English as an Additional Language (EAL)

We breathe in our first language, and swim in our second.Adam Gopnik (1956–) Canadian-American writer

Change your language and you change your thoughts- Karl Albrecht (1920–2014) German entrepreneur and co-founder of the Aldi supermarket chain

At Oakham we are proud to offer expert and personalised tuition in the form of English as an Additional Language (EAL) classes to support and develop the achievements of pupils for whom English is not their first language.

Our team of two highly qualified EAL teachers help students, where language and learning needs have been identified, achieve their full academic potential through small group teaching, individual lessons and in-class support.

In Forms 1–3 support is offered in place of Latin and/or a second modern language option. In Forms 4 and 5 for some students it is appropriate to reduce the number of GCSEs studied, so that EAL provision is part of a student’s timetable alongside supervised study time.

Students in Forms 6 and 7 are also welcomed into the Department when a need is recognised for subject specific support in their A-level or International Baccalaureate studies.

IELTS test preparation lessons are offered to students who do not have an English Language GCSE qualification, and who enter Oakham in Form 6 to study on the A-level courses. This qualification is an entrance requirement for UK universities.

To view the EAL Charges and Terms & Conditions click here.

Use of electronic bilingual translators


Students should purchase either a multi-functional translator or a bilingual paper dictionary for use in their lessons at Oakham.


As technology advances, it is increasingly difficult to find simple word-to-word translators, which are the only type allowed in exams; they are also expensive.  It is, therefore, more useful to purchase a multi-functional translator, which will be far more useful in lessons, and use a paper dictionary in exams.

Current JCQ exam regulations allow:

A simple word-for-word bilingual (paper) dictionary or a simple word-for-word electronic bilingual translator for internal and public examinations. Translators must not be multifunctional or show diagrams or pictures on the screen, or give definitions or explanations of words. 

·        IB Students are not allowed to use electronic devices in examinations but may find them useful in lessons. In examinations they are only allowed to use a ‘simple translating dictionary’ (paper).

Janet Irving

Janet Irving

Head of English as an Additional Language

❝The limits of my language are the limits of my world.❞ Ludwig Wittgenstein I have taught EAL in a range of settings from primary to post-graduate following a career as an international buyer. I am also an IELTS examiner, an experienced teacher trainer and have language research interests in phonology and CLIL (learning by integrating the language and content). I love the fact that no two lessons are the same! My hobbies include swimming, singing, classical dressage and, when not in school, I can generally be found outdoors with a child, dog or horse in tow!