As the pandemic continues, promoting oracy and opportunities to talk will be crucial to supporting the recovery of students who use English as an additional language. Sarah Moodie offers some ideas


“There is no doubt that the disruption to some students’ education will have been more severe than others.”

Thus begins the equality assessment of the government’s consultation over examination arrangements for 2022 (DfE, 2021). It goes on to name learners using English as an additional language (EAL) as one of these groups and to voice concern that “attainment gaps between different groups of students might grow in 2022.”

The impact of restricted schooling during the pandemic has been widely documented, although much of what has been noted may well prove to be the tip of an educational iceberg.

As far as EAL students are concerned, it is worth remembering that they are not a heterogeneous group, and as such, had widely differing experiences during lockdowns and partial school closures, as indeed did all learners.

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