Changing landscape for EAL?
As Michael Gove announces that academies are not in future to be required to employ qualified teachers (see Guardian 27.07.12.) our latest issue of the NALDIC Quarterly investigates changes in the extent and nature of EAL teaching in a time of budget cuts and national 'belt tightening'.
Whilst the number of EAL learners in schools is at an all time high, with over a million children and young people identified as speaking a language other than English in schools in England (DfE 2012) the interview data included in this edition of NALDIC Quarterly suggests the number of professionals employed to support these learners is in decline. This is not a surprising outcome given the end of dedicated funding and the devolvement of funding to schools. Interviews and survey information suggest that there has been a move towards, and an increase, in withdrawal teaching and that full time off site provision for students new to English has been re-established in at least one area.
Carrie Cable, the editor of NALDIC Quarterly 9.3 notes 'a worrying segregationist undertone in some of the comments which suggest that some mainstream teachers are voicing a desire to see learners learn English before they are allowed to join mainstream classes' . Ms Cable also notes that there is only limited evidence from interviews and survey data that the content of withdrawal sessions is linked to the mainstream curriculum or based on any systematic understanding of second language development or pedagogy. There appears to be minimal liaison between those teaching these sessions and mainstream teachers. Ms Cable warns of the danger of the worst practices of the past re-emerging.
Members can read Naldic Quarterly 9.3 online now by logging in to the website and going to http://www.naldic.org.uk/eal-teaching-and-learning/member-resources. The print version will be mailed towards the end of the month. Non members can purchase a downloadable copy of the issue for only £2.