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Home Journal Index 2021-4

Designing an EAL Syllabus for Young Learners in a Bilingual or International School

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Yanwei Sun
Hangzhou Yungu School, China


Abstract
Following the rise of bilingual international schools in China, many learners of primary school age face huge barriers to academic success at school due to weaknesses in language proficiency. In my experience, without sufficient language support, not only is the academic growth of many young learners impeded, their social life and even their mental health suffer. This study investigates how an understanding of course design for primary learners will help prepare English language courses that support an effective transition to a bilingual school environment. Cognitive factors, physical factors, and the environment are discussed and serve as lenses through which methodologies, including needs analysis, syllabus framework, and assessments are reviewed and conducted. The overall design is considered to have reached the original goals and have fulfilled learners’ needs with evidential assessments and stakeholders’ consensus.


Keywords
EAL for young leaners, course design, cognitive factors