EAL learner in school

All EAL learners have a three-way task in school: they are learning a new language, they are learning new content through a new language and they are learning about the new language.

The National Curriculum (July 2014) states that,

1.1  The ability of pupils for whom English is an additional language to take part in the national curriculum may be in advance of their communication skills in English. Teachers should plan teaching opportunities to help pupils develop their English and should aim to provide the support pupils need to take part in all subjects.

And in the Language and Literacy section that,

6.1  Teachers should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.

Ofsted briefing for inspectors on EAL April 2014 states that,

Class/subject teachers should plan collaboratively with EAL support teachers or teaching assistants. There should be a focus on both language and subject content in lesson planning.

Thus, all teachers should aim to teach the essential language features of their own subject/s to learners with EAL.

For example, in history pupils need to be able to speak about events in the past, read and write chronological reports and be confident using past tenses. They would also need to be able to say and sequence dates.

The National Strategies published a series of booklets for teachers about EAL in curriculum subjects called Access and Engagement in ... (2002). (See an example at http://www.naldic.org.uk)

These booklets contain teacher guidance and strategies for teaching EAL learners in a variety of secondary subjects.

The NALDIC website has many specific articles and key documents related to EAL learners in specific subject areas. http://www.naldic.org.uk/eal-teaching-and-learning/eal-resources

Good-quality curriculum-based teaching resources have always been at the heart of the EAL Nexus project. 

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