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EAL Buddy Training at Leeds City Academy

Leeds City Academy regularly welcomes new students and with this in mind, we are training responsible, reliable and 'ready-to-act' individuals, to support new starters.

In November, more than 40 friendly and eager students, from across Year 7, 8,9 and 10, volunteered to take part in ‘EAL Buddy Training’ (English as an Additional Language) resulting in formal recognition of their skills.

A buddy’s role is to ensure new students feel confident enough to participate in classroom activities and social groups. It is expected that the candidates for buddies are trustworthy, friendly and - ideally - bilingual or multilingual. They need to be able to model good language and behaviour.

To be a buddy you must have the following qualities: be trustworthy, friendly and ideally bilingual or multilingual. You will also need to display model behaviour at all times. Buddies help new students around school for the first couple of weeks but this often develops into long lasting friendships. Students who have been part of the ‘Buddy’ system often choose to become buddies themselves. They value the support they received from their buddy and often want to give that support back to other new students.

Pavel in Year 7 said: "I wanted to do the training because I like helping people and I like interpreting and translating for them.”

Macaulay one of the current buddies added: “I want to help people who don’t understand English and don’t now the Academy so they feel welcome.”

New EAL buddies have received badges and certificates in assembly and have been placed on the ‘Buddy Register’.

There are now more than 80 EAL buddies in years 7-11 at Leeds City Academy, speaking different languages and ready to make new students feel welcome.