Effective Teaching for EAL Learners by @hwc001

Name: Hamish Chalmers
Twitter name: @hwc001
Sector: Primary, Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Director of EAL
What is your advice about? Effective teaching for EAL learners

1: Don’t under-estimate how long it takes to acquire English. It can take 2 years to become fluent in social English and a further 5 years to become fluent in academic English.

2: Acknowledge what children who have been to school in other countries already know. Find ways to help them demonstrate this knowledge and build on in.

3: Give EAL learners comprehensible input. Use images, realia, home language texts, and other para-linguistic methods to convey meaning.

4: Language is learned by hearing and reading it; that learning is demonstrated by speaking and writing it. Provide lots of structured opportunities to hear and read English.

5: Children do not ‘soak up language like a sponge’. Regardless of what subject you teach, you will need deliberately to teach the English necessary to succeed in that subject.


Connecting With EAL Students by @twneslscience

Name: Tony Pace
Twitter name: @twneslscience
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Classroom teacher
What is your advice about? Connecting with EAL students

1: Don’t be afraid of their first language. Look it up on Wikipedia, figure out the basic grammar, use Google Translate to work with vocab lists.

2: Immigrants often use a hobby like LoL as a private world that makes sense. Their communication skills can improve 10-fold when they know all the relevant nouns.

3: Be aware of dynamics in groups of students that share a first language. Falling-outs are way more devastating when you really can’t express yourself to anyone else.

4: Flashcards or flashcard apps are the best way to move forward in a language. Help support your students to get working with them.

5: When looking for resources, remember the forest of different acronyms for EAL, like EFL, ESL, TEFL, ELL, etc. They’re all synonyms, more or less.

Helping Your EAL Students by @whatonomy

Name: Whatonomy
Twitter: @whatonomy
Sector:  Primary
Subject: EAL and Literacy
Position: Head of English
5 Bits of Advice About: Helping your EAL students

  1. Expect your EAL students to be quiet (near silent) for a while, but take time to go over and chat with them. Don’t allow that silence to become part of their character.
  2. Please try not to see EAL as some kind of impediment. In all likelihood, you could have a student with a rich linguistic architecture (just not English, yet).
  3. Look at the written outcomes expected from your lessons and try to break down precisely what you are expecting your EAL students to communicate.
  4. Use the above expectations to inform an additional language objective which will actually benefit all of your students.
  5. The language-rich display and resources you create for your EAL students will actually help all of your students.