The EAL Academy


GOLD EAL Quality Mark for bilingual school in France

  • Students are taught in both English and French
  • Effective buddying system
  • Major naval and military centre – many pupils have attended multiple schools
  • Collaborative learning emphasised for both pupils and teachers
  • EAL in bilingual schools
How an emphasis on speaking and listening leads to high levels of literacy – Sara Beddoes

Congratulations to the International Section of the Lycée and Collège Saint Anne in Brest, where students are taught in both English and French, on achieving the Gold EAL Quality Mark. Students are taught in French for most of the week. However, those taking the international section option study English language and literature, History and Geography in English. When they take the Baccalaureat those subjects are examined in English. This option is popular among both the small number of students from English speaking homes and French speaking students at Sainte Anne. Brest is a major naval and military centre so some pupils have been to multiple schools, including British and American international schools. The International Section’s effective buddying system helps these pupils too.

Parents and students are very impressed by the teaching. They acknowledge that the emphasis on speaking English in the sixième (first year of secondary school) prepares them well for the challenges of academic English later on. One student told me that it helps to pick up “grammar without fuss” and another said: “to learn how to write you have to know how to speak.” The parents are impressed too. One told me: “The teachers have big personalities.”

The section’s impact on the school is far from limited to the students who go to International Section classes.  Features of the English education system, especially the extra-curricular activities such as the poetry competition and the house system, are very popular with students beyond the International Section.

Collaborative learning is common in classrooms, with teacher-chosen pairs and groups working together and practising formal English by reporting back to the class. Collaborative learning also happens between the International Section’s teachers, who share everything they do with each other.

The last word should always go to the pupils. Almost all of those I spoke to are already developing university plans and some time spent studying in English as well French is a widespread goal. These plans reflect the widespread belief that by end the of their time at the Lycée thinking in English will be as easy as thinking in French.

EAL in bilingual schools

Lucy Gorbold, Sara Beddoes and Graham Smith after the validation visit

The EAL Quality Mark is based on a school’s self-evaluation of its EAL provision. It is an award made to schools on their achievements in meeting the needs of pupils learning English as an additional language. 

It is available as a bronze, silver or gold award, allowing schools the opportunity to re-visit the award and build on their practice over time. Any school with pupils on roll who are learning English as an additional language is eligible to apply.

EAL online course

Extended online EAL course

New cohorts launched every term

Requiring approximately 90 hours to complete over a six month period, our extended EAL online course provides the opportunity to examine a range of EAL issues in detail, studying at times that suit your schedule. With 4 core units and 2 electives, you can tailor the cross-phase course to suit your interests and the needs of your school.

Learning in multilingual classrooms

Online course

This course looks at the choices we make about which language to use and the ability of many pupils to operate effectively in two or more languages.