English as an Additional Language (EAL)

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

As a well-established boarding school, Caterham School welcomes some boarding pupils from a wide range of countries in addition to UK boarders.

The English as an Additional Language (EAL) department provides English language classes for our 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 our pupils’ 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 pupils follow a General English syllabus, moving on to exam classes in the Fourth and Fifth Years. In the Sixth Form, pupils 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.



Miss 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.

Mr Richard Stamper BSc (Hons), MA, TESOL Teacher of EAL

Richard has taught at high schools, international organisations and universities in Thailand, Australia and Singapore. Most recently, he worked for four years with the British Council Singapore, where his focus was on general English, exam preparation for various school and college levels and also writing and delivering intensive IELTS preparation courses for university entry students. He obtained his CTEFL in Madrid, his PGCert TESOL with Sheffield Hallam University, his LTCL Diploma (TESOL) with Trinity College, London and his MA TESOL at the University of Technology, Sydney. Richard’s first degree was in Hotel Management from Oxford Brookes University and he has worked in several luxury hotels in London. Richard enjoys travel and would like to do that more around Europe after his extensive trips around the Asia-Pacific region over the years.

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