Should EAL be a Priority for Primary Schools?

In recent times it’s hard to find contemporary research into English as an Additional Language. Is it time for the government to begin an in-depth review of EAL provision across England? Regularly in schools children experience limbo, they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. The rock being grouped with SEN or lower ability children and the hard place of learning the English language as well as all the other parts of our curriculum.

To me it seems unfair that we ask children, whatever age, to attempt this daunting task of learning a brand new language the child has little or no academic experience of and also learning things like how day and night occurs for example or phonemes of a word. If teachers are to truly understand a child’s viewpoint they need to visit a country for a considerable amount of time and attempt to learn something extremely important.

It is only then, they understand what they need to do in order to provide effective pedagogies and experiences relevant and meaningful for children who have EAL. I call on teachers everywhere to put themselves in the child’s shoes, just once.

This ‘in brief’ article first appeared in our free UKEdMagazine, which is available to view by clicking here.

@mrmattbuckley Primary Teacher – Ormskirk

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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