English as an Additional/Foreign Language
About 12% of the pupils at Caterham School are from overseas. They come from a wide range of countries, such as Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Lithuania and Russia. The English as an Additional Language (EAL) department provides English language classes for these international students. These classes aim to support the students both linguistically and culturally, helping them to raise their communicative ability and to adapt to school in an English-speaking environment.
We aim to build the students' confidence and ability to communicate effectively. By raising levels of both fluency and accuracy, pupils will achieve higher standards in other curriculum areas and benefit from the ability to interact more successfully with native speakers both in and out of school.
The courses focus on developing both the productive and receptive skills (speaking, writing, listening and reading) by analysing language at text, sentence and word level. The courses adopt a lexical approach looking at the phrasal nature of our language and the use of features such as collocation and phrasal verbs. The approach in class is based on the language needs, interests and learning styles of the students, selecting from a range of language teaching methodology. It is primarily communicative, developing the students' ability to express themselves confidently and accurately.
In the First, Second and Third Years the students follow a General English syllabus, moving on to exam classes in the Fourth and Fifth Years. In the Sixth Form, students prepare for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, the results of which are critical for entering tertiary education in England. Despite the classes being exam orientated, we aim to ensure that the classes are fun, relevant and interesting, realising that language is best acquired in a relaxed environment where pupils can explore their language potential.
In addition to timetabled lessons where students study in small groups with their peers, the EAL department is also able to offer 1-2-1 lessons to focus on the specific needs of learners, in particular supporting Sixth Form students in preparation for university interview and entrance.
Elisabeth Gibbs MA – Head of EAL
On changing career from music into English as a Foreign Language, Elisabeth worked at language schools in Italy before opening her own school in 2005, working with private and corporate learners at all levels from beginner to advanced.
Her first degree, GMus(Hons), was undertaken at the Royal Northern College of Music where she majored in singing. She holds the University of Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) and Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (DELTA) and completed an MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham.
Sally Dall’Oglio BA Ed (Hons)
Sally has taught EAL to international students at home in the UK and abroad in Australia, South Korea and Peru. Whilst at the British Council in Seoul she obtained the diploma in English Language Teaching achieving a distinction in all 3 components. She has taught English to a range of students at all levels from beginner to advanced from a variety of countries throughout Europe, South America and Asia.
She obtained her BA(Ed) from the University of Exeter where she studied Primary Education and Art. She holds the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) and Young Learners (CELT-YL) and the Diploma (DELTA).
Sally loves learning about new cultures and languages through travel and has spent time in South America, Africa, Australia and Asia
Jim Seymour BSc (Hons) Senior Teacher and Head of Boarding
Jim is a University of Hull graduate with a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Biology. He has been at Caterham School since September 1972. He was previously Head of Biology and Head of Science. He is now Senior Teacher and a member of the Senior Management Team. His responsibilities include being the Head of Boarding, the Educational Visits Co-ordinator and he is playing an active role in the planning of the future building developments at Caterham.