23rd January 2019

New guiding principles for practitioners working with EAL learners in the Early Years Foundation Stage

The Bell Foundation has, today, published new guiding principles for practitioners working with learners who use English as an Additional Language (EAL) in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) as part of the award winning (British Council ELTons Award for Local Innovation, 2018) EAL Assessment Framework and Support Strategies for Schools.

The new evidence-informed guiding principles and support strategies, written by Professor Constant Leung, King’s College London, and Emma Parsons, The Bell Foundation, are designed to support policy-makers and practitioners in EYFS settings in meeting the needs of their learners who use English as an Additional Language.  It is intended to help schools shape and implement policy regarding the assessment of English language proficiency and support of their EAL learners in EYFS.

The four core principles of the EYFS Statutory Framework (a unique child, positive relationships, enabling environments, and children develop and learn in different ways and at different times), provide the backbone of effective policy and practice for all children, including EAL learners. Understanding and applying the four core principles of the EYFS Statutory Framework when it comes to EAL learners will help practitioners support the language development and assessment of English language proficiency of those learners.

Teachers who have implemented the Assessment Framework and Support Strategies in primary and secondary school classrooms have reported that:

“It is incredibly detailed and this has helped the EAL department show real progress from our students….. with The Bell Foundation assessment we can share the results with the students and parents to show real progress.“

“Leeds schools love The Bell Foundation’s Framework and use it well to monitor and track progress of a wide range of EAL learners from new to English pupils right through to fluent speakers of English.”

“It has enabled targets to be easily formed for EAL students… It highlights where students are not making expected progress which triggers investigation.  It informs all subject teachers about which pupils still require different levels of differentiation.”

This new resource is free to download and teachers can use it to enable their EAL learners to access the curriculum and fulfil their potential: Find out more.