Possible routes and courses include:
- post or professional graduate courses (PGCE - 1 year- full or part time),
- B Ed/BA with QTS (3 years),
- Teach First
- school based initial teacher training
as well as work based routes such as the School Direct Training Programme and the School Direct Training Programme (salaried) which will replace the graduate teacher programme in 2013.
Currently you cannot qualify directly as an EAL specialist directly by any of these routes. You first need to take initial teacher training either as a class teacher in a primary school or a subject teacher in a secondary school. Some teacher training routes will provide you with the opportunity to take an option in EAL, particularly those in metropolitan areas like London.
If you do not have QTS, you could possibly obtain an instructor post in a maintained school, but the salary is less than that of a qualified teacher.
If you do not have a first degree and relevant experience in schools, you may be able to obtain a post as a specialist or bilingual teaching assistant although the salaries are again much lower than for a qualified teacher or instructor. The NVQ Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools qualification fits in with the new National Qualifications Framework and includes the following L2 and L3 specialist modules:
Level 2 Unit Contribute to supporting bilingual/multilingual pupils
Level 3 Unit Supporting bilingual/multilingual pupils
Level 3 Unit Supporting children and families through home visiting
Level 3 Unit Provide bilingual/multilingual support for teaching and learning
Looking for jobs, you may want to search for 'EAL' or 'EMAG' posts. EMAG stands for Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant and was previously the main funding mechanism for additional work with EAL learners. The Times Educational Supplement job search at is a good place to start at TES Jobs
As the subject association for EAL, NALDIC's position is that the needs of bilingual learners are best met by qualified teachers and other professionals with additional experience and specialist qualifications which relate specifically to EAL. We support the development of specialist EAL initial teaching qualifications and a clear qualificatory framework for colleagues wishing to make a career in this field.