Schools must have a clear understanding of EAL pupils’ starting points and progress if they are to reach their full potential. The Bell Foundation offers a number of free tools to help. Katherine Solomon explains

Any pupil who has been exposed to a language at home that is known or believed to be other than English falls into the Department for Education (DfE) definition of having English as an Additional Language (EAL).

Children who use EAL are a diverse group of pupils and will encompass the full range of English language proficiency, from new to English to an advanced bilingual learner, i.e. fluent in English and another language.

Ensuring pupils’ full accessibility to a high-quality and challenging curriculum means schools establishing systems that ensure any learners at risk of falling behind get the support they need. For learners who use EAL this calls for an explicit and targeted focus on language development, alongside curriculum learning, that encompasses all levels of proficiency in English.

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