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?

  1.  lead with visuals – first the concept, then the language.
  2. give the language you want them to use – make the key terms explicit and require they use them from the outset.
  3. plan activities (the context) in which the language is embedded – start with academic concepts and processes

Why? As explained in other articles here, EAL students who have been previously educated are not suffering from native-speaker, low literacy issues. They simply do not know the English for concepts they have been introduced to in their own educational systems.

Note: Non-educated, interrupted education or refugee status pupils are a different kettle of fish. However, even they benefit from visuals to help concretise concepts and explicit language with which to label them. But they will make slower progress due to inexperience with institutional settings and learning.

The Cognitive Effect of Visuals

Pictures help them to access higher cognitive/abstract thinking in their home language. Once they have the concept, tell them what it is in English. They will lay that word side-by-side with their own language in a natural process of contrastive linguistics. Science, Maths, Technology and Geography have natural linguistic advantages here. Many key words have roots in Greek or Latin. Both root languages have been adopted across Indo-European languages can be recognised by students across Europe, Asia and Africa.

Embedding Context and Lesson Structure

Lesson structure is very important. This article is accompanied by two resources which you can get from my TES store for free. I discuss them here.

Lesson: EAL and Germination

  • Resources Needed:
  • EAL and Germination booklet in which they do their work/writing/assessment
  • EAL and Germination Power point for visuals and lesson structure
  • Seeds, paper towels, glasses or cups, water, plant (pulled from school grounds)

Pedagogical Approaches

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