Author: Iva Miteva, EAL Specialist
Created: Mon 20th May 2024

What does ‘cross-curricular teaching’ mean?

Beckmann (2009) defines the term ‘cross-curricular teaching’ as ‘instruction within a field in which subject boundaries are crossed and other subjects are integrated into the teaching (how and for whatever purpose or objective)’.

Author: Breda Matthews, EAL specialist
Created: Mon 15th Apr 2024

Linguists including Derewianka (2001), Droga and Humphrey (2003), Knapp and Watkins (2005), and Gibbons (2009) suggest that scaffolding writing is critical in helping English as an additional language (EAL) learners become effective writers. 

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: Karen Wilson, SEND Specialist
Created: Wed 7th Feb 2024

Learners with speech and language difficulties may find it difficult to use the correct tense or find it hard to understand the concepts of time.  

Tip or Idea: Take 5 minutes to chat together at the end of a busy day or lesson. Talk about what you did, what you enjoyed or what made you laugh. This gives learners the opportunity to practise using the past tense and maybe time and order words too like first, next and then

Author: Karen Wilson, SEND Specialist
Created: Wed 7th Feb 2024

Learning Village is an invaluable tool for deaf learners with or without EAL. The use of image as the main language of instruction provides visual cues to support your learners.

Tip or Idea: Deaf learners may need to lip read or see speech physically modelled to support their understanding. Using our resources in an adult-led small group session and/or using the demo learner as a teaching tool can be very powerful for deaf learners.

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: Caroline Scott, Author and Director, Learning Village by Across Cultures
Created: Wed 6th Dec 2023

Small group teaching is an approach in which learners are divided into small groups of roughly 4-8 students and work together supported by a teacher. It is a highly effective way to improve learning outcomes, particularly for EAL learners.

Small-group teaching can be focused on an induction to English, gap-filling areas of challenge or need, or pre-teaching content in the curriculum. 

Author: Karen Wilson, SEND Specialist
Created: Mon 27th Nov 2023

Learners with speech and language difficulties may find it difficult to remember words or think or the word they want to use when they are talking. 

Tip or Idea: Think of a category such as ‘animals’ or ‘things in a kitchen’ and then see how many words you can name. Each time you think of a word place a Lego piece on top of another and see how tall a tower you can build! 

Author: Karen Wilson, SEND Specialist
Created: Mon 13th Nov 2023

Learners with speech and language difficulties may find it difficult to order and sequence their ideas with a clear beginning, middle and end.

Tip or Idea: Ask your learner to tell you about something funny or exciting that they have done. Real life experiences may make it easier for them to describe.

Learning Village resource: Use the Adventure story dilemma flashcards and have fun making up a story together! You can add additional flashcards for settings and characters too!

Author: Karen Wilson, SEND Specialist
Created: Mon 13th Nov 2023

Learners may have difficulties expressing their own ideas, thoughts and feelings.

Tip or Idea: Name the emotions. Use puppets, flashcards or simply hide and uncover your own face. Who can be first to name the emotion? Extend by giving a reason why e.g. He is happy because…

Learning Village resource: Feelings Snakes & Ladders game - land on a picture. Describe it and move forward 1 space! (I am happy when…/I am sad when…/I am shocked when…)

Author: Karen Wilson, SEND Specialist
Created: Mon 13th Nov 2023

Learners having difficulty with receptive language or following directions may need support with learning propositions.

Tip or Idea: Ask your learner to draw or make an imaginary scene by following instructions e.g. Draw a house at the bottom of your page/Draw a sunshine above the house/Draw a tree next to the house. Extend this further: Can your learner tell you what to draw? Can they make a crazy or funny picture? Can they make a scene with physical objects?

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.

teacher holding up flashcard
Author: Miranda Howell, EAL Specialist
Created: Wed 26th Apr 2023

What should we teach?

Many of us have been in a situation where we want to communicate with someone who does not speak the same language. We resort to wild gestures, attempts to say unfamiliar words, grammar seems insignificant and feelings of frustration soar. Some basic vocabulary becomes our lifeline.

Boy cupping hand to ear listening
Author: Eli Briasco, EAL Specialist
Created: Wed 12th Apr 2023

Despite legitimate claims that EAL students devote over half of their time to listening when functioning in English (Nunan, 1998), this is often not reflected in the time that we dedicate to the four main skills in the classroom. In fact, Nation (2009) states that listening is arguably the least understood and most overlooked of the four skills in language teaching.

EAL Parent Helping Child Read
Author: Author: Linda Boland-Quigley, Home School Community Liaison
Created: Mon 13th Mar 2023

Parental involvement in children’s education can take many forms and can be experienced differently by each parent. The benefits and advantages of parental involvement are unquestionable. 

Speech bubble showing different languages
Author: Mary Langford, EAL Specialist (Mother Tongue & International Education)
Created: Thu 9th Mar 2023

A growing number of international schools are demonstrating the importance and value of their students’ and teachers’ ‘first languages’ by celebrating International Mother Language Day. This annual event (held on 21st February each year) was celebrated at the start of this century by the UN Declaration. Simply put, the purpose of International Mother Language Day is to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.