Friday, 17 April 2009

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

One topic that students are always enquiring about is the subject of education and services for children for whom English is an Additional Language (commonly abbreviated to EAL). A common complaint that I hear from these students is that "I typed in EAL but nothing came up..." so before getting onto some suggested web resources, here's a quick tip; if you instead use the word 'bilingual' as one of your search terms, you will often find a lot of material that is relevant. Also, the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy which can be accessed through the Sage Journals Online site has published a number of articles on this topic in recent years.

First, the 'official' sources: the DCSF Standards site has a section devoted to information about / links to reports about EAL issues. The Teachernet website has a similar page, while the QCA's 'Useful Weblinks' page is possibly the most comprehensive of all of these three.

Elsewhere, the National Literacy Trust has a mini-site devoted to EAL issues (use the links on the left to navigate) and the Teachers TV website has 26 EAL-related films. You may also want to visit the National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC), which contains details of and links to both their own publications and reports by other organisations. And finally, if figures are your thing, have a look at this list of statistical reports by the DCSF, which provides a breakdown of pupil achievement by various categories, of which EAL is one.

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