EAL learners are a very diverse group. The government definition of an EAL learner includes anyone who has been exposed to a language other than English during early childhood ‘and continues to be exposed to this language in the home or in the community’. This includes, for example:
Are you a senior member of staff in a school, cluster or Multi-Academy Trust with EAL learners? Are you looking to improve policy and practice? Here you can find information about EAL learners in the UK, assessment of EAL learners, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for your staff and ways to improve your school's provision.
On the EAL Nexus website we generally use the term ‘EAL learner’ to describe our target group. In England, the Department for Education (DfE) expects schools to regard pupils as EAL learners if they have recorded them on the annual school census as having a language other than ‘English’, ‘Believed to be English’ or ‘British Sign Language’.
Teachers and other education staff can develop their own practice in many different ways: through formal accredited continuing professional development (CPD), short courses and staff meetings, online information, advice or discussion, sharing resources or working alongside colleagues.
In this section of the website you will find support and information about evaluating your current school practice in making provision for learners of English as an additional language as well as engaging with parents, carers and communities.
Schools work hard to forge effective partnerships with parents as research consistently shows that parental involvement in children’s education has significant and lasting benefits.
Advantages of being bilingual
There are many reasons why schools should attempt to support and develop the bilingual skills of their learners: