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. The key to successful development is making sure that the input you choose meets the needs of your learners and is of high quality, based on sound research and experience.

This website

The British Council EAL Nexus website provides you with information, resources and links to support the development of EAL teaching and learning in schools in the UK. The following pages on this website will be of particular interest:

EAL Nexus Professional development modules

We are currently developing three core modules to support the development of EAL practice in schools. These modules focus on different groups of EAL learners and are suitable for online study or for delivery at a staff meeting or other short CPD session. Each one requires about 90 minutes for delivery.

Vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.presentation application Improving outcomes of more advanced bilingual learners aged 8-11 (708.91 KB)

This CPD module is for mainstream classroom teachers 8 to 11-year-olds and focuses on whole class, quality first teaching.

Audits, observation forms and planning grids

The EAL Nexus team has developed formats to support you in auditing, monitoring and planning for EAL in your school.

Toolkits and case studies

A set of toolkits and case studies based on the EAL Nexus school-based pilot will be available on this website in spring 2015. The toolkits will focus on effective teaching and learning for EAL learners in the classroom; the case studies will look at ways of developing partnerships with parents of EAL learners.

Ensuring you get expert advice

In England, over 100 of the 152 local authorities in England have an EAL service, team or adviser to support schools in the effective development of their EAL work. In Wales, all LAs have one as do almost all of the 32 local education authorities in Scotland. There are larger teams in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Northern Ireland schools are supported by the regional Inclusion and Diversity Service.

Find out about your local EAL specialists and what is available for your school. Look on your council website or check these links

Information and resources

Many guidance and information documents were published by DfE England over the last decade which may be useful to schools in planning effective education for EAL learners. Many of these were published through the National Strategies. These can be found on the archive website:

See for example:

  • Access and Engagement 2002; booklets for secondary subject teachers on how and why to incorporate EAL teaching strategies into subject teaching.
  • Supporting the effective use of EMAG and Aiming High 2004 (Guidance)
  • Excellence and Enjoyment, Professional Development Modules for Primary schools 2006
  • New Arrivals Excellence Programme 2007 (Primary and Secondary)
  • Minority Ethnic Achievement Programme (Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Turkish, Somali) 2008 (Secondary)
  • Ensuring the Attainment of more advanced learners CPD Modules 2008 (Secondary)

Continuing professional development