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.