EAL Nexus has the central aim of helping young migrant learners to access learning and positively engage in schools, in the community and in society, thus promoting intercultural dialogue and social cohesion. One of our four key aims is to develop a unique website with quality materials.
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There are currently over a million learners of English as an additional language in UK maintained schools and many more in independent schools. Nearly 19% of the primary population of England has EAL and over 14% of the secondary population. These proportions continue to grow year on year.
One of the central aims of the EAL Nexus project is to engage with teachers and work with schools to promote a better understanding of how to teach and support EAL learners most effectively.
Learners arriving into English schools from overseas come from many different countries. Children from the same country may have diverse ethnic, religious, political or social class backgrounds.
EAL teaching has its own distinctive pedagogy. It aims to teach English using the mainstream curriculum as the context. This involves developing specific resources which make the language of the curriculum accessible through, for example, increased use of visuals, scaffolding and modelling, while keeping the cognitive challenge and interest level high.
The National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC) have identified five principles of good practice in EAL teaching and learning (NALDIC 1999).
Many of the teaching resources on this website refer to various tried and tested approaches and strategies which we recommend for EAL learners.
In this section of the website we explain the rationale behind these methodologies and why we call them ‘Great Ideas’.
For EAL learners, assessment, both summative and formative (including assessment for learning), is complex owing to the need to consider both achievement in the curriculum and English language acquisition.
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.