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EAL teachers seek guidance outside UK

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nomad soul

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:34 am    Post subject: EAL teachers seek guidance outside UK Reply with quote

Reaching out to the wider world
By Melanie Butler, EL Gazette | April 2016

Teachers working with pupils from diverse language backgrounds in UK schools are reaching out to their colleagues abroad, whether in EFL, CLIL, English-medium education or ELL in North America, to exchange research, ideas and best practice. International examples will form an essential part of a new publication to be launched in the autumn by NALDIC, the national subject association for teachers of English as an additional language (EAL), as the field is known in the UK.

‘A lot of EAL specialists in UK schools started out in EFL,’ NALDIC’s Robert Sharples, himself a former EFL teacher, told the Gazette. ‘We are seeing teaching assistants paid to take CELTA, and classroom teachers of other subjects opting to do it, though this is not an ideal solution.’

Lack of training in the area is a key problem, according to NALDIC. Recent surveys confirm that UK teachers in training cite teaching multilingual classes as their second-biggest area of concern, beaten only by problem behaviour. In the past, local government provided schools with support for best practice in this area. However funding cuts and, in England, the move away from local control of schools has meant that teachers are increasingly finding themselves without guidance.

Local networks of teachers set up by NALDIC to meet its members’ needs will be reinforced by the new publication, which aims to take an evidence-based approach combining classroom ideas with the latest research.

‘It’s a subject our members often get asked about,’ says Sharples. It is also a subject of interest to those in EFL, CLIL, EMI – indeed almost anybody involved with children and second language acquisition.

(End of article)
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