English as an Additional Language

Aiglon is a genuinely international school. Our students come from around 60 countries, making Aiglon an exciting and encouraging place to learn new languages.

We really value your language skills and we will expect you to add English to the languages you already speak – you will be attending lessons in English by the time you reach the senior school. Our expert and targeted EAL programme enables students from all over the world to access our curriculum. You will benefit from immersion in an English-speaking community, and ongoing support from our Head of English as an Additional Language (EAL), Claire Chalcraft, and her expert team.

Support is provided one-on-one and in the classroom. In the Junior School, specialist EAL classes are available for an extra charge during the first three years. After that, all lessons are taught in English, apart from language classes.

What it’s really like learning English at Aiglon

Anna Kosenko

"When I first arrived at Aiglon I barely spoke English. My roommate was a British girl and when she spoke to me I could not understand a single word she said! Slowly, I learned English, starting with lots of help from my EAL teachers, who, as well as teaching me formally, also encouraged me to read and to speak in English.

"Several years later, I successfully finished my A levels (in Physics, Further Mathematics, Art, Russian, and French) at Aiglon – something that was partially made possible by the EAL department. They boosted my English in the first year, giving me the best chance to do well in my GCSEs and therefore the freedom to choose A levels.

"EAL is, in my view, one of the most vital departments at Aiglon. The school is so international that for most students English is their second, if not third or even fourth language. Quite a few students only start learning English properly when they come to Aiglon. The excellent support the EAL department provides ensures that we do not miss out on doing as well as everyone else in public examinations."

Anna Kosenko graduated from Aiglon College in 2009, going on to study architecture at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Emma Okamoto

"I first arrived at Aiglon aged 12, and a non-English speaker. I could not communicate with anyone or even understand what was happening.

"Being a boarder sped up my process of learning English – I was surrounded by English all the time. Friends and teachers were always trying to talk to me slowly about what was going on so that I could understand.

"Being in EAL was my main source of improvement of English. The EAL class usually has a very small number of students who speak a similar level of English. I wasn’t very confident talking to friends or teachers and EAL was the place I could talk freely without feeling embarrassed. After 2 years with the EAL team, I moved to normal GCSE classes with native English speakers. Initially, I was very worried but with the continued support of my EAL teachers, I was successful in GCSE.

"I completed AS level Biology, Chemistry, and Further Mathematics at Aiglon. I was only able to do these subjects and take exams because of the special support I received in EAL classes, for which I am very grateful!"

Emma Okamoto graduated from Aiglon College in 2010, going on to study pharmacology at the University of Musashino, Tokyo, Japan.

EAL teachers

Claire Chalcraft

Claire Chalcraft

BA(Hons) Education, Exeter

Post Grad Cert English Language Teaching (CELTA, Cambridge)

Mrs Chalcraft teaches French, is Director of Pastoral Care, and is a member of the School Council. She says that teaching at Aiglon is “never dull, usually enormous fun and always rewarding”.

Unsurprisingly, then, one of her favourite times of the year is returning to school after the summer holidays. “Feeling the school come to life is pretty special: students and staff bring such energy and light up the place.”

A full timetable and plenty of responsibility means there is rarely time for hobbies in term time. But in the holidays, Mrs Chalcraft makes the most of her free time. “I love to run, bake, take photos, fiddle around, play piano, guitar, flute, sing, dance, dream, and sleep. In term time I rarely manage to do any of these things!”

Rowena Hall

Rowena Hall

French & English as an Additional Language teacher

BA, University of Natal Pietermaritzburg

PGCE, University of Zimbabwe Rhodesia

Alongside her teaching duties, Ms Hall helps the Drama department with school productions. She also enjoys “drama, gardening, handicrafts, and walking the dog”.

Ivor Ligertwood

Ivor Ligertwood

English & EAL teacher

Mr Ligertwood “loves to see students grow and is fully committed to the development of mind, body and spirit,” both in Aiglon’s young people and in himself. He spent 12 years working in the Expedition Department and believes that “the great outdoors brings out the best in students”. He is also a member of the Great Britain Ski Mountaineering Team and often introduces Aiglon students to the sport – many have gone on to represent their home countries.

Alanna Rowntree

Alanna Rowntree

La Casa Houseparent and EAL Teacher

BEd Hons

I think teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world,” says Mrs Alanna Rowntree, teacher of EAL and houseparent in La Casa (with her husband Mr Simon Rowntree – and toddler Clara). Like many of her colleagues, Mrs Rowntree says that for her, Aiglon epitomises everything education should be. “I hope I can be an inspiring part of my students’ lives,” she says, “just as many special teachers have been for me.

Eurgain Vinatier

Eurgain Vinatier

EAL teacher

Mrs Vinatier teaches English as an Additional Language and Science, and says she loves teaching at Aiglon for its “holistic approach to education”. Originally Clairmont’s House tutor, Mrs Vinatier fell in love with the school and, 10 years later in '11, joined the staff as a teacher.