The Bell Foundation has, today, launched two new training opportunities for primary and secondary practitioners which aim to support schools to embed effective practices for learners who use English as an Additional Language (EAL). All Bell Foundation courses are informed by the latest research on EAL, Initial Teacher Education and Continuing Professional Development. The courses also draw on the latest developments in pedagogy and the education sector and are designed to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence of school staff so they can provide more effective support for EAL learners.
Launching today are online and blended training courses which consist of three-component activities designed to work around the busy schedules of those within the education sector. With a mix of online study, and either a webinar or face-to-face training, spread over four to eight-week period, the courses enable practitioners to work at a manageable pace with plenty of time to process course content and apply relevant insights to the participants’ contexts. The courses are designed to be highly interactive and collaborative, with opportunities to work with other course participants, course tutors and course material. The final activity is an online task to practice what has been learnt and to reflect on what needs to happen in order to embed it in the everyday classroom.
The first online training course, ‘Embedding EAL Assessment’, starts on 10 June 2019 and is a practical course for primary and secondary practitioners which aims to support schools to embed effective practices for assessing the English language proficiency of pupils with English as an Additional Language, leading to more targeted in-class support and improved learner outcomes for these pupils. It will introduce guidance, strategies and resources to enhance the ways school staff can draw on assessment information on English language proficiency to inform effective planning and teaching leading to improved learning, and to ensure that all learners with EAL are able to fully access the curriculum.
This autumn two new blended training courses will run online and at various venues across England – ‘Meeting the needs of multilingual pupils within diverse classrooms’ and ‘Embedding a whole school approach to improving outcomes for learners with EAL’. Potential participants interested in either of these courses are invited to complete the Contact Us form and include ‘Blended Training’ in the subject line.
Today, the Foundation has also launched the 2019 Summer School series of one-day face-to-face EAL training courses for primary and secondary school practitioners. The courses aim to support school staff working in multilingual, multicultural and diverse classrooms. There are now over 1.5 million learners who speak English as an Additional Language, a figure which has more than doubled over the last ten years. Despite the growing numbers of EAL learners, research shows that training and support for schools, teachers and pupils remains inconsistent and can be difficult to access.
In 2018, 100% of participants rated the Summer School as good to excellent and their feedback included:
“I thought this event was the best that I had attended in years as I learnt so much and in such an enjoyable way. The lady delivering was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The delivery was amazing; I didn’t want it to finish. Venue and food were 4* too.”
“An excellent session about the ways of supporting EAL pupils. For example, the importance of finding out about what a school is doing already. I had the opportunity to hear from others about their settings and to share good practise.”
“It raised interesting topics and helped me to more clearly understand my role as an EAL co-ordinator. It gave me a lot of ideas about directions to take in the future, and the confidence to train teachers to use EAL strategies in the classroom.”
“Knowledge of the changes in EAL. Practical advice based on both teachers and co-ordinators experiences and from the latest research.”
The 2019 programme runs from Tuesday 27 to Friday 30 August 2019 inclusive and includes EAL assessment training linked to The Bell Foundation’s EAL Assessment Framework for Schools winner of the Local Innovation category at the British Council’s ELTons Awards 2018. Courses also include ‘Meeting the Needs of Multilingual Pupils within Diverse Classrooms’, as well as courses for teacher educators, EAL co-ordinators and senior leaders.
The proposed changes to the Education Inspection Framework from Ofsted, which could be implemented from September 2019, do not mention EAL pupils as a distinct group. Does this mean they are no longer a priority, or that their learning needs can be met without consideration of the specific support that they require? Absolutely not. In these evidence-informed, practical and active courses participants will explore what schools will need to focus on regarding teaching and learning in diverse multilingual classrooms to meet the needs of EAL pupils.
The Summer School is held in modern training facilities set within beautiful grounds near the centre of Cambridge and within easy access of the main railway station and M11.