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EAL children in school
Author: Sarah Jones, EAL coordinator, Lea Forest Academy

The Sentence Analyser was piloted by the children and staff in the EAL Hub at Lea Forest Academy in the autumn term of 2018. Over the following two terms, the children and staff used it in a variety of ways to support a widening of the children's vocabulary. The EAL Hub children's morphology skills were tracked, alongside a control group.

What did the data show? What did the staff think? Was the resource beneficial enough to become embedded? Let's find out!

The Sentence Analyser (a tool within the Learning Village​) is a simple resource that allows learners to construct sentences to help them access their learning objectives. It helps them find alternative words and create sentences and phrases correctly. It is designed to generate a substitution table, which can be printed out and used as a writing or speaking frame. You can read more about it in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series of articles.

The results are in!

Our aim was to find a resource that would help children learn the 75,000 words needed for their language comprehension skills to flourish and their morphology skills to deepen. Did we find the resource we were looking for?

After initial use of the Edtech Pilot Framework, a staff training session was held in the second half of the autumn term. The Sentence Analyser was introduced in this session and training was given on how to use it across the curriculum. During the second half of the spring term and the first half of the summer term, data was collected.

Spring 2 mid-point review:

  • Hub children and control children’s morphology awareness assessment
  • Pupil voice questionnaire
  • Staff voice questionnaires

Summer 1 end-point review:

  • Hub children and control children’s morphology awareness assessment
  • Pupil voice questionnaire
  • Staff voice questionnaires

After analysing the data, what did it show?

Scores of morphology awareness assessment

Looking at the spring 2 data, it clearly shows that the Hub children continued to make progress in attainment at a good rate, while the control children also made progress, but at a less accelerated pace.

In the summer 1 term, the control children were introduced to the Sentence Analyser, which was used frequently in class. Their results for the summer 1 term show a significant increase in attainment, proving that the Sentence Analyser has a positive impact on children’s morphology skills.

Not only did the Hub children show accelerated progress in their morphology understanding, they also made good progress through the NASSEA continuum. They became more confident with their spoken English, holding more detailed conversations. In addition, their written work showed improvements: through the use of taught vocabulary and sentence structures, the children were better able to write meaningful sentences, paragraphs and short stories independently.

The final step

The summary of data was shared with the staff and a case study was completed. It was decided that the Sentence Analyser would be used wherever possible, as a tried and tested resource proven to be beneficial for boosting learners’ language comprehension and deepening their morphology skills.

Click here to read part one of this series of articles.

Click here to read part two of this series of articles.

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This lesson follow a particular format: