Languages United provides support for UK schoolchildren with English as an additional language (EAL). Working with teachers and support staff, our specialist staff use proven strategies and resources to help pupils develop their English skills and use them across their curriculum. This can provide the school with a number of advantages over provision by non-specialist staff:
Benefits of EAL support
- We provide specialist teachers who are experienced in teaching students whose first language isn't English:
- Students benefit from increased understanding of learning difficulties and appropriate EAL support / tuition.
- We have a pool of specialist teachers for EAL:
- School staff don't need to fit EAL lessons into their already stretched schedules.
- We arrange cover if one of our EAL teachers is not available.
- Support can be increased / decreased as the school requires.
- The school does not incur recruitment, employment and training costs.
- We work closely with the school to ensure a seamless service:
- Students stay in an environment that they are familiar with and progress more rapidly.
- A substantial amount of the administration is saved by the school - staff scheduling, lesson planning, DBS checking.
- Liason with the school and its staff ensure specific student needs are considered, including their English requirements across the curriculum.
- We can provide training for school staff:
- The school develops a long-term strategy to embed EAL support.
- We have flexible delivery of training, both online and in-school.
- Student benefits from continuity of support if circumstances change.
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.
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”.
In addition to the above definition, EAL learners are as diverse as any large group of people.
Here are some categories to illustrate the diversity of EAL learners:
- Diverse in cultural background: they may be UK-born, or recently arrived in the UK due to personal and professional choice or desperate circumstances.
- Diverse in English language proficiency: they may be new to English, use English as a main language but not yet at the age expected proficiency, or they may be fluent bi/multilingual in English and other language/s.
- Diverse in educational background: they may have experienced interrupted or no schooling, only the UK school system, or consistent schooling via a different curriculum.
- Diverse in their literacy: they may be familiar with the Latin-based alphabet/script, or may be literate in a non-Latin based alphabet/script or not literate at all.
Languages United employs language development strategies that will benefit all EAL learners who need support in developing the language needed to access the curriculum. These strategies help assess and record language levels of the EAL learners to identify the students’ needs and better target their support.
We have been very impressed with the level of professionalism and expertise that Languages United have offered our EAL pupils. The pupils enjoy their lessons and can take what they have learned with their Languages United teacher and transfer it to other areas of their learning.
We have also appreciated the degree of flexibility they have offered: they have provided both in person and online lessons, which has been very helpful.
It has been very easy to track progress, as Languages United provide us with weekly lesson plans; comments on pupil performance in lessons and formal reports upon request.[EAL administrator, secondary school in Bath]
Teaching in an EAL classroom often involves going beyond the regular language skills and knowledge required in a standard ELT class.[Languages United EAL teacher]
Helping your students boost their confidence when using their 'new' English language and new host culture can only take place once you've built a relationship of trust over time. Only then can you start to reveal, highlight and draw on the hidden strengths they may have in their own heritage language and culture.