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Shareday Friday – 10 tips for working with EAL pupils

Each week I gift something to the educational community online. This week I have been raiding our English as an Additional Language (EAL) policy for 10 practical tips to support EAL learners. In a school where over 95% of our learners have English as a second or even third language, a coherent and consistent approach to supporting these learners is vital.

Here then are 10 tips taken from our EAL policy.

1: Simplify the language, not the task
2: Provide regular opportunities for pupils to hear and read quality models of English.
3: Make use of instructions, explanations, illustrations and prior rehearsal to enable EAL pupils to take an active part in lessons.
4: Provide time for pupils to practice using language.
5: Make use of visual and auditory aids to support pupils in both developing English and also in concept development.
6: Clearly identify and focus on target language associated with the subject content.
7: Comment explicitly on language forms, functions and structures used to convey the curriculum content.
8: Encourage pupils to engage in talk which supports their understanding and uses the language models provided by the teacher.
9: Identify lack of competence in English and learning difficulties separately and support the two using appropriate strategies both in class and in specific interventions.
10: Make sure pupils read in English every day and that this is monitored and promoted by the class teacher.

Do you have tips of your own for working with EAL students? Add them in the comments box below.

Teaching bi-lingual and EAL learners in primary schools
by Jean Conteh

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