the class I was working in there were several SEND children, specifically one
with ASD and one with dyslexia, these children received extra support in class
through the TA and class teacher and also received interventions from other
LSAs across the school such as reading interventions and individual reading.
Within my GPP class there was also a child who had English as additional
language (EAL) (Child A); however I was surprised to see he received no extra
support from a TA.
The Department for Education (2003) defines pupils with EAL
as pupils who have access to multiple languages or those whose first language
is not English.
As there is a significant increase in the numbers of EAL pupils in schools
across the UK, it is important for schools to use strategies to ensure children who are EAL can access the National
Curriculum as their monolingual peers do.
encourage quick integration into their new schools, an initial language assessment should take place with pupils with EAL when
they first arrive at school (Parker-Jenkins, Hewitt, Brownhill and Sanders,
2007). This was done with Child A when
he enters my GPP placement in September and he was placed in the middle ability
groups for both Maths and English based upon his spoken English. Child A had
Interpersonal Communicative Skills (BICS) however he struggled with academic
English such as his comprehension and written English and so can be described
as having Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP).
I found Child A often interrupted lessons with constant low
level disruptive behaviour such as talking to his peers or swinging on his
chair and not paying attention and I began to wonder if his understanding of
English was the underlying issue of his behavioural issues. I noticed, especially
in English lessons that it would take Child A a long time to settle down to
work and still he would not produce a substantial amount of work by the end of
the lesson, instead he would constantly be trying to distract his peers.
Child A was in the middle ability English group, he received very little
support from the teacher or TA after the initial input. After having worked
with Child A for a few sessions and asking him about his learning, it was
obvious that Child A struggled to comprehend what he had to do and although he
had excellent spoken English he struggled to write his ideas down on paper. He had very low self-esteem which in turn was having a
detrimental effect on his academic achievement as he was producing very little
work. The class teacher then made the decision to move Child A into the
lower ability group so he could access this work with TA support. Although
Child A felt the work was ‘too easy’ for him, I felt setting him short,
achievable activities with clear instructions helped his confidence grow as he
was now beginning to complete work by the end of a lesson. To further help
build Child’s A confidence, the class teacher and I worked on different
strategies which included working from a multidisciplinary approach and presenting work in a
more visual way.
think having Child A in my class made me realise that although a child may have
very good spoken English, they may struggle with their work which could present
itself as bad behaviour in lessons. I’ve learnt it is important to be prepared
to explain things in different ways for children who have EAL and that it is
important to use different resources in order for inclusion of children with
EAL to be successful and this is something which I would like to do further
research on in the future.