English as an Additional Language support package
Qualified, specialist practitioners providing advice, guidance and resources to support schools and settings to build their capacity to meet the needs of this vulnerable group.
English as an additional language learners will have differing educational experiences and may be:
- newly arrived in the country
- refugees, asylum seekers or economic migrants
- from established ethnic communities born in the UK
The English as an Additional Language Team can provide advice, guidance and resources to support schools and settings to build their capacity to meet the needs of this vulnerable group.
With our support you can develop your inclusive practice in order to welcome and celebrate the cultural diversity of your school community and ensure that your English as an additional language learners access an appropriate curriculum and make progress.
What support can we offer?
- English as an additional language audits
- fast response visit and resources
- access to consultancy via phone, email or school visits
- support with language proficiency assessment
- resource loans
- a Polish bilingual support worker offering
- parent workshops
- pupil support
- first language assessment
A range of training is available to enhance the capacity of schools to meet the needs of English as an additional language learners and can be delivered in schools or settings or centrally.
How to access the English as an Additional Language Service
The English as an Additional Language service is commissioned by Worcestershire Schools Forum. Costs for maintained schools are met from de-delegated funding and no purchase is needed.
Non-maintained schools or settings may purchase this service through our online e-Store. Free initial advice and guidance can be obtained by phone or email via the contact details below.
For English as an additional language learners with special education needs, individual assessments and support can be purchased from the Learning Support Team.
For more information Access the online store.
A range of training is available to enhance the capacity of schools to meet the needs of English as an additional language learners and includes:
- introduction to supporting English as an additional language learners
- planning for English as an additional language learners in the curriculum
- English as an additional language network meetings
- English as an additional language for Newly Qualified Teachers
- effective use of resources and ICT support
- English as an additional language friendly environment
- newly arrived English as an additional language learners
- identifying English as an additional language learners with SEND
- talk for writing for English as an additional language learners
- emotional health and wellbeing of English as an additional language learners
- assessing English as an additional language learners
- engaging and communicating with parents
Please contact the English as an Additional Language Team if you would like training delivered in your school or setting:
Termly opportunities for English as an Additional Language Co-ordinators and others keen to develop provision for English as an additional language learners to meet together and share good practice. The English as an Additional Language Team will lead the focus on a particular topic each term.
EAL Network meeting pricing
- Maintained Schools in Worcestershire can attend the English as an Additional Language Network meetings FREE due to accessing de-delegated funding
- academies, independent and free schools will be charged £40 plus VAT
- early years settings who have purchased the EAL Service Level Agreement (SLA) are able to attend these meetings FREE, if they do not have an SLA they will be charged at £40 + VAT (£48 including VAT)
Schools should assess the English language skills of their English as an additional language learners in order to ensure that language development is planned and purposeful
Note: Schools are no longer required to assess and report the level of proficiency in English of English as an additional language for the purpose of the School Census, however schools can continue to assess and collect this data for educational purposes. It continues to be good practice to use the available assessment tools to track the language proficiency levels or English as an additional language learners to inform their provision
As part of the assessment process schools also need to gather information about pupils’ background and previous experiences in order to gain a full understanding of their skills, strengths and vulnerabilities.
The English as an Additional Language Team can work with schools to:
- explore a range of assessment tools such as the Bell Foundation Assessment Framework and the Nassea Assessment Framework
- develop their skills in identifying language targets so that progress can be tracked, and language acquisition can be embedded in curriculum delivery
- develop systems for gathering background information and making good use of it to inform provision
Whilst there are good educational reasons for collecting this information please ensure that you remain GDPR compliant.
Resource: Pupil assessments
When assessing English as an additional language pupils it is important to track linguistic development alongside curriculum progress. There are many different tools and assessment packs available that help with assessment and also with target setting and looking at next steps.
The most commonly used assessment tools are available on the following external websites:
- The Bell Foundation you have to register for this site, but it is well worth it
- Hounslow Language Service produce a variety of tools that can be purchased
- NASSEA also produce a framework which can be purchased
These tools will all help teachers to assess the current language development level of their pupils and all give helpful ideas of approaches and resources that can be used at each level.
