English as an Additional Language seminar

Within our APD seminar at university, we looked at the inclusion of those whom EAL (English as an Additional Language). This is an area that really interests me as I experienced it first hand throughout my trip to Sri Lanka. The purpose of my visit was to teach these specific group of children. It is important for teachers to be aware of how to cater for these specific children to ensure that they are entitled to equal learning opportunities. It was also interesting to look at children who are refugees as this is something that I have never had the opportunity to learn but as it is a current social issue, the knowledge of this is so important. Due to my experience, I feel confident when teaching and supporting children whom have EAL. However, I aim to constantly develop my knowledge and keep up to date with resources that may be used for these children. Also, I want to continue learning about children as refugees and know the support that can be given due to the impact that this has on society today. This will prepare me for my imminent teaching career. I have attached my seminar notes –

How do EAL learners learn? – Immersion and bialingualism
• Be careful with the use of language that you use – children may get confused with the different synonyms and meaning

How might a child’s learning and your teaching be affected by these attitudes?
• Children may feel discriminated against
• Lack of interest in their learning
• Lacking pupil progress
• Self-esteem

Top 10 tips

  1. Use visual aids and non-verbal communication
  2. Put in middle ability groups until you have effectively assessed their learning capabilities
  3. Try and turn abstract ideas into concrete terms
  4. Place children with those who speak good levels of English
  5. Plan for context embedded and cognitively demanding work
  6. Buy a dictionary to make them feel secure
  7. Always remember where they come from and cultural differences
  8. Be sympathetic to a child’s refugee status and emotional needs
  9. Use interactive teaching techniques
  10. Take time to watch an EAL child at play as this will allow you to assess their level of language acquisition
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