Explore our policy recommendations for breaking down language barriers
in schools, adult education, and the criminal justice system.
The Department for Education, the Teachers’ Standards and Ofsted expect that all learners, including those with English as an Additional Language, are provided with instruction that allows them to develop knowledge and skills across the curriculum. This may require teachers to adapt teaching if necessary. All subject teachers are required to support learners using EAL across the curriculum as well as teach English language to all learners more broadly.
What follows are excerpts from official Department for Education (England) and Ofsted guidance, relevant to supporting English language development and learners with EAL within the curriculum:
Teachers should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects. The National Curriculum in England (December 2014)
All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised. National Curriculum in England: English programmes of study (July 2014)
...it is vital for pupils’ comprehension that they understand the meanings of words they meet in their reading across all subjects, and older pupils should be taught the meaning of instruction verbs that they may meet in examination questions. It is particularly important to induct pupils into the language which defines each subject in its own right, such as accurate mathematical and scientific language. The national curriculum in England: Key stage 1 and 2 framework document (September 2013)
The new Ofsted inspection framework states that:
... teachers present subject matter clearly, promoting appropriate discussion about the subject matter they are teaching. They check learners’ understanding systematically, identify misconceptions accurately and provide clear, direct feedback. In doing so, they respond and adapt their teaching as necessary, without unnecessarily elaborate or differentiated approaches. Ofsted: The education inspection framework (May 2019)
A teacher must:
have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those […] with English as an additional language […] and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them. Teachers’ Standards (June 2013)
All resources on this website support teachers to achieve these goals and have teaching notes containing both language and curriculum objectives. These aim to support subject teachers to incorporate language development into their everyday lesson planning alongside learning objectives for the subject content.