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English as an Additional Language

All students accepted for entry must be able to manage the normal academic curriculum of the school, however we do provide support for those students for whom English is not their first language.

Introduction to EAL at Ampleforth

Our overall aim in EAL is to ensure that students develop their English Language skills to enable them to fully function in the wider curriculum and to meet their academic potential. Our aim is to provide a relevant, enjoyable and appropriately challenging experience for every student, no matter what level their English Language skills.

On entry to the school, all overseas students are assessed for English Language level. Students who need English Language support attend EAL lessons instead of mainstream English. Students in the Sixth form, Years 12 and 13, will take EAL lessons in two cases: firstly, their English Language skills are B2 or below; secondly, they do not already have an English Language qualification. This is so they have the necessary support for their other subjects and can achieve the necessary level and qualifications for university in the UK, if applicable.

There is no extra charge for EAL lessons in Years 7 - 11. However, in Year 12 we do make an extra charge as these classes are in addition to the normal curriculum offered by the College.  It is also possible to take a private individual EAL lesson with an EAL specialist teacher if it is felt this will benefit the student. Private lessons are charged for.


The courses followed are aimed at improving student's standard of English across the four core skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, whilst enhancing their appreciation of British culture. In Key Stage 3 students are prepared for and take their PET and FCE exams. In Key Stage 4 EAL students prepare for IGCSE. In Year 10 we currently offer IGCSE Second Language English and in Year 11, IGCSE English First Language.

In Year 12 students follow a course that prepares them for the IELTS qualification, which is a necessary qualification for any non-native speaker who wishes to study at a UK or USA University. Students will need to take this course if they have not previously passed IGCSE English at grade 6 or above.

Reading is highly valued and supported in EAL: there is an extensive EAL section in the College Library, with a wide selection of simplified readers and other books. Many of them are English classics and students are given guidance and advice about appropriate books to read.

We offer external qualifications in Years 7-12 to ensure that students joining the College for just one or two years are assured of leaving us with an internationally recognised qualification. We aim to support language development in all areas of our students’ lives and run an evening EAL support session where EAL students can have support in other subject preps where language may be proving a challenge.

Aims of the Department:

The primary aim of the EAL department is to develop the students' proficiency in English to the highest possible standard by:

  • Following a comprehensive course of study in all aspects of the language.
  • Helping students to become independent learners in possession of knowledge and skills which will offer enrichment in their personal and professional lives.
  • Facilitating where possible their integration into the wider life of the school.
  • Helping them to develop understanding of and sensitivity towards the society in which they now live.
  • Gaining an internationally recognised EAL or English qualification.
  • Taking the IELTS examination in the Sixth form in order to be able to apply to a British University.

A Compass for Life

Full Boarding & Day School for students aged 11 to 18