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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…

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Differences versus Disorders: A Case Study of Speech and Language Impaired Bilingual Students

My Masters Dissertation – A short plain-language summary of my findings

Please feel free to access my full MA dissertation and bibliography. See the download button at the end of this article.

Why I did this study

Heading a Speech and Language Resource Base at a large, multilingual London school, I noticed the high number of EAL children who were on the NHS caseload for Speech and Language Impairment (SLI). Looking through case notes, I noticed the lack of contextualised background gathered on those pupils. I felt an investigation into the methods used to diagnose and norm would be useful to my setting.

I asked, what role should the L1 play in the assessment of SLI in bilingual children? What problems can arise when assessing SLI in the absence of complete ethno-linguistic information about the L1 use of the bilingual child and family?

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Delay versus Divergence: EAL & Speech and Language Needs

How do you tell if an EAL pupil has Speech and Language Needs?

Your job is not to diagnose, but it is to flag up problems. Of course, knowing what is a problem is more difficult with a pupil learning English as an Additional Language. Here is a brief overview of considerations when suspecting Speech and Language Needs in an EAL pupil.

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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…

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