EAL: More than just good practice
22 November 2008, Institute of Education, London
Our full conference report is available in NALDIC Quarterly 6.2. which is sent to members and can also be accessed online in the members area of our website.
Challenging pedagogies: More than just good practice
Pauline Gibbons Associate Professor, University of Technology, Sydney
More than 'Just Good Teaching'!
Candace Harper Associate Professor, University of Florida
Kim Baker, Luton - Language and content integration in primary science
In this interactive workshop, participants were involved in a range of hands-on activities designed to give pupils for whom English is an additional language opportunities to develop the academic language skills in English needed to access the primary science curriculum. The workshop explored practical ways of adapting resources that are readily available on the internet and elsewhere to maximise their potential for EAL teaching.
Diane Boothe, College of Education, Boise State University Engaging English as an Additional Language through Problem-based Learning
The components that were addressed in this presentation/workshop were designing curriculum relating to Problem-Based Learning, and methods that feature hands-on instructional activities for English as an Additional Language students. This topic was approached with a workshop that includes media and multisensory styles, and utilizes examples appropriate for a variety of ages, cultures, abilities and subject areas.
Angela Creese, School of Education, University of Birmingham- Collaborating Teachers and Personalised Learning: Using Policy to Develop Good Practice
One-adult classrooms are becoming less common in schools and it is now more usual for there to be several different adults taking part in lessons, either for the duration of the lesson or for specific parts of it. One common teaching collaboration in the UK context is the English as an additional language teacher working alongside a content curriculum teacher. Current UK government policy argues that these teacher collaborations contribute to rising standards in teaching and pupil achievement. This session looked at research into two teacher classrooms and the possibilities they present for teaching young people learning English as an additional language (EAL). In particular, it considered the new policy initiative, ‘personalised learning,’ to understand how language learning is interpreted in this new inclusion paradigm.
Beverly Derewianka, University of Wollongong, Australia- Meeting the Challenges of Subject English
This seminar described the language demands made on EAL students as they grapple with the complexities of subject English. Drawing on a functional approach to genre and grammar, the seminar traced development in English from the early years through to late adolescence. The findings were based on a research project undertaken in Australia which involved the analysis of several hundred student texts. By examining the expectations of the English curriculum at different phases of schooling, we are in a better position to design programs for EAL learners which support them in meeting those expectations. As the conference theme suggests, providing high challenge learning experiences entails an explicit understanding of what those challenges involve. This seminar therefore complemented the emphasis on pedagogy (‘how’) with a focus on content (‘what’).
Samina Jaffar and Navneet Padda, Redbridge- Developing Reading Skills through Home Languages
Primary schools have developed reading schemes to encourage parents to read with their children at home. In the case of bilingual children their first encounter with learning to read is often in a language they are just beginning to acquire. Additionally, many ethnic minority parents’ own experience of learning to read is different from how their children are being taught today. Equally it can be hard for parents to know how best to support their child’s reading if they do not speak or read English themselves. Teacher observations highlight that many children acquiring English have difficulty with aspects of the reading process e.g. reading comprehension.
Constant Leung, Kings College and Katie Scott, Newcastle University - Assessing EAL learners: cross-curricular descriptors
This seminar introduced two sets of descriptors for classroom-based assessment of EAL learners in Key Stages 1 and 2. These have been developed drawing on EAL assessment frameworks from the US and Australia which were evaluated for a Paul Hamlyn Foundation-funded NALDIC survey project on International EAL Assessment (2002-2005). The descriptors are intended to reflect the strengths of these frameworks in exemplifying the distinctiveness of EAL, providing a tool to enable teachers to observe and report the language development of EAL learners accurately, and being easy to use. There are three sets of descriptors at each level for reading, writing and use of English: these are intended for use in teacher assessment across all curricular areas. There will also be an opportunity for participants to apply the descriptors using samples of EAL learners’ work.
Rosemary Mitchell-Schuitevoerder, University of Durham - Can a Task-Based approach turn the core curriculum teacher into a good EAL provider?
A task based approach to core curriculum subjects such as science, music and geography at Stage 3 would benefit both EAL students and L1 speakers. In this workshop we explored how task based teaching can address the issue of low Cognitive Academic Language Performance (CALP) by integrating content (i.e. meaning) and language. The chosen topics – the Carbon Cycle, the Effects Music Can Create, and Causes and Effects of Flooding require high levels of language proficiency. A task based methodology was discussed and applied to demonstrate how the subject teacher can contribute to excellent EAL practice supported by the EAL trainer/adviser/teacher.
Martyn Pendergast and Olivia Roth, National Strategies- Accelerating progress of advanced learners of EAL at KS3: the role of EAL specialists in school improvement
A task based approach to core curriculum subjects such as science, music and geography at Stage 3 would benefit both EAL students and L1 speakers. In this workshop we will explore how task based teaching can address the issue of low Cognitive Academic Language Performance (CALP) by integrating content (i.e. meaning) and language. The chosen topics – the Carbon Cycle, the Effects Music Can Create, and Causes and Effects of Flooding require high levels of language proficiency. A task based methodology will be discussed and applied to demonstrate how the subject teacher can contribute to excellent EAL practice supported by the EAL trainer/adviser/teacher.
Chris Pim - Talking Pen: Increasing access to the curriculum for pupils learning English as an additional language
This workshop provided a practical demonstration of the capabilities of Mantra Lingua’s Talking Pen technology to support access to the curriculum for pupils learning English as an additional language. A variety of pen-enabled cross-phase literacy, MFL and family learning resources will be showcased. In particular, delegates were given a hands-on demonstration of the new dual-language Literacy Toolkit targeted at KS2 and lower KS3. The underpinning pedagogical benefits for classroom practice will be exemplified throughout the workshop. There was also be an opportunity to consider the potential for Mantra’s new recordable Talking Pen technology. This exciting new development allows a learner or practitioner to record their own dual-language audio content, enabling creation of personalised diaries, scrapbooks, storybooks and charts.
Helen Sunderland, London South Bank University- Is the grass greener…? ESOL in the lifelong learning sector
While teachers worry about success rates, inspection and how to keep their entry level classes running in the present funding climate, the government is steaming ahead with Leitch ambitions, Train to Gain and the social cohesion agenda. This presentation will try to unravel the links between government policies and current and future practice in teaching ESOL in the post-school sector. It will draw on the views of practising teachers who are members of the LLU+ ESOL network and concerns expressed in the ESOL research list – an independent email discussion group. It will pull together messages from the different government departments that impact on ESOL: employment, education and immigration, as expressed through consultation documents, funding regulations and policy statements. The aim is to do this in a jargon –free and participative manner.
Dr Catherine Wallace, Institute of Education - EAL Learners and Critical Reading
This talk will present a socio-cultural view of reading which sees literacy as a social, critical activity as much as a cognitive process. With more advanced EAL learners in mind, I shall present a case for the importance of critical reading in the multilingual, multicultural classroom. This means seeing readers as interacting with texts across the curriculum rather than merely ‘extracting’ meaning from texts, as in traditional ‘comprehension’ approaches to reading. I shall argue that there are three principles linked to a social, critical view of reading which are relevant to EAL learners
- Reading starts before we look at the page. EAL learners in particular have extensive linguistic and cultural resources to bring to texts, which support rich and diverse textual interpretations.
- Reading is not monolithic. We read different things in different ways for different purposes.
- A major purpose, to ensure an appropriate level of intellectual challenge for EAL learners, is that of the reader as critic. We need to support EAL readers in their role of critical analysts of texts across the curriculum.