Young EAL learners in the classroom

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. This section of the website looks in detail at key teaching strategies to meet the needs of EAL learners in the classroom, including ideas for homework and the effective use of additional adults. Our Great Ideas pages give suggestions for tried-and-tested strategies that have been shown to be particularly beneficial for EAL learners – using flashcards, graphic organisers, jigsaw activities, drama, language drills, substitution tables and many more.

Information is also included about where to find subject-specific guidance on teaching EAL learners, assessment and developing your own practice.


EAL teaching has its own distinctive pedagogy. It aims to teach English using the mainstream curriculum as the context.

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.

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.