Language Development Support (LDS)


At Optimist International School we welcome a mixed community of both native English speakers and children who speak English in addition to their mother tongue or haven’t learned to speak English at all. As language is a vital part of learning, we believe it’s important to create an environment where all children’s language is enriched, and where diversity is embraced and celebrated. We offer an inclusive approach to language enrichment, providing support for a greater number of children in a variety of settings.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

English as an Additional Language is taught to all children who do not have English as a mother tongue and whose command of the English language is not sufficient for them to access the curriculum with ease. Children from all classes can be eligible for EAL.


The EAL teachers work alongside the class teacher to provide support in the classroom and may withdraw the children who are new to learning English from their classrooms for lessons in an EAL classroom. These children follow one of a range of English Language schemes involving different language skills, so reading and writing are added. The scheme is chosen to suit the child. The EAL teacher condenses the language work such as vocabulary, phonics, reading, reading comprehension and basic writing, which the child has missed before enrolment in the school.


Dutch as an Additional Language (DAL)

Dutch as an Additional Language is taught to all pupils of Optimist International School whose English allows them to fully access the IPC. In the classes 1-3 the children learn to communicate (listening and speaking) through listening to stories, drama, playing language games, Dutch singing and Dutch school television programmes. In classes 4-7 the children increase their skills by learning to read and write in Dutch. The DAL teaching begins with the personal experiences of the pupil such as school and family life and these gradually extend to Dutch festivals (Sint) and traditions. The Dutch schools television ‘News Programme’ is used to support and enrich the knowledge of Dutch usage and promote discussion in Dutch with regard to world affairs.