Headteacher Update has previously outlined the risks presented by Covid-19 to learning and progress for specific pupils with English as an additional language. Continuing this focus, Emily Curran now offers some practical socially distanced strategies to support EAL pupils during the pandemic


In an article in Headteacher Update in October, The Bell Foundation’s Silvana Richardson outlined specific pupils for whom English is an additional language (EAL) who will need significant and intensive catch-up support to close an attainment gap that has been intensified by the first national Covid-19 lockdown (Richardson, 2020).

In the article, we discovered that these pupils are typically:

Not only do these learners need to catch-up on missed curriculum content, but also on missed English language development opportunities. Most notably, they may have had a limited or lack of exposure to a broad range of English language models, including the academic language needed to be successful across the curriculum. EAL learners may also have had a period with limited opportunity to develop their listening, speaking, reading, and their writing skills in English.

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