Using London as our EAL Learning Laboratory

As part of their Personal Learning Period, six students from Grades 6 through 8 engage in English lessons with Ms Cooke and Mrs Jones.

These lessons, designed specifically by these two teachers, aim to provide specific EAL support in the areas of written communication (specifically grammar), oral communication, and reading. These lessons are divided into “pods”, each focusing on specific skills and content.

Background to this project:
Given that many of Halcyon’s EAL students are new to London, it was decided by this teacher team to use an approach that would not only enhance their understanding of the English Language but would go further by connecting the students to their local community and environment. The project: A podcast walk of Central London.

The podcast was first plotted on a Google Map based on sites the students wanted to learn more about. Following on from this, students began researching and writing small guides on each site. Leaning on the oral communication skills, the students worked collaboratively to record a podcast that provides clear directions from one site to the next, gives the listener a 30-second clip of information based on each site, and takes the listener on a journey of Central London.

The Podcast Walk - Thursday, 13 March:
With the sun blazing overhead, the EAL group headed out with Ms Cooke and Mrs Jones on their podcast walk. 

After exploring the Marble Arch area, strolling down Oxford Street, and connecting with the Wallace Collection, the group stopped at the famous Daunt Book Shop on Marylebone High Street. Browsing through the books, students read together, collected their World Book Day books, and made some personal purchases for their own literary collections.

Following on from a quick coffee and group conversation at Pain Le Quotidien, the group headed to their final stop: Madame Tussauds where they learned more about the history of this museum and the attached Planetarium.

In all, the project has proven to be a great success. It is hoped that we will be able to connect with other local schools to embark on a collaborative community walk in the next two months, again using a podcast project to guide the learning.