‘Early Stages of Learning the English Language’ Case Study – Child B.
This school session case study explains the background, challenge, our solutions and the impact we had on a child in the early stages of learning the English language.
Child B attends an inner city primary school in the North of England where the children attending the school are of a mixed heritage, as well as differing cultural and social backgrounds. Child B was in the Early Stages of Learning English, which had a significant impact on the ability to contribute within the classroom and as a result they were not meeting expected levels in the Early Years goals.
The school were keen to accelerate acquisition of English to improve speech and language skills and in turn, gain a better understanding of Child B to support their learning in the classroom, with the aim of raising them to the expected levels in the Early Years goals.
Each week the various activities are presented out of the Jabberjacks box, by singing the ‘Jabberjacks’ song, helping the children to develop their listening and speaking skills. The open-ended activities enhance confidence as the children learn to explore and share their ideas about what can be done with the simple props. The puppets are used to interact with the children, enhancing their use of the English language as they explore the characters and their traits. Other activities inspire the children to make linkages with their home life where they can experience similarities and differences in the world we live in. The diversity of what we can offer, over such a short period of time, enables the school to quickly gain an insight into the children, enabling them to build on these insights back in the classroom and, in doing so, aid learning.
Child B almost immediately joined in with many of the rhymes, instantly improving speech through repetition and, as the sessions progressed, became even more confident in the use of the English language, often giving a solo performance of the Jabberjacks song to open the box. Over time, Child B became more assured in talking to the puppets and others in the session by sharing views on favourite characters and props. Certain puppets inspired linkages with Child B’s home life and gave the child inspiration to talk about this e.g. the snake puppet prompted Child B to share how the family had a snake at home, initiating discussion amongst the group. As Child B’s speech improved, contribution to the sessions became more proactive and the teachers were able to derive useful information about their interests and experience, which has since helped them in engaging with Child B back in the classroom.
Although Child B at the end of EYFS had not reached expected levels in the Early Years goals, they were no longer in the Early Stages of Learning English and had instead, developed sufficiently to classify English as an additional language.
“Jabberjacks helped Child B’s social interaction with other children. He was able to develop his imagination and confidence in a small, playful group. The sessions gave Child B opportunities to explore resources and play with toys that he had never experienced before.”
Child B’s Reception class teacher
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