Leading a Whole-School Strategy for EAL (Online Course)
- 16 January 2024
- Online course
Explore our policy recommendations for breaking down language barriers
in schools, adult education, and the criminal justice system.
The Bell Foundation is seeking to develop new Centres of Expertise in the South East, the South West and the North East of England to run English as an Additional language (EAL) training.
Centres of Expertise are licensed and accredited by The Bell Foundation to run its Language for Results Programme to schools in their region. Language for Results is a not-for-profit programme of evidence informed EAL training and resources which aims to support schools to embed impactful and sustainable EAL provision and develop inclusive practices.
These videos go into more detail about Centres of Expertise, Language for Results, and Bell Foundation Licensed Practitioners.
Centres of Expertise provide EAL training and support for schools in areas of high need, usually where there are significant numbers of learners who use EAL and limited access to existing training and support. Each Centre has a team of dedicated EAL teacher educators who are licensed, trained and supported by the Foundation to run EAL professional development courses for teachers and other school staff. Centres of Expertise can offer schools:
Centres are led by organisations that are committed to improving the attainment levels of children who use EAL, and have in place the existing EAL expertise, and teacher training infrastructure to offer the Language for Results Programme on a regional basis. The Foundation has formed Centres with Designated Teaching Hubs, Local Authorities, Multi Academy Trusts, and University settings.
There are over 1.7 million pupils in primary and secondary schools in England who use EAL, with schools currently welcoming refugees from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Hong Kong and elsewhere. This number reflects the diverse, multilinguistic landscape in which teachers and other school staff are working, with research suggesting that nearly half of all teachers teach in diverse classrooms (OECD TALIS Country note, 2019).
However, a Teacher Tapp survey of 6447 teachers in May 2022 found that many do not feel confident in supporting pupils who use EAL. This aligns with research commissioned by The Bell Foundation with the University of Edinburgh which found that many student teachers and teacher educators across the teacher preparation routes feel that they lack confidence and experience as they work to address the learning needs of pupils using EAL.
Learners using EAL are an asset to their schools, bringing with them rich linguistic resources, and life and learning experiences that can support the development of diverse, inclusive, multilingual communities. However, research shows that there are specific groups of pupils using EAL who are at risk of underachieving including:
It is therefore important that all schools develop and embed appropriate systems, classroom practices and staff training to ensure the linguistic, academic and wellbeing needs of learners using EAL are fully met. Centres of Expertise are well positioned to support schools with the task of developing sustainable, impactful EAL provision.
If your organisation has excellent EAL practice already embedded, and is based in the South East, the South West or the North East of England, please get in touch to learn more about becoming a Bell Foundation Centre of Expertise.