Teaching Children English as an Additional Language: A Programme for 7-12 Year Olds (Paperback)
  • Teaching Children English as an Additional Language: A Programme for 7-12 Year Olds (Paperback)

Teaching Children English as an Additional Language: A Programme for 7-12 Year Olds (Paperback)

Paperback 208 Pages
Published: 13/08/2008
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Here is a typical classroom scenario: out of the thirty children, two-thirds speak a different language at home and only speak English at school. Even though many pupils' English skills are almost non-existent, teachers are expected to provide the national curriculum for every child in the class.

Teaching Children English as an Additional Language solves this problem with a ten-week teaching programme of units and lesson activities for children aged seven-eleven (Key Stage 2) new to English. It will help these children learn some very basic English sentences, questions and vocabulary, to get them through regular day-to-day routines more easily. By offering a flexible step by step approach this book helps EAL teachers to:

identify learners' individual needs

teach grammar and vocabulary

support teaching through speaking and listening

assess pupils to inform future planning

The programme also contains emergency lessons to support learners in the first three days, cross curricular links, ways of using a home-school learning book and an opportunity for the child to make a booklet about themselves. It fosters the child's home language, incorporates different learning styles as well as including a wealth of carefully tailored, themed resources. The programme is complete with activities, resources and assessment materials and helpful tips on how to develop a successful EAL department.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
ISBN: 9780415452311
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 380 g
Dimensions: 297 x 210 x 15 mm


'This is a very useful resource that has a place in every school. It is thorough and easy to use for either a trained TA or class-teacher. Most importantly it will set children with EAL on the road to success.' - Headteacher, Tower Hamlets

'We have used Caroline's approach to teaching English as an additional language for some years now and it has been particulary successful with newly arrived pupils at Key Stage 2 who are early stage learners of English.' 'This programme is a carefully structured, step by step approach, with assessment built in. So the course effectively supports non expert teachers and teaching assistant to use these materials to teach early stage learners of EAL and develop knowledge and understanding of the language development needs of these pupils' 'Schools in Tower Hamlets who have used Caroline's programme have reported good progress for their pupils' - Tower Hamlets Ethnic Minority Achievement Service

Dr Lyn Dawes

David Fulton author (Talk Box)

Please give your name and position and/or your involvement with education. Where are you based? Do you have experience teaching children with English as an additional (or second) language?

Dr Lyn Dawes, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of Northampton

Have taught children aged 3-11 years since 1972; many with EAL. Now teaching education students.

What phrase do you prefer: 'English as an additional language' or 'English as a second language'? Why? Do they mean essentially the same thing to you?

English as an additional language - better describes the condition. Sometimes bilingual children speak two languages equally often so 'second' isn't quite the right term; and if they are to live and be independent in the UK, English cannot really be a second language but must be additional.

What do you think of the title of this book? Do you think it would attract the attention of teachers who have children with English as an additional language in their classroom? Can you suggest an alternative title or key words/phrases that you think should go in the title?

It's clear and a good summary. Subtitle could emphasise that this is involving, oral, teacher-led and incremental.

In your experience, are there a lot of teachers who have children with EAL in their classrooms?

Yes. Sometimes the majority; sometimes one or two, and sometimes a range of home languages. There is a great need to support these teachers and children. They do not have bilingual TAs with them all the time.

What do you think of the structure of this book? Is there anything crucial missing? Anything that you think should be included?

It's straightforward and includes important elements such as assessment and evaluation. It concentrates on language for learning, and literacy. I think it could have a chapter or section on talk in (eg) mathematics, science, PE etc. Science or Maths for example - many EAL children may be adept in these areas but unable to express their thinking. Teachers would appreciate help with sample resources showing how to get children talking, and using unfamiliar technical vocabulary 'addition' 'subtraction' 'gravity' etc) in a supportive context. They could then extrapolate from this to other cross curricular lessons.

Please look at the example unit provided. As a teacher, what do you think of this unit? Would you be able to follow it? Do you like or dislike the structure of the information in it? Is it missing anything or is there anything unnecessary in it? What do you think of the writer's instructions in the Activity section? If you think it needs improving, how would you improve it?

It's practical and well expressed. The activities here start at the very beginning and skills and confidence are built up slowly and carefully, with a strong focus on what language is useful. It seems thorough. What I like about this approach is the way children become one another's talk resource. It will get them talking to one another with teacher support, and this can help establish good social relationships in other contexts. There is a strong emphasis on sharing and collaboration. I think it would be terrific if this work (ie the talk groups using this programme in class) included native English speakers as 'discourse guides'. There are those children in class who may not shine in other areas but can speak English, and would be proud to offer help to EAL classmates. Again this will feed into better social relationships. The programme is based on games which is a very good idea. It also respects and celebrates the child's home language and culture which is profoundly important. I have been send a brief extract mainly written in table form but I imagine that the resources would benefit from graphics and clear layout. Perhaps the book could offer web resources and links for teachers to discuss successes and problems.

Are you aware of other books that have the same approach as this one in the market?

