English as an Additional Language

A warm welcome awaits you at Monmouth School for Girls – a senior school with a truly global outlook!

International students from a diverse range of countries such as China, Japan, Russia, Spain, Germany, to name but a few, have been valued members of our school community for several decades. Currently, they account for approximately 14% of our senior school intake.

During their time at Monmouth School for Girls both their linguistic and overall academic progress are quite phenomenal and many continue their chosen studies at renowned UK universities, including those of the Russell Group or even, at Oxford or Cambridge.

Admissions procedure

  • Candidates in Years 7 – 10 are required to sit online entry papers in English and Mathematics and a report is sought from the Headteacher of the candidate’s current school or from a recognised international agent. The Head or Head of EAL also seeks to conduct an interview over Skype, if possible.
  • Sixth Form Foundation Year (SFFY) Candidates are required to sit online entry papers in English (to meet EAL requirements) and Mathematics and are asked to provide a report from their present school or a recognised international agent. The Head and/or Head of EAL also seeks to conduct an interview over Skype.
  • Sixth Form Candidates may select two papers taken in the subjects of preferred A Level choice. In addition, a report is requested from the Headteacher of the candidate’s current school or from a recognised international agent. The Head and/or Head of Sixth Form and/or Head of EAL also seeks to conduct an interview.
  • Temporary overseas pupils, regardless of the length of their proposed stay are not usually required to sit an entrance test. However, if possible, an interview over Skype is conducted by the Head or Head of EAL.

Testing of new arrivals

As part of the induction process international students will sit various placement tests in order to establish their current CEFR Level (A1 – C2) and the nature of language support required.

EAL Levels (CEFR) and ‘CAN DO’ statements (PDF – 89KB)

EAL teaching

Our teaching philosophy is based on the communicative approach. We aim to provide engaging lessons in which you will develop in confidence and consequently, become ever more fluent and accurate in your command of both written and spoken English. We will assist you on this language-learning journey from BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills) to CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) and provide you with the necessary ‘tool kit’ to reach your destination in order to access the curriculum and fulfil your potential. It is important to recognise the fact that ‘Academic language …..is nobody’s mother tongue’ (Bourdieu et al. 1994). Our small classes (12 students maximum) and dedicated staff make this happen…..

The EAL Department’s well-resourced teaching rooms are situated in The Tower accessed by a spiral stairs; as many a student has remarked it is somewhat reminiscent of the school Hogwarts, featured in Harry Potter stories!

It is not ‘all work and no play’ for the international student at Monmouth School for Girls. Students are encouraged to participate in the wide range of extra-curricular activities and clubs on offer; weekend boarding excursions and EAL cultural visits.

EAL provision
Lower School EAL Provision (Years 7 – 9)

EAL lessons will normally take place instead of a Modern Foreign Language during 2 – 3 periods of 35 minutes per week. Students will be able to work towards one of the internationally recognised Cambridge tests e.g. A2 Key For Schools, B1 Preliminary For Schools, B2 First For Schools

Senior School EAL Provision (Years 10 – 11)

EAL is timetabled as a core subject and will be taught over 4 periods of 35 minutes per week. Students will normally be prepared for the Cambridge B2 First Test and in addition, will have the opportunity to sit the Cambridge IGCSE in English as a Second Language (B2 Level +) Syllabus 0991 which is especially tailored to meet the needs of the international learner as it focuses on all four language skills i.e. Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing; there is no course work element and it is not reliant on a knowledge of British culture or literature.

Sixth Form Foundation Year EAL Provision (SFFY)

This programme allows students from outside the UK to complete IGCSE courses in one year and then proceed to study A Levels or the IB in the UK. Depending on their age and level of English, students can take up to 6 IGCSE subjects in a year. The Cambridge IGCSE in English as a Second Language (B2 Level +) Syllabus 0991 will be taught over 8 periods of 35 minutes per week.

Sixth Form EAL Provision (Years 12 – 13)

Those students who hope to enter UK Higher Education will follow the IELTS course of 3 periods of 35 minutes per week in Year 12 and will sit the test at The University of Cardiff. This is a diagnostic test of Academic English and is also recognised by Australian universities and many in the US.

Individual bespoke lessons can be arranged for specific A Level subject support, if required and/or assistance with UCAS applications.

Recent Examination Results
Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language
Year IGCSE Grades
2022 9-4 87% (A*-C equivalent)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               9-6 75% (A*-B equivalent)
2021 9-4: 100% (A* – C equivalent)
9–6: 67% (A* – B equivalent)
2020 9-4: 100% (A* – C equivalent)
9–6: 75% (A* – B equivalent)
2019 A* – C: 91%
A* – B: 64%
IELTS TEST – Average Overall Score
Year Score
2022 7.5
2021 7.4
2020 7.4
2019 7.1

All permanent international students are encouraged to gain a first language qualification such as a GCSE and/or A Level, as appropriate, and this can be taken at Monmouth School for Girls.

Useful website list for students
General sites
Online Dictionaries
Cambridge A2 Key for Schools
Cambridge B1 Preliminary for Schools
Cambridge B2 First for Schools
Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language


Testimonials from students
Ally – Y12 Permanent student from Hong Kong

‘My past 4 years at MG has been an extraordinary experience. I was always given opportunities to explore where my strengths lay and was encouraged to push my limits while being accompanied by supportive teachers and strong friendships.

Being a boarder in MG means that you are a part of a huge, friendly and family-like community where you are constantly surrounded by joy and laughter. With the wide range of diversity within the boarding houses, you could easily make friends from all around the world.

As international students, we receive EAL lessons regularly alongside the curriculum to develop the essential skills needed in order to confidently use English in exams and as well as in daily life. This makes integrating into lessons easier than ever.  

Studying abroad was initially quite intimidating but this thought was gradually dismissed after my first few weeks at MG where I quickly established this place to be my ‘home away from home’.’

Clara – Y8 Temporary student from Germany

‘My English definitely improved a lot. At the start I couldn’t really talk to anyone and now I am able to have conversations with other people without really having to think about most of the words.

I can also read books in English and I am also in the top set for English and got better at writing essays.

I would definitely recommend Monmouth School for Girls to other international students because this year was amazing. I loved everything in this school and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.’

Yuriko – Temporary student from Japan

‘I definitely spent the best year in my entire life here at Monmouth School for Girls’.