Resource: Engaging with parents and carers
Offer a warm welcome to all members of the school community
- learn a few words of greeting in a range of languages
- use facial expression and gesture to communicate welcome non-verbally
- ensure displays in entrance areas show parents/carers from a range of backgrounds and cultures involved in school activities, displays could include first language writing from learners
- display dual language books and books which reflect a multicultural community prominently in the library area
- make sure there are photographs of fathers reading and learning alongside their children as well as mothers
- translate important information and invitations on noticeboards
- use translation software to make newsletters and other written communication accessible to all parents or carers
- Google Chrome can translate web pages
- extend personal invitations to events for parents and carers, these could include celebration assemblies, coffee mornings, curricular sessions, sports days as well as parents’ evenings
- have a proforma for parents’ meetings so that necessary information can be gathered, translate key phrases for meetings into the parent’s first language
- make sure that the school website reflects the cultural diversity of the school population, some schools upload short videos of pupils talking about their culture and traditions or teaching a few words of their home language
- reach out to parents of learners when looking for Governors or volunteers so that the make-up of these groups reflects the whole school community
Provide opportunities that encourage parents or carers into school.
- it is useful to monitor who attends these events and invite them to a focus group to find new ways of encouraging other parents/carers to become involved with the school, some schools have found the following successful:
- make links with local adult education providers to offer family learning classes which build parents’/carers’ skills and confidence in supporting their children’s learning
- engaging parents and carers of learners
- encourage parent and carers to demonstrate their skills, interests and customs in class (cooking/storytelling/crafts/religious traditions and celebrations)
- make the ICT suite accessible to parents/carers to use out of school hours with their children
- celebrate diversity through ‘one world’ events including sports, music and food from around the globe. Include global issues across the curriculum (see The Global Learning Programme for more ideas)
- celebrate national events such as Refugee Week, Black History Month, Gypsy Roma History Month, LGBT History Month and National Family Learning Festival as well as festivals from other cultures such as Eid, Diwali, Vaisakhi, Hanukkah and the Chinese New Year
Target ‘hard to reach’ groups
- where parents or carers are missing out on lots of opportunities to engage with the school it is worth considering targeting their needs specifically
- talk to the parents and carers (using interpreters if needed) and find out what might appeal for example:
- women-only events which may be successful in reaching Muslim mothers
- crèche facilities to enable parents with young children to attend
- events designed to involve fathers
- flexible schedules of events to accommodate work and shift patterns
- where parents and carers are unable to engage in the life of the school, perhaps owing to ill health or disability, schools can reach them through their website, by posting videos and photographs on the site, parents can maintain their links remotely
- consider changes to parents and carers consultations
- some schools have had success in changing their systems to offer longer appointments to targeted families, arranged at their convenience
- during these conversations, targets can be set so that families are clear about the activities they need to undertake to support learning at home
- it is well worth investing time to develop opportunities for parental involvement
- success with one event will build success for others
- persistence is the key
For further information and support contact the team:
Resource: Primary school teaching strategies
- help the child to learn some useful phrases (Where is… What’s that?.. I want..) and the routines of the classroom so they can communicate with the peer group
- use circle time to model responses
- provide lots of books in various languages including the pupil’s home language
- use the home corner to reflect aspects of the pupil’s culture and to provide objects and toys to familiarize the pupil with the new local culture
- talk with the other pupils about the different languages spoken
- invite speakers of the pupil’s language and others to come in for story telling activities
- learn some words in the pupil’s language, including the basics such as yes, no, thank you, hello, goodbye, numbers and colours
- use dual language texts and if possible, taped stories in English and the learner's language (older bilingual pupils in the school or adults may be able to help record stories)
- plan pair and group activities inclusive of the new learner and proficient monolingual English-speaking pupils
