How relevant is our research base to teaching EAL learners in the UK? – EAL Journal
Widespread research suggests that EAL pupils' needs are best met in mainstream classrooms where they have the opportunity to access a. One in four Australian students are learning English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D). But teachers often aren't trained to meet their literacy needs. In the past two decades, there has been some attention given to meeting the needs of pupils with diverse needs. Terms such as 'SEN' (Special.
Some research has been done to test the hypothesis that using home language in non-bilingual schools will lead to improved academic attainment, but it is extremely scarce.
In a review of the literature that I am currently preparing, I located only seven studies that compared the effects on educational attainment of teaching approaches that use home languages with teaching approaches that use only the school language.
This was from a pool of about 6, potentially relevant reports published since Moreover, all but one of these seven were carried out in schools outside the UK in which children were culturally and linguistically similar. Taken together the findings of these studies are equivocal: Suitably robust evidence to inform my response is just not there.
One might despair that questions that matter to EAL teachers and students in the UK are being left unaddressed. However, there is something we can do.
If we, as teachers, want to ensure that the advice we get is based on trustworthy empirical evidence then we must get active in pushing for research that addresses the things that matter to us.
The challenges of English as an additional language
In particular, we need to push for more research that compares approaches to teaching EAL learners so that we can be confident that our limited resources are likely to be well used. This post aims to summarise some of the key questions and signpost next steps. The census guidance is clear: If a child acquires English subsequent to early development, then English is not their first language no matter how proficient in it they become.
School census preparation and guidance forDepartment for Education and Skills So what does this mean for your school in practice? However, this is not always the case.
The challenges of English as an additional language | The Key
Nor does it tell you whether or not the child was born in the UK. Attempting to remove their language may be detrimental to their self-esteem due to the fact that it is an important element of their identity.
Low self-esteem in a pupil may then have a detrimental effect on their academic achievement. Government policy stresses the importance of pupils with EAL spending the majority of their time in the mainstream classroom Overington, ; however, this needs to be handled carefully as the new cultural environment may be intimidating for the pupil Frederickson and Cline, To overcome this, it needs to be ensured that the classroom, including the pupils and teacher, is a welcoming environment in which all pupils feel safe and secure.
Being immersed in a language in a safe environment may indeed prove to be the most conducive to learning a new language rather than being consistently removed from the classroom. Surely it is more beneficial for interventions to take place in the mainstream rather than a child being removed from the classroom, their peers and their teacher. As teachers we do not solely interact with the children. It is vital that there is high quality communication with parents in order to develop understanding and co-operative relationships which will be of benefit to the child.
We are aware that there is strong correlation between the relationship with parents, carers and communities of the child to the pupil succeeding in school and Ofstedhave found that practice is most effective when parents are engaged in school life, understanding that they do not have to speak English at home and that their first language is valued.
Ofsted found that pupils are more likely to learn through socialisation and interaction with pupils and it is important that parents understand this.
Meeting the literacy needs of EAL/D students: tips and techniques for teachers
In conclusion, whilst bilingualism in the classroom can be a positive attribute, it largely depends upon how the school policy and its implementation accommodate the pupils with EAL. Research shows that there is a need for sensitivity in the school policy alongside a whole school approach with the individual pupil and their needs at its heart.
Ensuring our lessons are planned to effectively meet the needs of pupils with EAL will mean that more pupils are enabled to access the curriculum. Additional References Frederickson, N.