Best Practice

EAL: Supporting new arrivals in your primary school

Many primary schools will have new arrivals this September who have English as an additional language. Continuing our series on EAL, Emma Parsons recommends effective induction procedures, an EAL assessment tool, and differentiation strategies and resources for use in the classroom

When a new arrival with little or no English joins a class, teachers may feel frustrated and lack confidence in providing their pupil with the right support. In fact, on-going inclusive, differentiated classroom practice goes a long way in supporting new English as an additional language (EAL) learners. This article is intended to provide best practice for primary teachers in meeting the needs of their new EAL learners.

The term EAL is used to describe a diverse group of pupils for whom English is an additional language. The government’s definition of an EAL learner includes anyone who has been exposed to a language other than English during early childhood “and continues to be exposed to this language in the home or the community”. Many EAL learners are UK-born.

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