Queen’s has a long history of welcoming overseas pupils from a variety of countries and places great value on the contribution these students make to the school community. Students from China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Russia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Spain, among others, have attended Queen’s College and achieve excellent grades at A Level with many securing places at top universities in Britain and worldwide. The English as an Additional Language (EAL) staff have a rich and varied experience of teaching international students and this knowledge and expertise, as well as a dedication to nurturing your talents, is crucial in guiding you in the progress.
As an overseas pupil, you are integrated into the mainstream school and boarding houses so that you are able a true experience of life at an English boarding school. You will learn to interact with the other students and teachers gaining an irreplaceable immersion in the language and culture. The EAL department will support you in your subject work as necessary and liaise closely with your subject teachers both to ensure efficient and appropriate support and to assess your progress.
On entry into Year 12, you will be assessed on arrival to plan the appropriate level of support suitable to your needs. Most EAL students attend a course to prepare them for IELTs exam which is world-recognised and a requirement for study at British Universities. This exam is administered in the school by official IELTs examiners. On reaching the desired level, you may attend an English or academic study course which will prepare you for life at an English University.
The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam has four parts – listening, reading, writing and speaking and assesses your ability to use English in real-life and academic situations. There are four parts to the listening section where you will hear a variety of recorded texts, including monologues and dialogues. The reading section tests a range of reading skills with passages from newspapers, journals, magazines and books. Writing consists of two tasks, one of 150 words and one of 250 words, where you look at a diagram or table and present the information in your own words as well as discussing a current issue, presenting and justifying an opinion or assessing and analysing a development or problem. An interview between you and examiner forms the basis for the speaking module. You are asked general questions about yourself, your home, family and studies and are then given a topic and allowed one minute to prepare a one to two minute talk. Part three is a discussion about more abstract issues related to the topic.
There is no pass or fail in IELTS, candidates are instead graded using scores from 1-9 for each part of the exam which then produce an overall score. This is valid for two years and administered by an official IELTS examiner.
The EAL department is housed in the Haslem Building and has bespoke classrooms with multi-media equipment and utilises a variety of books, online resources and visual media to aid teaching. You will be encouraged to be active in clubs and activities after school and at the weekend to widen your experience and to fully benefit from the many and varied opportunities available to you. As an EAL student, you will often have the opportunity help with school events like Quartz or plays and demonstrate leadership skills in the wider community. The EAL department also arranges termly trips to local places of interest to help broaden your cultural experience of living in the UK.