EAL Assessment Framework

The Bell Foundation's award-winning EAL Assessment Framework for Schools and digital EAL Assessment Tracker are available free of charge to all schools in the UK. To view the Assessment Framework please:

It has helped the EAL department show real progress from our students, as opposed to tracking them against the National Curriculum. Using the old system, we couldn't see the progress as much but with The Bell Foundation assessment we can share the results with the students and parents to show real progress. EAL co-ordinator

Research from the University of Oxford on the educational achievement of learners who use EAL consistently demonstrates how proficiency in English can provide essential information about their likelihood to succeed in school and potential need for support (Strand & Demie, 2005; Strand, Malmberg, & Hall, 2015, Strand & Hessel, 2018, Strand and Lindorff, 2020). To assist school staff in conducting meaningful assessments of learners’ proficiency in English and using the information gathered to make effective decisions about teaching and learning, The Bell Foundation has worked with leading EAL assessment experts at King's College London and the University of Cambridge to design a suite of freely available EAL assessment tools. These tools include:

  • The EAL Assessment Framework for Schools (for primary and secondary)
  • Digital EAL Assessment Tracker
  • Classroom Support Strategies (for primary and secondary)

The Bell Foundation’s assessment tools are straightforward, easy-to-use, and have been designed with busy teachers in mind. They can be used to gather data to support the teaching and learning of learners who use EAL and to enable teachers to generate targets to guide progress. Through this on-going cycle of formative assessment, leading to individual target-setting and tailored support, learners can develop their English language skills, fully access the curriculum and fulfil their academic potential.

Teacher helping a student with her work
An impressive tool and I really enjoy working with it. Kudos to the development team. EAL co-ordinator

Assessment webinar

To find out more about assessment please watch the free assessment webinar recording.

EAL Assessment Professional Development

In order to maximise the benefit from, and impact of, the EAL Assessment Framework and digital Tracker. The Bell Foundation offer professional development training to support school practitioners to develop and embed effective practices in EAL assessment leading to more targeted in-class support and improved learner outcomes for pupils who use EAL. 

How Do I Assess an EAL Learner?

Knowledge about the English language proficiency of learners using EAL, as well as cognitive skills and previous educational experience, is important for schools and teachers in informing the most appropriate support. This signals a clear need for schools to establish valid and reliable assessment processes .

Home Language Assessment

Many learners who use English as an Additional Language (EAL) will have a good level of language skills in their home language(s), however there may be variations in levels of first language literacy and oracy skills which it is important for schools to explore.

Levels of Proficiency in English

On this website there are five levels of proficiency in English which are used both within the EAL Assessment Framework for School and on all teaching resources. These are consistent with the levels of proficiency formerly used by the Department for Education in the annual School Census.

Introduction to the Framework

Download the full introduction to learn more about the EAL Assessment Framework for Schools, what makes EAL assessment unique, and how it can help teachers and pupils. 

Guiding Principles

The Bell Foundation’s Guiding principles of EAL assessment, which are underpinned by research, can work alongside the EAL Assessment Framework for Schools to help ensure the use of the Framework and impact of assessment is positive and effective for pupils who use EAL. 

User Guide

The user guide provides support and guidance for teachers, teaching assistants (TAs) and other practitioners on how to use and apply the Framework in their setting.