The government’s definition of a pupil with EAL is 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”.
Apart from that, EAL learners are as diverse as any large group of people (according to the January 2018 School Census, there are now more than 1.5 million pupils in the UK who are recorded as having EAL). They are:
Evidence demonstrates that bilingualism has both cognitive benefits and offers professional advantages in a globalised world.
A recent report analysing data related to the achievement of EAL learners highlights the crucial importance of proficiency in English as the best predictor of educational outcomes (University of Oxford, October 2018). The same report urges schools to assess and record the proficiency in English of their EAL learners.
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