- use lots of photographs and provide visual aids through story props, magnetic cut outs, puppets, masks and dressing up clothes (including positive images that reflect the new pupil’s background) to stimulate talk and promote vocabulary development
- provide dual language or multilingual signs around the nursery or classroom
- provide lots of ‘hands-on’ experience, so the children can learn the new language through participating in activities that support their cognitive development
- use small group activities as a basis of one-to-one talk with the child so that you have something stimulating and meaningful to talk about
- think-aloud’, that is, talk through your actions and use gestures as you introduce and participate in a new activity
- ensure that adults use a variety of question styles to encourage the pupil to use a variety of language functions
- allow at least 10 seconds of ‘think time’ for children when they are asked to answer a question
- accept that there may be a period of non-verbal communication on the part of the pupil; the pupil will be observing, listening and learning during this silent period time
- use a home-school book to communicate with parents
- invite parents into the classroom to read to their child in their first language
Resource: High school teaching strategies
Speaking and listening
- seat the learner towards the front of the class; provide plenty of visual support: objects, pictures, and non-verbal gestures, use of facial expression
- speak clearly and moderate your speed of delivery
- buddy the learner with peers who provide strong models of English language usage
- appreciate that the pupil may choose to offer little, if any, English; some pupils undergo a 'silent' period
- involve the learner in other ways e.g. giving out equipment; accompanying a fluent peer to take a message
- provide plenty of small group collaborative activities: give clearly delineated roles and allow the new arrival to take on a passive role - they will be learning a great deal simply through listening
- give the learner the chance to rehearse any verbal responses by positioning them last in any turn taking activities
- familiarise the learner with, and give them the opportunity to use, software that provides both visual and aural stimuli and language reinforcement of curriculum content; see 'Resources'
- give verbal support: repetition closed questioning requiring minimum response but engaging pupil in class discussion
- read any assessment and school reports in order to establish the reading skills the pupil possesses in their first language
- provide key ideas and summaries; these may be in the form of clear and simplified textbooks with visual support, or photocopies
- demonstrate how to highlight keywords for translation and provide photocopies with the essential words highlighted when any lengthy text is being studied: this will direct him/her to the words to look up in his/her dual language dictionary
- direct the learner towards story CDs and linked books; establish with the parent whether a CD player is available at home
- video or DVD is a useful medium as an alternative form of presentation and often provides a range of first language sub-titles
- pupils literate in their first language need access to a dictionary and subject-specific wordbooks
- focus on key vocabulary and ideas; the pupil can:
- trace, draw pictures, maps or diagrams and label them with words
- phrases or short sentences supplied by the teacher and/or label in L1
- write true and false about a given statement
- fill in blanks with words and phrases from a given list
- copy sentences by choosing one of two alternatives
- sequence pictures and/or sentences
- use culturally relevant materials and topics wherever possible
- ensure that the pupil has the keyboard skills required to use a computer for writing tasks and has their password for use of the school computers
Further information to help secondary aged learners: Strategies for Beginners in Key Stage 3 and 4 Bracknell Forest EAL and Diversity website.
Resource: Writing an English as an Additional Language policy
Not all schools will be required to produce a distinct EAL policy. Most will have several policies which have relevance to the teaching, learning and well-being of learners who use English as an Additional Language (EAL).
Foremost of these will be the equality and diversity policy. In many schools, language will be subsumed within other policies such as literacy and communication.
However, for schools with significant numbers of learners who use EAL it is essential to produce a separate EAL or language policy.
Developing an EAL policy: key questions and considerations
1. Introduction and Mission statement
Consider what the school’s position is on the following:
- language and identity
- use of the students’ own language(s)
- access to the curriculum
- diversity, equality and inclusion
- overall approach to EAL across the whole school
2. Statement of aims and commitment
What is the school aiming to achieve? What is the role of language(s) in the school? How should this language policy be used and interpreted?
Provide information about the local context, the history and diversity of language and culture in your Local Authority area.
