Britain has always been multicultural and multilingual; greatly benefitting from diversity over the centuries. Today is no exception. In fact, many British cities are what we now call superdiverse communities where people with vastly different languages, cultures and backgrounds live side by side enhancing our schools and neighbourhoods.
The Department for Education’s (DfE) January 2021 School Census provides us with the current EAL landscape in the UK. Almost 1 in 5 pupils (19.4%) in the UK school system, nursery through secondary, are learners who use English as an additional language (EAL).
This number rises to nearly one third of pupils in nurseries (28.9%), most of whom were born in the UK. These numbers reflect the multilinguistic landscape which our current student teachers will enter.
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