Best Practice

Succeeding as an EAL coordinator: Eight secrets to success

The role of EAL coordinators is crucial to the successful integration and education of students using English as an additional language. Emily Maybanks offers eight tenets of good practice that can bolster the achievement of this diverse cohort of young people


According to official statistics (DfE, 2021), 1.6 million pupils (19.2 per cent) are recorded as having a first language other than English. In secondary schools, 17.2 per cent of pupils have a first language which is not English.

There is no specific EAL curriculum, instead the Department for Education expects that effective teaching and learning for learners using EAL happens through the national curriculum.

Put simply, an EAL coordinator is responsible for coordinating the provision for EAL students. This involves assessing new arrivals, ensuring they are appropriately welcomed to the school and placed in any EAL intervention classes where necessary.

Having been an EAL teacher and coordinator in a large secondary school since September 2020, and now an EAL teacher in an independent and boarding school with a large international intake, there are many things which have helped me to succeed in my roles. I would like to share eight such elements in this article.

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