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Supporting English as an Additional Language (EAL) at transition to school - Supporting EAL - Positive identity and wellbeing

​A positive sense of identity and wellbeing is essential for learning English as an additional language.

The basic components of positive identity and wellbeing are:

  • a sense of self-esteem, belonging, being welcomed and supported
  • feeling that culture including language is respected
  • developing a sense of success and achievement in the new environment
  • feeling in control of the environment, feeling part of the group, developing independence
  • feeling confident
  • feeling the support of others and being able to reciprocate that support.

Children who are resilient demonstrate flexibility, empathy and care of others; they enjoy solving problems, seeking solutions and making decisions. They feel good about themselves and enjoy being independent; they show persistence and are motivated to learn.

Professional training modules

Three professional training modules, delivered by FKA Children’s Services, provide early childhood professionals with a clear understanding of the way children learn English as an additional language (EAL) and how to support children in acquiring the skills required in a new language.

In particular, Module 2: Learning English as an Additional Language: Preschool Years explores the impact maintaining the first language has on self-esteem and identity. Participants will develop strategies to engage with multicultural families in order to support young EAL learners in an inclusive environment.

Promoting wellbeing for refugee children

Refugee children, including asylum seekers, with past experiences of violence and persecution may need support to address the psychological impact of these experiences. This support assists them to settle into a new school and fully participate in school life and education:

Foundation House
offers a range of services and programs to to meet the needs of people who have been subjected to torture or other traumatic events in their country of origin, or while fleeing those countries.

Student Support Services
provide specialist advice and support to schools, including guidance officers, psychologists and social workers.