Include a definition of EAL, the Government defines EAL learners as:
‘A pupil is recorded to have English as an additional language if they are exposed to a language at home that is known or believed to be other than English. This measure is not a measure of English language proficiency or a good proxy for recent immigration.’ (DfE Schools, Pupils and their Characteristics July 2020)
Give further information about the specific school context:
- the number of languages spoken in the school
- the number/percentage of pupils who are at each stage of competence; this will determine the level of support required; there are a variety of tools available to measure competency - see pages on assessment
- the number/percentage of learners using EAL who qualify for Pupil Premium
4. Key principles for second language acquisition
What are the key messages to include in the policy with regard to:
- additional language acquisition
- home language maintenance; for more information please visit: Multilingual Support (The Bell Foundation)
- an inclusive curriculum (multicultural as well as multilingual)
5. EAL teaching and learning
- strategies for supporting access to the mainstream curriculum
- classroom organisation and groupings
- supporting higher achieving learners so that cognitive ability is not confused with language proficiency
- use of EAL assessment to inform teaching and learning and to instruct planning for language learning; for more information please visit: EAL Assessment Framework (The Bell Foundation)
6. Planning, monitoring and evaluation for EAL
- target-setting – curricular and linguistic
- observing, tracking, monitoring
- curriculum planning
7. Special Educational Needs and Gifted and Talented Pupils
Consider the following questions:
- is it made it clear that SEN and EAL are not the same?
- do pupils using EAL on either register (SEN or Gifted & Talented) have equal access to the school’s provision?
- are pupils using EAL fairly represented on these registers?
- are pupils with EAL fairly represented in intervention groups? If not, are there good reasons for this?
For more information please visit: EAL learners with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (The Bell Foundation)
8. Assessment and record keeping
For more information please visit: EAL Assessment Framework (The Bell Foundation).
- qualifications and curriculum authority
- first language assessment; for more information please visit: Home Language Assessment (The Bell Foundation)
- English language proficiency; for more information please visit: Levels of Proficiency in English (The Bell Foundation)
- initial assessment of learners using EAL
What is provided in terms of:
- support staff for pupils using EAL
- access to Dictionaries
- dual language resources
- visual support
- peer support (e.g. Young Interpreters scheme); for more information please visit: Young Interpreter Scheme (Hampshire Services)
- intervention groups
- funding – how is Pupil Premium used?
10. Parents or carers and the wider community
How will the school welcome and encourage parents to become involved in the life of the school? For more information please visit: Parental Involvement (The Bell Foundation).
11. Key responsibilities and staff development
How will the school ensure there is an effective staff structure in place to support learners using EAL, and how will the school ensure staff are informed about best practice in this area?
- EAL co-ordinator
- EAL teacher/support staff
- teaching colleagues
- teaching support staff
- other support staff
12. Monitoring, review and evaluation of the policy
When will the policy be reviewed and evaluated and by whom?
Resource: Bilingual support worker
Polish Bilingual Support Worker (BSW)
We are very fortunate to have a Polish speaking Bilingual Support Worker on the team who can provide a range of services:
The Bilingual Support Worker will run a work shop in your school for your Polish speaking parents to tell them about the English school system, curriculum, assessment and other issues such as attendance, admissions and transitions. This can be tailor made to meet the needs of your school community.
The Bilingual Support Worker can provide in school support for small groups or individual Polish speaking pupils who are experiencing particular difficulties or feeling particularly vulnerable.
First language assessment
The Bilingual Support Worker can support schools to carry out First Language Assessments
Translation/ interpreter work
The Bilingual Support Worker is a trained interpreter and may also be able to provide some translation or interpreter support
The Bell Foundation has lots of resources and ideas; it also covers much of the theory behind teaching children there are webinars and discussions but also lesson plans with resources that can be downloaded for immediate use.
The EAL Highland has many resources in different languages including key vocabulary with translations and introduction to school booklets; it also has links to many other resource areas.
World Stories has a range of texts that the pupil can read or have read to them in English or a selection of other languages; there are also activities and tracking tools available for classes or individual students.
NALDIC you have to join the organisation, but it is well worth it.
Mantra Lingua contains lots of useful resources to buy including the Talking Pen! Bilingual books and charts, Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 resources, vocabulary for maths, science and English lessons; worth a look if you have a budget for learners.