English as an Additional Language

A celebration of the wide diversity of language


At St Hugh’s Catholic Primary School we are revisiting the wide array of languages spoken within our school and would like to celebrate the multicultural diversity within our community.  It seems that throughout the borough, many schools are beginning to tap into this wonderful underused resource.

You can help us to celebrate the wealth of languages spoken in our school by simply letting us know what other language is spoken at home.  This will help us develop a whole school approach and build appreciation of the diverse languages spoken in our school community, thus enabling us to reach as many cultures as possible.     

English as an Additional Language is something very much to rejoice about.  Bilingualism and multilingualism should and is seen as an asset and as such is not classed as being a special educational need.  It is our intention to challenge the new to English learners at a higher cognitive ability as all research shows that learners proficient in English is directly linked to a good level of academic success.


Here is the Government’s interpretation of English as an Additional Language, which is:

“ … an EAL learner includes anyone who has been exposed to a language other than English during early childhood and continues to be exposed to this language in the home or in the community ...”


This also means that the child does not necessarily have to speak the first language, only that they are hearing it in their family home/community. As a school, we would highly recommend that you continue using your first language at home and in your community with your child/children as further research has shown that the more fluent the children are in their first language, learning English will not be as difficult, because code switching between the two languages becomes a little easier.


Here are some of the challenges that children who are new to English face:


For those families who have arrived from Hong Kong via the British Overseas Nationals programme, please have a look at the following website as it provides lots of useful information:



It has a wide variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy including local walks in and around Trafford as well as story telling time in Hongkongese for children.  Follow the link or scan the QR code below:



Every Tuesday between 11.00 and 12.30 there is an ESOL Conversation Café, where you can practice your English. It is free to attend and refreshments are provided.