Teacher guidance blog

2nd November 2017

The importance of the mother tongue in the classroom

Author: Emma Mijailovic, EAL Teacher In my experience, teachers often have quite strong feelings about the use of a pupil’s L1 (first language) in the classroom […]
9th October 2017

Should EAL learners be withdrawn from the mainstream classroom?

Author: Gemma Fanning, EAL Specialist While it can be argued that EAL learners have an entitlement to experience a full and varied curriculum through complete class […]
7th September 2017

How can you possibly feel included if you don’t understand the language at all?

EAL: Excluded by inclusion By Kamil Trzebiatowski Here’s an extract: “Have you ever seen a child cry because they couldn’t understand a language? Crying their eyes out […]
6th September 2017

Collaborative learning – how do I group learners for the most effective learning experiences?

Author: Emma Mijailovic, EAL Teacher When we attempt to facilitate effective communication or collaborative learning between pairs or groups, we must acknowledge that our pupils are not […]
28th July 2017

Collaborative Learning

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Collaborative Learning site, it’s full of excellent resources that are completely free. Last month, Gemma Fanning, talked […]
7th July 2017

The importance of collaborative planning

Author: Emma Mijailovic, EAL Teacher Although Inclusion is a central theme of UK policy, there are limited directives on EAL provision in mainstream classes (Costley 2014) This […]
21st June 2017

How do I use nonfiction texts to inspire and engage my EAL learners?

Author: Gemma Fanning, EAL Specialist Learners are often faced with the challenge of carrying out research for their class project work, and often schools invest heavily into […]
23rd May 2017

What games work well in the language learning class?

Author: Gemma Fanning, EAL Specialist Brewster, Ellis and Girard (2012) discuss the idea of playing Bingo or Dominoes as games for connecting various curriculum areas. Brewster (2012) […]
25th April 2017

How do I structure play to support language learning?

Author: Gemma Fanning, EAL Specialist Play is a crucial part of language development and ideas for play and games are an essential part of any teacher’s toolkit. […]
14th March 2017

How do I support EAL Learners with Scientific Language?

Gemma Fanning – EAL Specialist In Science, EAL learners need to understand scientific language, both written and oral, as well as to work with the command […]
9th February 2017

Why not try some new ideas to inspire story-telling with your EAL learners?

Author: Gemma Fanning, EAL Specialist ‘Stories and storytelling are fundamental to the human experience.’ Nunan (2012). Stories help our learners to understand their world and to […]
5th January 2017

How do I support EAL learners with mathematical language?

Author: Gemma Fanning, EAL SpecialistThe language of Maths is often considered a language of its own, and this can sometimes be a difficulty for EAL students when […]
11th December 2016

What useful holiday homework can I set my intermediate EAL Learners?

Author: Anita Bamberger, EAL SpecialistHolidays and homework seem incongruous especially for the EAL students who need to concentrate extra hard in order to understand curriculum content. It […]
2nd November 2016

How do I effectively use additional adults to support EAL Students?

Author: Gemma Fanning, EAL Co-ordinator An additional adult can be very effective in supporting teachers with EAL learners in the classroom. An additional adult may be a […]
27th October 2016

How do I support EAL parents during parents evening?

Parents are integral to schooling for any child, and one of the key opportunities to discuss how a child is developing is during parents evening (Macbeth, […]
29th August 2016

EAL Learners: First steps in identifying dyslexia (and other specific learning differences)

Sometimes our students who have English as an additional language seem to be having more difficulty than expected developing their language, and accessing the rest of […]
4th July 2016

Why should we use an EAL Learning Record?

Most schools with early stage learners of English will have some form of guided reading record. This record supports the learner, parents and the teacher in […]
16th June 2016

Scaffolding writing for teens, including a sample writing frame which can be used as a simple scaffold!

Author: Gemma Fanning, EAL Teacher, Dwight School LondonWriting essays and short stories at secondary level can be a daunting experience but when you are asked to […]
11th May 2016

Synthetic versus Analytical Phonics: Which is best for my EAL students?

In the last edition, we considered the importance of not using a Whole Language approach in isolation as a primary method of literacy instruction, but rather […]
7th April 2016

Should I teach my EAL learners phonics? If so, how?

Should I teach my EAL learners phonics? If so, how? As educational pedagogies continue to move cyclically, with new strategies moving in and out of favour, […]
5th April 2016

Are your young learners interpreting for adults?

As well as interpreting for peers, young learners often find themselves interpreting for adults.This does give rise to a myriad of potential issues. There are subjects […]
3rd April 2016

We are one world and one team…

11 fantastic resources to promote elements of international mindedness… Culture shock for new EAL students is more or less extreme depending on the extent of the […]
3rd April 2016

Are you teaching your learners language-learning strategies?

Language learning strategies are tools to facilitate language learning that should be adapted to suit the needs of each individual. There aren’t a set of language […]
3rd March 2016

How do I support parents in maintaining their child’s mother tongue?

