2nd October 2017

Supporting schools to assess language proficiency and actively promote language development

This week The Bell Foundation launches Version 1.1 of its EAL Assessment Framework for Schools, which sits at the heart of its EAL Programme.

The Framework helps EAL learners at all stages of language acquisition, from new arrivals to Advanced Bilingual Learners.

Version 1.1 has been developed in response to feedback from teachers and consultants who have been using the Framework in the classroom. It is designed to be more accessible for busy teachers in both primary and secondary settings. The new leaner layout features a progress tracking tool which sits alongside the descriptors for each Band, so that teachers can easily navigate their way through the document, and track learner progress as they go. This version also includes detailed classroom support strategies, which provide concrete examples of how teachers can help pupils to meet (and exceed) age-related expectations.

The Foundation believes that good EAL assessment can be transformative for both teachers and their learners. When teachers are given the time, support and tools to identify and understand the English language needs of their learners, they can really help to unlock the language of the curriculum. At its most effective, EAL assessment can support EAL learners to fully access the curriculum and can bridge the gap between this group and their peers who have English as a first language.

The Foundation will continue to work with assessment specialists from Cambridge University and Kings College London (Yongcan Liu, Michael Evans and Constant Leung) to develop key assessment innovations to maximize opportunities for EAL learners, so keep an eye out for the latest developments on The Bell Foundation website.

The Bell Foundation is committed to supporting schools across England to develop their EAL provision so they are better equipped to meet the need of EAL learners. By offering high-quality, not-for-profit training and resources, and by funding leading research on EAL, the Foundation wants all school staff to feel confident when communicating with their EAL learners whether in the classroom, the corridor or the canteen.