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English as an Additional Language


The English as an Additional Language (EAL) department aims to equip pupils for whom English is not their first language with the necessary skills and confidence in the use of English language to allow them to integrate successfully in the mainstream curriculum and achieve their full potential.

Prospective pupils whose first language is not English may apply for a place at the school in the usual manner. They sit an English as an Additional Language examination as part of the admissions process. They may also be interviewed by the Head of EAL as part of the entrance procedure and / or on arrival. There is an induction programme for all international students prior to the start of the academic year organised by the Tutor for International Pupils, Mr Nick Nelson, and the EAL department.

In Lower College, support takes place within the mainstream curriculum in groups (normally in the place of another Modern Foreign Language) of up to fourteen and in addition to the mainstream curriculum as individual, shared and small group lessons. Lessons are tailor-made to address each individual’s needs and areas of weakness. We aim to develop each of the skill areas in English – speaking, reading, writing and listening. In addition, there is a focus on English for the mainstream academic curriculum, as well as covering necessary study skills. EAL pupils in Lower College normally sit IGCSE English Language and Literature in 5F, which is closely supported by the EAL department. Outside of formal lessons there are “EAL clinics” for students to receive guidance and support with their academic studies in other subjects including their coursework, class work and prep.

Students in Upper College who do not have the prerequisite language qualifications for university entry are entered for the IELTS examination, usually in the Lower Sixth Form, and classes are held to prepare students for this exam. This examination is an internationally accepted university entrance qualification. It is designed to grade students’ level of English at a level of 1.0 – 9.0. The grade needed for university entry depends on the individual university but most require a minimum of 6.5 – 7.0. The Sixth Form IELTS syllabus focuses on developing the academic and linguistic skills required for the IELTS examination such as listening for detail, reading academic texts and writing a variety of academic essay styles. There is much exam practice offered, ensuring that the pupils are adequately prepared for the examination.

In addition to IELTS preparation, the department offers EAL support to those Sixth Form students who require it; this takes the form of individual or small group tailor-made lessons. Lessons may also be made available for any student wishing to sit another EAL examination such as those offered by Cambridge ESOL.

We are dedicated to internationalism at Cheltenham College and want to do all that we can to ensure that each student achieves their full potential both academically and socially during their time at the College. It is our belief that the English language support offered at Cheltenham College will maximise the chance of this.

Miss Helen C Davies, Head of English as an Additional Language