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Is there an EAL curriculum?

Explains policy on the teaching of EAL

No, there is no nationally agreed curriculum for school aged EAL learners in England.

In England, the policy since the mid 1980s is that EAL learners, with all learners, should have equal access to the National Curriculum with no specific EAL curriculum. The focus has been on delivering National Curriculum English , which has been considered a good model for both first and additional language learning.

Minority languages are valued and celebrated as worthwhile. However English is the preferred school language for all pupils and academic attainment is only achieved through the medium of English. This policy of pupils learning EAL in the mainstream classroom through the National Curriculum raise issues not only of language and pedagogy, but also of rights and entitlements, social integration and equality of access to education.

Other English-speaking countries have taken very different approaches to EAL and many have developed detailed language curricula and assessment for EAL pupils. There is an EAL (or ESOL) curriculum in England for post 16 learners.

In the USA, minority pupils include a sizeable population of Spanish speakers and this demographic situation has influenced individual states' and schools' policies and provision. Canadian policy and provision cover both learning English as an additional language and bilingual teaching and learning in French and English. Australian states have developed EAL curriculum and assessment frameworks parallel to the mainstream curriculum.