Featured

The EAL Made Easy Approach

The Top 5 Things to Think About When Approaching EAL

Welcome to EAL Made Easy! Join our discussion of EAL pedagogy and all the sanity-saving snippets of wisdom, humour and awesome teaching collected in 18 years’ teaching in challenging schools! Read on…

Continue reading “The EAL Made Easy Approach”

Top 25 EAL Resource Sites – EAL Made Easy’s Best Picks

Don’t blunder in with any old EAL resource. Learn what you need to support your students’ stage of language acquisition.

There are a multitude of bilingual resources out there from translated welcome packs and English-language learning lessons to assessment criteria. What do you need? More importantly, where do you find it?

Continue reading “Top 25 EAL Resource Sites – EAL Made Easy’s Best Picks”

Practical Case Study Series #3 – EAL and Gifted/Most Able

Student D: Bright or Gifted? How you can tell and why it matters…

A bright spark….how does the EAL team provide evidence that a new EAL child is gifted?

Continue reading “Practical Case Study Series #3 – EAL and Gifted/Most Able”

Practical Case Studies Series #2 – SEN or Semilingual EAL?

Student E and the Mystery of Semilingualism

SEN or EAL?

Student E was present during my first interview lesson when I wanted to work in London schools. He had his head on the desk, in the small, hot EAL classroom and seemed generally unwell. I remember stopping the lesson and saying, ‘I might not get the job, but something is not right with this child. Should he go to medical?’ Perhaps it was prophetic. I did get the job, but something wasn’t right with this student.

Continue reading “Practical Case Studies Series #2 – SEN or Semilingual EAL?”

What is context-embedded planning? EAL and Germination

Main Principles

What are the three most important principles in context-embedded planning for EAL pupils across curriculum subjects?

Strong visuals or strong vocabulary? Is there a right approach?

Continue reading “What is context-embedded planning? EAL and Germination”

Practical Case Study Series #1 – SEN or EAL?

Student N: The slow processor?

Normal bilingual learner or special need?

Student N was a casual admission, i.e., mid-year, and came to our secondary school directly into Year 9. She seemed happy, socially confident and willing to learn, but was extremely slow to acquire English. In the group of students who were all new admissions, she was making the slowest progress out of all of them.

Continue reading “Practical Case Study Series #1 – SEN or EAL?”

Top 16 General Strategies for Working with Bilingual Learners

  1. Oral work before written work – always!  It is in oral work that language is tried, tested and acquired. Students should always work in pairs or groups for building complex answers. Read on for 15 more strategies!

Set up talking buddies in your lesson.

Continue reading “Top 16 General Strategies for Working with Bilingual Learners”

9 Strategies to Try with EAL Students Today

So, I promised EAL would be made easy…well…easier. EAL students have one big problem and it’s NOT learning English. It’s learning enough academic English, fast enough, to get through whatever exam is coming. Their problem is not actual language acquisition, it’s the speed of acquisition. So providing support to access the curriculum must be done in a way that allows the EAL student to put chunks of useful language to good use right away.

…their problem is not actual language acquisition, it’s the speed of acquisition…

Continue reading “9 Strategies to Try with EAL Students Today”

Why Literacy is Different for EAL Pupils

Below is the descriptor for ‘Outstanding’ teaching under the 2013 Ofsted Framework. Educationalists conscientiously tend to focus on the first part of the statement—their subject knowledge, planning and task design—to the inadvertent exclusion of the second—their students’ prior skills, knowledge and understanding.

Are you leaving out your students’ prior knowledge and skills?

Continue reading “Why Literacy is Different for EAL Pupils”