As EAL Coordinator /Inclusion coordinator having an excellent EAL policy can make life easier for everyone - teachers will be clear about the systems they need to follow, parents can have a clear idea about what the school values regarding languages and leadership has a clear path to follow when monitoring and providing support. Viewing a range of example EAL policies can stimulate thinking about your own school's policy.
Many schools in the UK use the Language in Common extended scale criteria for assessment of children in the early stages of learning English. As an EAL Coordinator /Inclusion coordinator a key part of your role will be maintaining an effective assessment system for new arrivals and making sure teachers are up to date with their knowledge on the levelling system in place in your school.
Some example resources for monitoring formats include the following:
As EAL Coordinator /Inclusion coordinator you may have as part of
your role the coaching or mentoring of staff members. Whilst there are
many different formats for these practices I have identified the steps
below that I found to be useful when engaging in coching and mentoring.
1. Identify the focus of the professional development coaching module.
2. Create goals to achieve within the set time limit. Setting SMART targets (Specific, measurable, achieveable, realistic and time-specific) is always a good idea as you will want tangible elements to determine success has been achieved.
Identify focus children (where relevant) to spotlight the impact of the teaching focus. Ideally any change in teaching will impact children's learning and having specific children to look at (perhaps wh are representative of different groups of children within the class) can help keep the focus on learning. Clearly indicate where the children are at in their learning whether at specific levels or stages in a particular subject. Keeping relevant pieces of evidence can be useful in determining impact later on.
3. Decide on the format for implementation (team-teaching / modelling / observations /learning journals / video self-observation etc.
4. Implement the plan, taking time to have evaluation discussions and to realign participants with the initial goals (or adapt goals if they are proven to be inadequate as time progresses).
5. Final review: take time for indepth analysis of the input. What impact has it had on teaching and children's learning? What are the next steps?
A key part of the EAL Coordinator role is ensuring that teaching staff are kept abreast of changes in the field. Organising effective professional development sessions is pivitol in this area. A wide range of service providers can deliver effective training on English as an Additional Language themes. Consider the breadth of staff when considering professional development on EAL issues.
Teaching assistants may benefit from practical hands-on ways to support English language learners in class to support the teachers instruction. Teachers may desire a balance between EAL theory and practical strategies to advance the learning of specific groups of children in specific subject areas. Subject leaders may want to collaborate on a training session to highlight the key straegies that are effective in supporiting EAL learners in the different subject areas.
The following Professional Development Modules (PDMs) are designed for supporting teaching staff in accelerating the attainment of children in the advanced stages of learning English. By 'advanced' it is meant that the children are no longer in the beginning stage of learning language and it is generally meant that they have at least two full years of learning English behind them. As it take 5-7 years to become fully fluent in another language there is still considerable support that these pupils need in the advanced stage. These PDMs outline ways teachers can provide this specific support whilst integrating language learning with mainstream curriculum content. The PDMs are designed for whole school training but can also be useful for dipping into to get ideas to support individual teachers, groups of teachers, teaching assistants or members of the leadership team.