Community Village

hands writing at a desk
Author: Miranda Howell, EAL specialist
Created: Wed 7th Feb 2024

I will never forget the ‘feelings’ I experienced during my EAL teacher training, when I sat in a class with a tutor who entered the room with a basket of goodies and greeted us in Swedish. My immediate reaction was one of confusion, which then led to frustration and finally a sense of hopelessness, before I even realised that I was actually expected to experience learning some Swedish without a single word of English allowed in the classroom.

Author: Iva Miteva, EAL specialist
Created: Wed 10th Jan 2024

There is no denying that in the 21st century, teachers have gone from strength to strength in using technology in the classroom and this has changed the classroom landscape significantly. The digital age has introduced new avenues to explore for learning and teaching beyond the traditional classroom methods.

Author: Iva Miteva, EAL specialist
Created: Wed 25th Oct 2023

你好 Привіт  Merhaba Здравей  Buna ziua ہیلو Cześć

How often do you hear these in the school playground? And actually, not just in the playground… Do you know which language they are from? Have a guess!

(Here is the answer: Mandarin, Ukrainian, Turkish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Urdu, Polish)

When you walk around your school, I bet you can hear words and phrases in different languages whispered or spoken out loud in the corridors, the lunch hall, and lessons too (if you listen really carefully!).

an image of flags in front of children's desks in a model UN setting
Author: Miranda Howell, EAL specialist
Created: Wed 25th Oct 2023

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human rights treaty that encompasses specific children’s rights bound by international law. It was put in place by the United Nations (UN) in 1989 and “defines universal principles and standards for the status and treatment of children worldwide.” It is important because it states children’s basic, fundamental civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights to promote a safe and fulfilled childhood.

Four students laughing with each other
Author: Shalu Aara, EAL specialist
Created: Tue 5th Sep 2023

A learner’s wellbeing is vital to their achievement and overall success. Nevertheless, an EAL (English as an Additional Language) learner’s wellbeing should be considered more thoroughly when discussing their academic performance and achievements. A learner who speaks “a language other than English as their first language and needs additional support to develop a proficiency in English” (Twinkl, n.d) is considered to be an EAL learner. They can come from a diverse, multilingual and/or refugee background.

An image of an exercise book, a pencil and some colourful letters
Author: Martha Giannakaki, EAL Specialist
Created: Tue 4th Jul 2023

Our EAL learners are by no means a homogeneous group of learners and their needs in our classroom will vary to a considerable extent. As teachers may find it challenging at times to successfully cater to different EAL needs in class, developing a deeper understanding of those needs can help us address them more effectively through a number of tips and strategies. 

An EAL teacher holding up letter cards to a learner
Author: Iva Miteva, EAL Specialist
Created: Wed 31st May 2023

What is the role of an EAL teacher?

An EAL teacher is a professional specialising in working with learners for whom English is an additional language, such as refugees, asylum seekers or children of migrant families.

Parents and child
Author: Yzanne Mackay
Created: Mon 14th Oct 2019

"Parental involvement is invaluable for any new arrival in transition. The learner’s family may be the only group of people who truly understand their transition. The parents may have very little understanding of what happens in an English-speaking school or the approach you have to education. Parental involvement will help you to understand more about the child’s life as well as build a valuable rapport and level of trust between all parties.”
(Scott, 2012)

Collaborative learning activity template
Author: Stuart Scott
Created: Mon 25th Mar 2019

This ‘Introduce Me’ activity is a fun and rewarding way to introduce a new topic, while developing language skills.

It’s ideally suited to learners of English, allowing them to hear knowledge  presented in different ways, by more than one source, in a non-threatening environment. There’s plenty of opportunity for repetition and rephrasing. This is an adaptable activity to suit any topic where you need to introduce content. This particular example is based on trading goods (see References), but a blank template is provided for you to create your own resource.

Learners in the classroom
Author: Sarah Jones, EAL coordinator, Lea Forest Academy
Created: Sat 19th May 2018

Studies have found that learning a skill yourself, and then applying it, not only brings immense personal satisfaction (among other valuable benefits), but also leads to greater achievement. It’s an important part of an enquiry-based curriculum.

Personal satisfaction can be achieved through learning that is personalised and by promoting a growth mindset. Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, explains simply how achievement and success can be perceived:

Forest road
Author: Gemma Fanning, EAL specialist
Created: Tue 6th Mar 2018

The term 21st Century skills is becoming significantly part of the classroom learning environment, but what exactly does that mean? There are a few definitions, however, in essence, these are the skills that our learners need to prepare them for their future (Puchta & Williams, 2014), taking them from their studies, to their futures as adults.

The Four C's

Many researchers today acknowledge the 4C’s. They are known as:

Author: Emma Mijailovic, EAL teacher
Created: Wed 6th Sep 2017

When we attempt to facilitate effective communication or collaborative learning between pairs or groups, we must acknowledge that our pupils are not only exchanging information; they are also constructing their sense of self and how they ‘relate to the social world’ (Norton 1997: 410). They are negotiating their role within the group or pair. Researchers have noted that there are certain patterns of behaviour between learners and some patterns have been proven to foster more effective learning.

Author: Emma Mijailovic, EAL teacher
Created: Fri 7th Jul 2017

Although Inclusion is a central theme of UK policy, there are limited directives on EAL provision in mainstream classes (Costley 2014) This can have implications for international environments too, which model their practice on the UK or have UK trained teachers. Policy has significant implications for teachers who may be underprepared to support EAL pupils.

Author: Gemma Fanning, EAL specialist
Created: Wed 2nd Nov 2016

An additional adult can be very effective in supporting teachers with EAL learners in the classroom. An additional adult may be a teaching assistant, learning support assistant or just a regular volunteer. They can significantly enhance support for learner motivation, confidence and self-esteem (Wilson et al, 2003). If you are a classroom teacher, you may be observed on how best to deploy your additional adults against your school standards.

Created: Tue 2nd Feb 2016

11 fantastic resources to promote elements of international mindedness...

Author: Anita Bamberger, EAL specialist
Created: Fri 25th Sep 2015

The lack of a common language between children can be frustrating so we often assign buddies who have a common language to help our learners. Someone who speaks the same language can help the new student feel less alienated by speaking the same language and recounting what is being said and explaining what is happening. Students are often used as interpreters in schools. However, as with any translation, it can result in unintentionally misinterpretation.

Created: Thu 6th Aug 2015

On the last day of term I asked a student, who was leaving her school in London to return back to Italy, the best and worst things about moving. She said the worst thing was leaving friends and teachers and the best was going back to her old school to be with her old friends.