History, geography, English literature and religious studies are undeniably language-heavy subjects, making them particularly challenging for learners who have English as an additional language. Caroline Bruce offers some advice, ideas and resources to support your teaching of EAL pupils


The humanities subjects bring with them the opportunity to learn about humans, about our world and our place in it, our interactions with cultures and religions, the marks we have made in the world, and the challenges facing us in caring for its future.

It is a rich and fascinating area of study, involving factual knowledge, conceptual understanding and the application of both to evaluate issues. It is filled with opportunities for critical reflection, evaluative discussions and collaborative planning, all of which requires competent and fluent command of the language of instruction. Language is at the heart of humanities subjects.

For some students using EAL, particularly those who are at the early stages of language acquisition, studying humanities subjects in English can be particularly challenging.

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