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New arrival in front of school
Created: Fri 9th Sep 2022

It's September - you come in for your inset day, and find out that you have two new starters in your class. One is an English as an Additional Language (EAL) new arrival. What does this mean - for them and for you?

What is a new arrival?

"New arrivals can be described as:

Literacy: Student writing
Created: Wed 7th Sep 2022

Author: Breda Matthews, EAL Specialist

Schools often have a number of students who are not yet literate in English. Whilst this includes English-speaking children who are only just learning to read and write, it also covers other groups of learners, including:

  • 'pre-literate' learners who come from an oral language tradition where there is no written form of the language. This can make the concepts of reading and writing very difficult to grasp.

Teenagers reading
Created: Thu 1st Sep 2022

Author: Christine Hanley, EAL Specialist

Child using graphic organiser
Created: Thu 4th Aug 2022

Author: Miranda Howell, EAL Specialist

We all know that there can be resistance to writing in the EAL classroom. To break this barrier, we need to consider the reasons for this, which are often due to a lack of scaffolding and under-confident learners. Working through a process of reading a model text, deconstructing it and then reconstructing your own text by following a scaffold, leads to more satisfactory outcomes.

Behaviour assessment using smiley flashcards
Created: Wed 15th Jun 2022

Author: Isabelle Bridger-Eames

Getting behaviour 'right' is crucially important for all schools. Ensuring that we have a 'fit for purpose' behaviour policy that caters for all pupils throughout their schooling - including EAL pupils - is vital for the feel and culture of our schools, as well as for allowing pupils to feel safe and be in the right environment to learn to their full potential.

Child looking back from school gate
Created: Wed 25th May 2022

Author: Miranda Howell, EAL Specialist

The big day has arrived, the new uniform is looking smart, and now our 'senior' Primary school learners are about to become important 'junior' Secondary school students. For most of us, this is a memorable experience and, therefore, very significant. However, whilst some learners approach this milestone with great excitement and enthusiasm, others are nervous and anxious.

Teacher smiling in classroom
Created: Wed 27th Apr 2022

Author: Isabelle Bridger-Eames, EAL Specialist

The Early Career Framework was made compulsory in the UK in September 2021. It replaces the year-long NQT period. It is a two-year programme of support and development for new teachers after they complete initial teacher training. The Framework covers 8 main areas:

Child scared of Maths equations
Created: Sun 27th Mar 2022

Author: Christine Hanley, EAL Specialist

EAL students writing
Created: Wed 23rd Feb 2022

Author: Miranda Howell, EAL Specialist

Multilingual class
Created: Sun 23rd Jan 2022

Author: Yzanne Mackay

If Katerina spoke in Russian again in the classroom, the teacher warned her, her name would be put on the board and she would miss out on certain privileges. 'Katerina' - a seven-year-old Russian speaker newly arrived in the UK - was finding it difficult to let go of her mother tongue (also referred to as 'home language', 'first language' or 'L1') in class, to the frustration of her teacher. Her story is the central point of a recent research paper by Olena Gundarina and James Simpson (see References below).

Mother checking child's online safety on screen
Created: Sat 27th Nov 2021

Author: Yzanne Mackay

Everyone recognises the importance of staying safe online - but it's not always straightforward. For many of us, computing - including social media, information technology and cybersecurity - is a whole new world, with its own conventions and language. Now consider the added element of dealing with all of this quite literally in a different language! That's the situation our EAL learners find themselves in. Having arrived in a new country, they need to learn English as quickly as possible, for social as well as academic reasons.

Group of children on grey background
Created: Sun 26th Sep 2021

Author: Isabelle Bridger-Eames, EAL Specialist

EAL and language learning mindmap
Created: Mon 16th Aug 2021

Author: Yzanne Mackay

You're the EAL lead in your school - or a teacher with responsibility for EAL. You're a class teacher who's been asked to look into EAL - or a teaching assistant who runs a special EAL group. But do your colleagues really know what you do? Do they know what EAL is - and why it matters for all staff in a school, and not just you?

Teen on computer, online teaching
Created: Sun 4th Jul 2021

Author: Louise Kearns, English Language Specialist Teacher

In March 2020 International Primary School Almere, along with all other schools here in the Netherlands, went into lockdown for three weeks. Three weeks, we thought? Let's put together some revision packs of what we've learnt recently and email them home!

Memory strategy
Created: Fri 4th Jun 2021

Author: Dr Anne Margaret Smith

While learning new languages, a lot of information simply needs to be remembered, and we often have to combine new information with what we already know, using our working memory. For students with specific learning differences, such as dyslexia, retrieving information from the long-term memory can be slower or less effective, resulting in greater difficulties in learning.

Memory processes are complex, but in my experience, we remember better the things that we:

Child trying to pronounce
Created: Mon 17th May 2021

Author: Miranda Howell, EAL Specialist

Girl studying
Created: Mon 26th Apr 2021

Author: Isabelle Bridger-Eames, EAL Specialist

What is a cloze procedure?

Cloze procedures are tasks where learners fill in the blanks in a text from which entire words have been omitted. Learners decide on the most appropriate words to fill the gaps from a bank of provided words. The word 'cloze' (close) is derived from the word 'closure', whereby participants complete a not quite finished pattern or text by inserting or choosing words to give the text closure (Walter, 1974).

Child learning remotely
Created: Fri 19th Mar 2021

Author: Yzanne Mackay

It's now almost exactly a year since the UK education system went into lockdown. The ruling that schools must close to almost all pupils was a shock to teachers, pupils, parents and everyone involved in the education system - and the repercussions of the immediate crisis continue to ripple through our lives.

Girl online learning
Created: Mon 8th Mar 2021

Author: Sarah Jones, EAL Coordinator, Lea Forest Academy

In January 2021, we commenced another lockdown in the UK and put our recovery curriculum on hold. The question on most of our minds was immediately: "How will our EAL learners progress without the English academic and social interaction school provides, and which they need in order to flourish in their language learning journeys?"

Girl online learning
Created: Mon 1st Feb 2021

Author: Catherine Brennan, Director, Better Bilingual CIC

To mute or to unmute? To reply to one or everyone? To use gallery or speaker view?