Hamish Chalmers, doctoral researcher in the School of Education at Oxford Brookes, has recently had an article published in the TES, the world’s largest online network for teachers. Hamish, who is researching ways to support EAL (English as an additional language) learners effectively, was commissioned by the TES to write a feature on his research.
Hamish’s article explains the principles behind quality support for EAL learners that acknowledge the skills they bring to the classroom. EAL funding in schools has been cut dramatically, while numbers of EAL learners in UK state schools has never been higher. This means that now more than ever the responsibility for meeting the needs of EAL learners in schools rests with classroom teachers. A common misconception among non-specialist teachers is that EAL needs can be met by the same approaches as used to support SEND (special education needs and disability).
Speaking of his published work, Hamish Chalmers said:
“As a former primary school teacher I was often struck by the lack of dialogue and support for teachers of classes in which diverse linguistic needs were represented. Children for whom English is an additional language deserve teachers who are educated in approaches that have been shown empirically to help them do well at school. The common conflation of EAL with SEN does not help them. I was pleased to have the opportunity to write this piece for the TES, drawing on my teaching experience, and the research I have been involved in at Brookes, to provide a starting point for discussion in schools about how best to promote success for their EAL learners.”
The article was published in the TES on 20 November 2015.