts and participating in extra-curricular activities available at Downe House.
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