There are currently over 1.5 million learners with English as an Additional Language (EAL) in UK maintained schools and many more in independent schools. EAL learners represent just over 21% of the primary population and nearly 17% of the secondary population in England.
Technology has allowed us to create an all-inclusive experience for ESL and EAL learners. By adding our accessibility toolbar, it allows our students to change our thousands of interactive and curriculum aligned worksheets, into over 100 different languages. We are very proud that we are the first and only online learning platform to add these extra features. Supporting English acquisition for all and MFL Modern Foreign Languages lessons in and out of the classroom.
When searching online for complementary teaching resources in the past, I found a distinct lack of supportive learning worksheets for EAL students, despite the huge statistics above! So I was delighted to find Beth Southern at the EAL Hub with her wealth of helpful downloadable resources.
Over to you Beth!
I taught for 12 years, with a primary focus on EAL, across both primary and secondary, independent schools and state schools. I was Head of EAL at a large inner city 3-18 school for 4 years following which I set up Consultancy and training privately. I also worked for a local council as a Lead Teacher of EAL. During this time, I visited lots of schools and saw loads of interesting teaching but my overriding sense was that there was still a real lack of training and understanding of how best to support EAL students, particularly new arrivals. Many teachers asked me to recommend EAL teaching resources or websites that they could visit for teaching support and ideas, and I was often unable to offer very much in way of a suggestion. I decided at the start of last year that I would take a leap of faith and move full time into setting up EAL HUB. I had a huge desire to better support teachers globally, whilst also giving EAL pupils the best support to remain in lessons as much as possible and thrive at learning English. I created all of the resources on the site personally and built the whole website too which I have really enjoyed.
We receive feedback regularly from around the world and it is amazingly positive, people are just so grateful for the support and also the fact that we offer to build the resources that they need, if there is something missing then let us know and we will try and add it.
The short-term goals are to build the resources as much as possible whilst keeping them at a high standard. We are still developing new ideas and concepts, most recently we added the Topic Packs which support EAL and SEND learners with Topic work. The PIVOT Packs and Reading Hero Packs are proving really popular and we are getting regular book requests, as are the standalone resource sheets, videos and activities. We have just passed 100,000 resources downloaded so we are delighted that after just 11 months! We have also found that lots of schools are also using many of the resources for children that aren’t EAL but that have specific literacy needs so we are looking at this side of things too, to ensure we are meeting that need.
I am currently working on developing CPD and training and my diary is already filling up. I have a passion for working with trainee teachers to ensure we are sending more teachers out into schools with a good knowledge of language acquisition and a range of strategies for working with EAL learners. I am keen to get out into schools to offer training within areas such as welcoming and providing for New Arrivals, how to boost reading and writing in Advanced Bilinguals, EAL Coordinator training, TA training and Effective Interventions. I am also excited to visit some international school overseas, which is planned for the next academic year.
The long-term goal is simple – to offer an amazingly versatile and holistic EAL support hub that is the go-to place for teachers in need of support, resources and training for students learning English and all children in need of a literacy and vocabulary boost. We are also marketing across the globe at the minute, with some exciting collaborations in the pipeline, so our long-term goal is basically to get EAL HUB in to as many schools as possible!
Go to the EALHub to find Beth’s resources:
How can EdPlace help?
EdPlace’s accessibility toolbar allows you to transform all text into the child’s first language, so that you can assess their current ability level in relation to their chronological age if they are new to your school, and to ensure that you can set suitably personalised and differentiated tasks.
The language feature takes away the need for an interpreter to introduce basic tasks or concepts and allows the ESL child to work independently and comfortably. Therefore giving the child a chance to be included in activities with their English speaking peers, and allowing them to complete and understand worksheets, raising their self-esteem.
A happy and confident child leads to a resilient and determined learner.
On top of the language feature, you can create a wholly personalised learning experience! Adding coloured overlays, using different fonts and reading rulers to name a few. The read-aloud feature will also recite all of the text to you. Give it a go today!