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Primary good practice examples

Classroom practice

  • Collaborative learning
  • Peer-based learning
  • Barrier games
  • Dictogloss
  • Reciprocal reading
  • Listening to stories or recordings
  • Discussing stories – using narratives to build vocabulary, sentence structures and comprehension
  • Using scaffolding and examples to facilitate language production
  • Giving clear, non-complicated instructions
  • Exposing learners to good models of social and academic language
  • Using project-based activities
  • Promoting social interaction
  • Using visual resources to enhance context – graphs, knowledge organisers, mind-maps, posters, videos etc.
  • Great Ideas page or contact the EMA Advisory Teacher in your area.

Assessment of pupils learning through EAL

Two reports from the Bell Foundation published in 2018 and 2020 found that assessing a pupil’s stage of ‘Proficiency in English’ and using the results to identify next steps and plan provision is key to ensuring the progress and attainment of EAL pupils, particularly those operating at DfE Stages A (new to English), B (Early acquisition) and C (Developing competence).

The research recommended that proficiency in English should be evaluated using an assessment framework designed for the purpose, such as the NASSEA Framework and the Bell Foundation EAL Assessment Framework.  To register and download the Bell Foundation framework, click here. The excellent “Classroom Support Strategies: Working with EAL learners in primary settings” can also be downloaded free from the same site.                                                                                          

For assessing the proficiency in English of children learning through EAL in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), The Bell Foundation recommends using the ‘Listening’ and ‘Speaking’ sections of the EAL primary school assessment alongside EY assessment systems for ‘Communication, Language and Literacy’. See: Guiding principles and strategies for practitioners working with learners who use EAL in EYFS”.  The guidance states that it is “only development in communication, language and literacy that is expected to be assessed in English only.”

As part of the assessment of EAL learners and in order to build a profile of the ‘whole child’ we also recommend completing a ‘Welcome Profile’ during a parent/carer interview. The Welcome Profile establishes language and educational background, identifies gaps in educational provision and levels of literacy. It also provides an opportunity to explore any SEN issues.   You can download an example Welcome Profile template here (Welcome Profile). For versions in other languages – contact your local EMA Advisory Teacher.

If you would like to discuss the framework, the West Sussex Welcome Profile, how to make the best use of these tools or any other issues around assessment of EAL learners, please contact the EMA Advisory Teacher in your area.

Last updated 15 October 2020

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