DT and EAL
Teaching EAL learners in Design and Technology
Design technology is seen largely as a practical subject that is easily accessed by pupils learning EAL which may explain why there has been very little written about the needs of EAL learners in Design Technology lessons. However the practical aspect of a design challenge is only one small part of a process which requires the development and use of investigative, planning, and evaluative skills and depends very much on the effective use of language to communicate ideas throughout.
It is worth while spending time considering the language demands of D & T so that you can incorporate a language focus into lesson planning. Schemes of work for D&T have a strong focus on discussion requiring the use of predictive and evaluative language and structures throughout Key stages 1, 2 and 3. This places increasing demands on the learner’s use of language. Pupils at the emergent, developing and consolidating levels of learning EAL will benefit from planned interventions and structures to ensure they develop the language skills they need to fully access the curriculum and produce work and portfolios at the appropriate level.
Teachers will also recognise the benefits of pupils using their first language at all stages of the design process and should encourage their pupils to do so wherever possible.