Home Education Children's Education English as an additional language: benefits that last a lifetime
Last update on January 20, 2020
Written by American School of Paris

In the multicultural student body that typifies English-speaking international schools, it is not unusual to find students who have languages other than English as their mother tongue or home language. [Contributed by the American School of Paris]

Each child’s ability to thrive and succeed in such an environment is related to the level of support and encouragement received at home and at school. The American School of Paris offers a special dedicated program for English-language education, led by trained professionals, to address the individual needs of young English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners.

How children are placed into classes

Students place into the school’s EAL program according to their English-language proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Individualized, differentiated support is provided in an immersive and inclusive environment. EAL teachers work with their students in both mainstream classrooms and in EAL-dedicated classrooms. Frequent communication on student progress between the school and parents is key.

“Each student learns at his or her own rate, and while small language steps can be achieved quickly, the complete process can take several years,” says Troy Titterington, ASP’s EAL coordinator. “Research also shows that on average, a beginning-level EAL student in an immersion program will learn social English in three to five years, and academic English in five to seven years.”

English as an additional language

Titterington cites the role of each student in achieving desired English language learning results. “In the end, each student’s success is due to his or her personal effort, fortitude, and commitment to learning English. As they achieve fluency, students acknowledge that learning English has been a long process, but one that is worthwhile. And, best part of all, the benefits will last a lifetime.”

Supporting your child’s English language learning


  • Encourage your child to make friendships with children from other countries
  • Keep using your mother tongue at home in speaking and reading
  • Encourage your child to join after-school activities and have English play dates
  • Give your child plenty of positive praise
  • Encourage your child to read
  • Remember learning English takes time
  • Be patient


  • Criticize every mistake your child makes
  • Over-correct your child’s mistakes
  • Overload your child with extra homework
  • Translate books word for word — focus on the ideas
  • Forget that making errors is a natural part of the learning process
  • Forget to praise your child
  • Let your child study all the time; they need to play, relax and enjoy their family and friends

Learn more at www.asparis.org/academics/english-as-an-additional-language or contact [email protected]