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ITE resource archive

Nearly all teachers work with EAL and bilingual learners at some point in their careers. Preparing new teachers to work with these learners is a vital component of effective initial teacher education, whether this takes place in a school, through an HE insitution or through a work based route. Supporting teachers to respond to bilingual pupils' learning needs is a key task for all teacher educators. In England, more than one in seven pupils are learning English as an additional language (EAL) and their future achievement in the education system will be determined by their success in learning English.

English as an Additional Language (EAL) is not a subject specialism in teacher training. The Professional Standards, including those for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (TDA, 2007) note what teachers should know about pupils learning EAL in the context of teaching all pupils. The new teachers' standards (DfE, 2011) note that every teacher must: 'Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils' . They must 'have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them'. (Standard 5).

Effectively supporting pupils with EAL requires considerable specialist knowledge and skill. However, indications are that although the number of EAL learners in schools has risen by over 50% since 1997, specialist teacher expertise in schools is becoming increasingly rare. While some institutions and bodies make excellent provision for equipping all teachers with an awareness of the skills and knowledge required to support the learning of pupils with EAL, the most recent survey (TDA, 2011) indicated that only 45% of NQTs felt their training was good or very good in this respect.

EAL teaching and learning takes place within the mainstream and within all subjects. It is primarily about teaching and learning language through the content of the whole curriculum.However, EAL has a knowledge base from theory and research and its own principled strategies for teaching in the mainstream context in a way which promotes language learning alongside content learning.EAL teaching has natural affiliations with English teaching as a mainstream subject, with modern foreign language teaching, and with English as a foreign language teaching, each of which are discrete subject areas, but EAL pedagogy is applied in all areas of the curriculum. The learning of English for students with EAL takes place as much in science, mathematics, humanities and the arts as it does in ‘subject’ English. It also takes place within the ‘hidden curriculum’. Beyond the school, it is affected by attitudes to race and culture in wider society. This is why all student teachers need to understand how EAL teaching and learning takes place in their classrooms and their schools.

This area of the web site is concerned with what student teachers will need to know in order to carry out effective classroom work with EAL learners. The resources have been authored by a range of practitioners and academics and can be used flexibly through ITE programmes and provision to support the preparation of student teachers. Here you will find pages from the archived EAL information site (ITTSEAL) written for teachers and teacher educators new to initial teacher training.

Much of this material is being substantially rewritten and incorporated into our new site but we have maintained this archive to support referencing and site users. The PDF pages are arranged in the same structure as on the original site. Please note that embedded hyperlinks in the documents will not work and external weblinks are no longer necessarily live. If you are searching for a particular resource which you cannot find, please contact us and we will try to help.

Section Editors

Bill Bolloten
Carrie Cable
Tony Cline
Angela Creese
Nicola Davies
Charlotte Franson
Maggie Gravelle
Constant Leung
Frank Monaghan
Hugh South
Tim Spafford


Nicola Davies
Last updated 25th November 2011

Teaching Index

Knowledge & Understanding

The distinctiveness of EAL pedagogy
The distinctiveness of learners task
Pupils learning EAL
Portraits of pupils learning EAL

Bilingualism and second language acquisition

What is Bilingualism?
Bilingual language acquisition
Bilingual Education
The Bilingual learner

Language and curriculum

Teaching language and curriculum
Learning in a second language
Supporting language and cognitive development
Social and cultural context

Language and Literacy

Language Demands
Spoken language
Developing reading in EAL
Developing writing skills in EAL

Supporting bilingual children in the early years

A socio-cultural view on early years education for bilingual children
The importance of play for cultural and language learning
Why support bilingualism?
Stages of early bilingual learning
Strategies for monolingual practitioners
The role of bilingual practitioners
Listening to bilingual children

Supporting EAL learners in mainstream classrooms

Initial language assessments
Maintaining first languages
Language strategies for the mainstream classroom
Isolated bilingual learners

EAL and National Curriculum subjects

Design and Technology- KS1,2 and 3
English - FS, KS1 and 2
Geography KS1
History KS1 and 2
ICT KS1 and 2
Mathematics - KS1 and 2
Mathematics-KS2, 3 and 4
Religious Education - KS1 and 2
Religious Education- KS3 and 4
Science - EYFS, KS1 and 2
Science - KS3 and 4

Community languages

What are community languages?
Developing community languages and complementary schooling
Using community languages in the mainstream classroom


Assessment practices in schools
Assessment for learning
Access arrangements
Assessment and Achievement

Working with EAL specialists and other support staff

Student teachers and specialist staff
EAL specialists and support staff
Models of teaching support for bilingual pupils
Effective working practices
The status of specialist staff
Bilingual and EAL specialist teaching assistants
Support roles within different working contexts

Combating racism

Education, Racism and Achievement
Expectations of pupils
The organisation of EAL teaching
Combating disadvantage in the classroom and curriculum

SEN and gifted and talented

Identification and assessment
Responding to need
Overcoming barriers to learning in literacy
Multilingualism and Dyslexia
Overcoming barriers to learning in mathematics
Gifted and talented

Teaching Refugee and Asylum seeker pupils

Refugee and asylum-seeker children in UK schools
Welcome, admission and induction
Peer support
Supporting emotional needs
Teaching and learning about refugees
Play, leisure and out-of-school-hours learning
Early years provision
Unaccompanied refugee children
Supporting refugee families