Centre of Education for Racial Equality in Scotland

EAL Pupil Voice

Policy, Pedagogy and Pupil Perceptions: EAL in England and Scotland

Project Aim

To give children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) a voice in shaping and informing their learning opportunities and experiences and identify ways in which their perceptions can be used to improve how UK schools work.

Project Partners

A research partnership between The Bell Foundation and the Centre for Education for Racial Equality (CERES), University of Edinburgh.

About the Project

As numbers of children with English as an Additional Language in UK schools have more than doubled over the last decade, increasing attention is paid to the teaching and learning of English as an Additional Language. However, few projects have presented a focus on EAL learners’ own accounts of their experiences. This project, led by Dr Yvonne Foley, captured EAL learners’ voices in relation to the following three questions:

  • What are EAL learners’ perceptions of their language learning experiences?
  • How do these perceptions differ from those of their teachers?
  • How are the differing national EAL policies in England and Scotland enacted at the level of the secondary school, the department and the classroom in relation to individual learners? Are the different emphases in national policy reflected at these various levels?

The team used a case study approach drawing on two secondary schools (in Scotland and England) to seek responses to the above questions, analysed policy documents and practices and carried out interviews with children and teachers.

Research and university partners