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Supporting EAL students on mainstream courses

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Rob Peutrell

on 6 January 2014

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Transcript of Supporting EAL students on mainstream courses

Supporting EAL students on mainstream courses
Rob Peutrell January 2014
Central College Nottingham

1. reflect on our experiences of the challenges (and benefits) of working with EAL students

2. review some basic principles of EAL support

3. discuss some strategies for supporting EAL students in subject classes

3. identify issues for further support and training

Multilingual Nottingham
NOTTINGHAM residents main language 2011 census:

1. English: 256,411 (87.4%)
2. Polish: 6,548 (2.2%)
3. Urdu: 4,089 (1.4%)
4. Arabic: 2,295 (0.8%)
5. Punjabi: 2,453 (0.8%)
6. Farsi: 915 (0.3%)
7. Kurdish: 899 (0.3%)
8. French: 858 (0.3%)
9. Portuguese: 820 (0.3%)
10. Pakistani Pahari: 694 (0.2%)

http://www.nottinghampost.com/Languages-list/story-18209122-detail/story.html accessed 15.11.13

Mapping the terrain:

What are the challenges and benefits of working with EAL students on 'mainstream' courses

What are the challenges facing EAL students
What other teachers / LSAs have said:
Do it!
Could do it!
Could do it if ...!
Couldn't do it because ... !
Wouldn't do it because ... !
What students have said!
poor comprehension skills
cutting and pasting - no evidence of what they know
limited vocabulary
poor understanding spoken and written information
understanding questions
poor grammar
difficulties with dialect
questionable English grades
they 'think they know it already'
too little time to teach subject and develop language skills
irregular attendance
hard working
different life experience, including work
cultural knowledge
verbal communication skills
good attendance
What other teachers / LSAs have also said:
'If they want us to use our own words, we'll write in Arabic!'
Stephen Krashen: basic principles of
language acquisition
Comprehensible Input:
'Language acquisition proceeds best when the input is not just
but really interesting, even compelling; so interesting that you forget you are listening to or reading another language.'

Affective Filter:
'Language acquisition proceeds best when the acquirer is “open” to the input, not “on the defensive”;
not anxious
about performance.'

'... we have to constantly
the target structures: ... one set of exercises and a few paragraphs are not enough.'
access - development
input - output
understanding -
Language Analysis
Message not the medium
Vocabulary notebooks
Personal topic glossaries
Writing frames
Structured internet research tasks
Whole class writing
Language 'mats'
Writing 'buddies'
Writing checklists

Evaluation and next steps:
1 thing ... was useful.
1 thing ... would have been better if
1 thing ... want to try.
1 thing ... want to know more about.
1. Ofsted: '... observing how well it helps all learners to make progress and fulfill their potential, especially those with needs, dispositions, aptitudes, or circumstances require particularly perceptive or expert teaching, or, in some case, additional support... such learners may include ... learners for whom English is an Additional Language; minority ethnic learners ...'
Jim Cummins
Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills BICS Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency CALP
Everyday; embedded in context (e.g. face to face, supported by gestures & objects of reference); informal; cognitively undemanding - everyday language, simple language structure.
Classroom / academic; context-reduced, fewer non-verbal clues, more abstract. Cognitively demanding, specialised vocabulary, complex language structure.
Learning can be defined as the integration of new knowledge or skills with the knowledge or skills we already possess
Jim Cummins
3. Multilingualism: UK as a multi-lingual society. Do we need to question our perceptions of language, society, learning and bilingualism.? E.g. assumption that monolingualism is the norm; high status 'modern foreign languages' and low status 'community languages' (i.e. bilingualism is an 'asset' when languages are learned, but a 'deficit' when languages are acquired naturally!)
2. Equality, diversity & anti-racist education: race is a protected characteristic; colleges and teachers have a legal responsibility to promote equality; anti-racist education includes identitfying and removing the institutional barriers to equal participation.
... which indicates the potential tensions in the multi-lingual classroom.
And so ...
Full transcript