University of Cambridge | Anglia Ruskin University

Improving Support for EAL Learners

Project Aim

This research project aimed to contribute to existing knowledge about how educational outcomes for socially disadvantaged EAL learners can be improved.

The first phase of the research, completed in 2014, focused on identifying the contribution school practice makes in addressing the language development, social integration and academic achievement of EAL students. It also investigated the role of both linguistic and non-linguistic support in reducing social disadvantage. Download the Executive Summary and full Report below.

The second phase of the research, completed in 2016, investigated the role of school assessment, pedagogy and student support in developing the academic achievement of socially disadvantaged, newly arrived migrant children. The Executive Summary and full report can be downloaded below.

About the Project

In the UK, there are over 1 million children (at the time the project was conducted) with English as an Additional Language who speak in excess of 360 languages between them, in addition to English.. These children may belong to well established ethnic minority communities, or be children of refugees and asylum seekers, or children of migrants whose parents have come to the UK to work, they may live in large cities or more isolated rural areas. Some of these children may be ‘invisible’, outside formal education, or not yet allocated school places so will not appear in school statistics at all. Some children may have been well-educated in their country of origin, while others may have had little or disrupted schooling.

This research was published at a time of significant change in England and globally. At an international level, population movements mean that a greater number of children and families are relocating and being educated in another education system and language, including in the UK.

Research and university partners