Raising Standards Together

Guidance

Capacity building to support English as an additional language

Evaluation report on capacity building approaches and good practice to support the delivery of English as an additional language (EAL).
Evaluation report on capacity building approaches to support the delivery of English as an additional language in Wales

The independent research, commissioned by the Welsh Government and produced by the People and Work Unit, involved discussions with 8 local authority Ethnic Minority Achievement Services (EMAS) and 5 schools, with varying EAL needs, and invited comments from all service providers across Wales.

It concludes that the key approach to supporting language needs is the development of a whole school commitment.  

Examples of different approaches included:

  • a ‘virtual head’ approach utilised by some EMAS
  • promotion and support for extracurricular both in and outside of  school activities
  • a three year programme to ensure that every school received training to raise achievement amongst pupils with an EAL need
  • promotion of cultural awareness in school, for example using folk tales from home countries, and lessons around food, cooking and religious practice
  • utilising a ‘buddy system’ of other pupils to support learners who are new to school life
  • links into the community, including  a Bilingual Teaching Assistant (BTA) involved in lunchtime computer game club, encouraging EAL and non-EAL to share interests and work together
  • links with Communities First - for example an evening club run by Communities First which brings together university students, school pupils and community workers to work on homework and develop language skills
  • working with families to develop an understanding of the school system and how to support their children.
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