Monday, 2 March 2015

EAL: Teaching and Learning Strategy: 9

Supporting the teacher

It is often difficult for the classroom teacher to find time during lessons to work with EAL students. When appropriate, teachers can ask TAs or other support staff to run the starter or plenary while he/she works with the EAL students. Or, a small group of students, working on a rota, can plan and deliver the starter while the teacher works with the EAL students; or with any other minority groups within the class who need additional help.

Monday, 9 February 2015

EAL Teaching and Learning Strategy 8



Mini whiteboards offer a good link between talking and writing. Students are able to ‘sketch’ and play with their written answers thanks to the impermanence. Errors can be easily wiped away!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

EAL: Teaching and Learning Strategy 7


Supplement text on power points, IWBs, worksheets, etc. with images. Google Images, for example, provides a quick and easy way to find suitable photographs and pictures.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Google Translate

Our students use online translation a lot. A LOT. It is a useful tool but it does have its problems. Google Translate, for example, (other sites are available!), tends to work well when students translate one and usually no more than three words at the same time. However, it cannot work and does not work with full sentences and paragraphs. The results can be comical but are never accurate, so be careful!

Monday, 6 October 2014

What are you reading?

Our school is filled to bursting with people who read, both staff and students. In order to further encourage reading for pleasure and a general love of books, some staff choose to regularly update their Staff Reading Review. This includes a summary and review of the last book that they read as well as the title and author of the book that they are currently reading. They are displayed around the school, generating discussions between staff and students about books.

So, what was the last book that you read? Was it any good? What are you currently reading?

Monday, 31 March 2014

EAL - Teaching and Learning Strategy: 6

Picture Rules

EAL students’ entry into the classroom could be eased by providing them with details of your class rules and procedures set out in picture form. This could be extended to whole-school rules and displays.

Monday, 3 March 2014

EAL - Teaching and Learning Strategy: 5

When a new EAL student joins your class, we advise staff and the other students to show an interest in his/her native country, linguistic abilities, etc. Perhaps he/she could teach you and the class to say ‘hello’ in his/her native language (especially during Multilingual March)?

Friday, 28 February 2014

EAL - Teaching and Learning Strategy: 4

Participation is vital. Don’t hesitate to ask the EAL students in your lessons to answer questions, read aloud, become actively involved in pair work and group tasks, etc. This is an important part of their language acquisition.

Monday, 10 February 2014


At our school, where 35% of our students speak English as an additional language, we value and celebrate the numerous first languages that are spoken at the school. We believe that this approach sends a powerful and positive message to students about their identity. One of these languages is Albanian.
Research proves that bilingual and multilingual students’ academic performance, as well as their cognitive and linguistic development, improves when they are actively encouraged to use their first languages on a regular basis. In brief, frequently using both their first language and English will increase students' chances of exam success. This is known as Balanced Bilingualism.

We have therefore organised for an outside agency - Shpresa Programme - to work with our Albanian-speaking students. Shpresa is a user-led organisation that promotes the participation and contribution of the Albanian-speaking community in the UK. It enables its users to play a positive and active role in society.

After discussions with our students, a representative from Shpresa has been delivering a weekly photography course which uses a mixture of both English and Albanian. The course is proving to be popular and successful and even included a recent weekend trip to the National Portrait Gallery. It will culminate in a display of the students' photographs; photographs that will focus on various aspects of Albanian and Kosovan culture.


EAL - Teaching and Learning Strategy: 3

In order to ensure that EAL students have understood your instructions and are therefore able to attempt tasks, it is useful to ask them to repeat the instructions, using the language that they know.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

EAL - Teaching and Learning Strategy: 2

We encourage students who speak English as an additional language to always have their bilingual dictionaries on their desks at the beginning of every lesson. It is very important that students who speak EAL use every tool at their disposal to assist with comprehensible input and output. Language and language learning are about vocabulary, about words. For students who are new to the English language and therefore have problems with comprehension, looking up a word in the dictionary is often the best place to start. It can help them to understand you and it can help you to understand them.

EAL - Teaching and Learning Strategy: 1

We encourage all teaching staff to differentiate their Power Points in the same ways; more specifically by highlighting instructions in blue and key words/complex vocabulary in green. These words can be translated in advance for students who are beginners in English and given to them at the beginning of the lesson in order to help with comprehension. The vocabulary could also be provided with pictures in order to help students who require some visual input. Alternatively, teachers could provide students with the key words in English those who are able to use their bilingual dictionaries to translate them by themselves. It is also useful to provide students with sentence starters and prompts because one common problem among EAL students is knowing how to begin formulating their written answers.