Best Practice

Maintaining high expectations for learners using EAL

That a student uses English as an additional language should not be an excuse for lowering our expectations for learning and progress. Kamil Trzebiatowski considers some strategies and resources to ensure high expectations in your lessons



Maintaining high expectations for every pupil has long been perceived as a crucial aspect of learners’ education and can be linked to the Pygmalion Effect (Rosenthal, 1974) which refers to the influence that other people’s expectations have on achievement.

Indeed, the Department for Education’s Teachers’ Standards (DfE, 2011) requires all teachers in England to set high expectations to inspire, motivate and challenge pupils.

In the most recent Education Inspection Framework (Ofsted, 2019), the Quality of Education section requires education providers to have the same academic, technical or vocational ambitions “for almost all learners”.

Maintaining high expectations for learners using English as an additional language (EAL) is crucial if they are to reach their full academic potential; the English language barrier need not be the reason to lower expectations.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting Headteacher Update and reading some of our content for professionals in primary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcasts

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday


Already have an account? Sign in here