When a child arrives at the school it is used the Equivalence Table (you can find it in the Vademecum) to determine in which class year the student goes. There is then a 2 weeks period of observation by the teacher and Language Support teacher to be sure that the student is in the right class year. During this period it is also evaluated if the student needs Language Support. If this is the case a form is filled in with the needs of the child. When children are already attending the school the teacher also fills in the form to request Language Support.
After that, there is a meeting with class teachers, Language Support teachers and the director to choose, following some criterias, which students will have Language Support.There are four priorities (criterias) that are considered to choose the children:
- Age – oldest children have the priority
- Level of the language
- Number of SWALS children attending the class
- Size of the class
(these two last priorities are considered together).During the year the class teacher and Language Support teacher regularly evaluate the children and again a meeting with the director, it is decided if the student needs more Language Support or doesn’t need it anymore. In this last case this support will be given to another student that needs it.Usually Language Support is given to small groups of children (2 or 3). One child can have this program for a maximum of 2 years. But it should be independent of LS programs.Teachers should have qualifications to do this job.Mrs. Nowaczyk did a survey to know how the system is working and she got very positive answers from teachers and parents.
It seems that the number of SWALS is increasing .It would be better if the size of the classes is lower and the budget increased.