This is a new language programme that is funded by the Training Development Agency (TDA) in England and Wales to strengthen partnerships between universities and partner schools.
The aim of the project is to:
- provide opportunities for trainee teachers to learn from, and work with, effective teachers and practitioners on the teaching, learning and assessment of EAL pupils
- provide excellent modelling of professional practice, and
- help trainees to plan for, and support, progress in EAL through, for example, subjects and main stream teaching, one to one tuition and small group teaching.
I am currently leading one of the projects (The Secondary School EAL Project) at Goldsmiths, University of London linked with 3 mainstream secondary schools and 2 complementary schools.
The Secondary School EAL Project aims to build stronger links between the teaching of English, Languages and EAL to develop the knowledge and professional practice of trainees and teachers in preparing them to work with the range of EAL learners in their classes. There is a focus on language development for EAL learners at KS3 and this was initiated by a whole day cross-curricular session as part of the university-based course in January 2012. In this session, trainees were given the opportunity to discuss the pedagogy of their own subject and raise questions about the teaching of language from different perspectives as a first, additional, and foreign language.
Schools’ involvement in the project will lead to greater awareness of exactly how to monitor, support and assess EAL learners’ language development within the curriculum and lead to a more coherent approach towards language and literacy support for these pupils. In creating conversations across these disciplines, teachers will be able to develop a more comprehensive language pedagogy for all pupils, but particularly EAL learners. This project also aims to enable schools to develop identification processes that are more inclusive of gifted and talented EAL learners and recognise pupils that use effective language learning strategies.
I will report on the project in a later blog and share some of the key findings from the Secondary School EAL Project.