Often, for busy EAL teachers, the focus is on the child, however it is important to remember that for some parents, the transition period can be […]
3rd February 2016

Fantastic progress seen by learners using online EAL/ESL language learning portal for new-to-English learners in the mainstream

Communication Across Cultures début the Learning Village at GESS 2016 EAL/ESL specialist, Communication Across Cultures, will be showing the Learning Village – an online English language-learning […]
6th December 2015

Have you seen the new NASSEA assessment framework?

NASSEA (Northern Association of Support Service for Equality and Achievement) have recently revised their EAL assessment framework with a few interesting differences. Designed to provide a, […]
6th December 2015

Looking to teach Christmas vocabulary to your new arrivals?

As the season ends and holidays are almost upon us (or in full swing in some cases!) we have provided you with some new Learning Village […]
25th September 2015

Do learners in your school often translate for others?

The lack of a common language between children can be frustrating so we often assign buddies who have a common language to help our learners. Someone […]
14th August 2015

New arrivals… a few tips:

Check out Caroline Scott’s recent article on EAL new arrivals: http://www.bismagazine.co.uk/strategic/curriculum_articles/non-native.html
6th August 2015

Teaching students to be good buddies

On the last day of term I asked a student, who was leaving her school in London to return back to Italy, the best and worst […]
29th June 2015

Do your EAL learners need some help with their spellings?

Many of us have learnt to spell as a child without being specifically taught the sounds. In the past, the teaching of phonics was discouraged in […]
30th May 2015

The Role of an EAL Teacher

In previous articles we discussed the need for learners to obtain Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS). These skills need to be the initial focus of learning […]
6th May 2015

The importance of literature

This morning my 4 year old woke up and said, “Mummy there are two languages, child’s language and adult language”. I asked her what she meant […]
13th April 2015

What more can you do to help your intermediate EAL Learners?

The transition from EAL beginner to intermediate learner can take from one term to a year depending on the learner. A beginner EAL learner is learning […]
2nd March 2015

The Power of Online Learning

Recently we have been looking closely at the power of using online learning through the Learning Village by studying the assessment results of learners who were […]
28th February 2015

Feedback

Feedback is the buzz-word and, as with most things, it is not being reinvented, but constantly readapted. In recent years, we see more formal national approach. […]
4th February 2015

EAL Assessment Continuum

Including a useful EAL Progress Review and links to different EAL assessment continua When teaching EAL, assessment procedures need to be in place in order to […]
30th December 2014

Differentiating Learning

Including some ideas for EAL beginners Whilst reading a book on reclaiming childhood (‘Their name is today’ by Johann Christoph Arnold) the chapter on ‘learning differences […]
24th December 2014

Uprooted: Bridging cultures and celebrating the differences

Including 5 top tips to celebrating differences Last week I saw a film called ‘Shadow in Baghdad’, it was a film that pulled my heart strings. […]
24th December 2014

Valuing Bilingualism (including top tips for use in the classroom)

The language show this year in Olympia made me even more aware of the gift of having more than one language. One of the stand’s motto […]
2nd October 2014

How to Welcome New Arrivals

The start of a new school year can be a daunting experience for new EAL arrivals. Some may be devastated to leave their friends, schools and […]
27th June 2014

One effective method of instigating rapid improvement in speaking, listening, reading and writing

This language learning strategy provides a very powerful platform for rapid progress using a multi-sensory approach: 1. Teach the new language. Ideally, a popular phrase where […]
5th June 2014

What provision do you offer for your new arrivals?

New to English can be supported in many different ways. Here’s one school’s approach: Assessment All learning is based on assessment. Children arrive and sit a […]
5th June 2014

How do you plan successfully for EAL learners? Free planning template

Everyone is talking about differentiation for EAL in whole class teaching, but how do we actually approach it consistently and effectively? At Communication Across Cultures we […]
22nd May 2014

Intermediate Language Learning Objectives alongside Curriculum Content Learning Objectives

Are your new arrivals now intermediate language learners? The last two Communication Across Cultures books focused on the beginners language learning needs in vocabulary and grammar […]
17th May 2014

Do you create a School Language Profile?

A School Language Profile is an invaluable tool! In the previous article we looked at the thorny issue of EAL learners with specific learning differences (SpLD).  […]
5th May 2014

Assessing EAL students for Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)

What tools are there if you have a sixth sense that something is not quite right? At what point does a teacher start to question whether […]
21st April 2014

How do we help young learners in mainstream schools to become bilingual?

In schools where English is the language of instruction we welcome new arrivals with limited English and, step by step, they become skilled in speaking English. […]
21st April 2014

Dual language texts

Is it important for young English language learners to read dual language text? It can be helpful for learners to read texts in both languages. It […]
21st April 2014

Should learners use their mother tongue in the classroom?

The use of the children’s home language is another extremely important element of learning a language. Cummins highlighted that: “bilingualism has positive effects on children’s linguistic […]