I have looked in the University Library and can find nothing similar. It is the idea of a structured programme which the teacher can use that is the unique feature. Helping language development of EAL children is often the province of TAs, who are of course excellent, but teachers like to teach such development too if they can. This resource will show how that can be organised and proceed.

Do you think this book would help teachers help their students progress in English? If so, why? (What are the best features of the book?) If not, why not? (What are the weakest aspects of the book?)

Yes! Because it is all done through talk and social learning. The more this is promoted, the better. Best features: teacher led, practical, oral, seems clearly written. Weaker aspects - I may be wrong but seems confined to 'English' and needs to offer resources for talk across the curriculum I think. If possible. Or at least, pointers for teachers devising and making own resources like the ones in the book.

Please make any other comments you would like to make.

I would like to see this book if it is published. I think it looks like a winner and would like to use it with children I know. Not just EAL kids would benefit, but those who do not have a rich language experience at home - and there are lots of them.

Maija Leimanis-Wyatt

Primary teacher formerly based in London now based in New York City

My name is Maija Leimanis-Wyatt and I currently teach third grade, (8-9 year olds) at the Dwight International School in New York. For six years I worked at a large, multicultural primary school in Brent, North London, teaching Years 3 to 6. The school had a 95% population of children with English as an additional language. The majority of children were of Indian or Pakistani origin, but the school also had a small intake of Somalian refugees. At my current school also, I have encountered children with English as an additional language. At present, the school has children from Japan and Spain who have very little English.

From my experience of teaching in England, the most familiar terminology is 'English as an additional language' - EAL. However, in American schools, the terminology 'English as a second language' - ESL is commonly used. I think that teachers know they refer to the same thing and do not generally put stock into whether the word 'additional' or 'second' is used. However, I prefer EAL as often the child has more than two languages and so English is not necessarily their second.

I like the title of the book. I particularly like the use of the word 'programme' as opposed to a word like 'guide' as it suggests that the book provides teachers with an actual scheme of work that is going to be practical. I think the title would definitely attract the desired audience. Although the book is aimed at EAL staff as well as class teachers, I think its main selling point is that it provides guidance for class teachers. Most resources already on the market are aimed at EAL staff. For this reason, a subtitle may be needed to specifically attract the attention of class teachers. Perhaps a mention that it supports the integration of children with EAL into the classroom.

In my experience, the majority of teachers experience children with EAL in their classrooms. Regardless of the geographical location of the school, more and more children with EAL are appearing in more and more schools. Even schools within small towns in England that would once have been mono-cultural are now subject to influxes of immigrants from various countries, changing the ethnic diversity of the school.

Regarding the structure of the book, it is hard to say without knowing the contents in more detail, but wouldn't it be more logical to switch chapters 2 and 3 around? Personally, if I were to use this book, I would want to be familiar with the whole content before looking at the available resources. The resources would not fully make sense to me until I had read all of the units. I do not wish to appear overly negative, but I do not feel able to comment further on the structure of the book because other than the sample chapter, the proposal does not elaborate on the content outline. It all sounds interesting, and from the author's background, it is evident that she knows her subject, but from this proposal, it is not possible to understand what is included in the section of each chapter. For example, from the Introduction, I have no idea what a 'Placement Test' is or what is meant specifically by 'Child Assessment'. Also, how are 'Reading' and 'Phonics' dealt with? My point here is that a short description of each chapter component would be extremely useful in reviewing this proposal.

The sample unit is clear and easy to follow. I like the way it is split into the four sections, making the information as easy to scan, as it is to read in detail. If the table could sit landscape, rather than portrait on the page, the Activities column could be larger and therefore take up less space.

I like the way the author explains the activities in detail, stage by stage. This is helpful if the teacher wants to follow them exactly. As I expressed previously, before being able to fully comment on the content of this sample unit, it would be helpful to have a brief description of the other ten units in order to see how the teaching progresses. The content of Unit 1 is obviously the most basic of all the units. This type of information is what most teachers would automatically consider when teaching an EAL learner. I would like to see how the author aims to develop from this to more complex language patterns. In this unit, phrases are being taught rote. My concern would be how to teach grammatical structures so that the learner has a true understanding of what they are saying. Is this something that the author deals with in a later unit?

I am not aware of any other books that have the same approach as this one and feel that there is definitely a market for it.

Because the proposal does not give an outline of the content of the 10-week programme, I am unable to offer an opinion as to whether or not it would help a student progress in English.

When I read the author's reason as to why she is writing the book, I was in complete agreement and felt excited that somebody was finally recognising this extremely difficult, common situation and dealing with it. However, after studying the proposal, I still have my initial, main concern: As a teacher trying to integrate the EAL learner into the classroom, my biggest problem is how to develop the English of this student whilst continuing with the regular curriculum for the remainder of the children. This is what I was hoping this book would address. The sample unit however, sets out whole-class lessons that are geared around the EAL learner. Where would I find time to slot these lessons into my timetable without compromising the curriculum that I should be teaching?

Liz Haslam and Yvonne Wilkin

David Fulton authors (Teaching English as an additional language)

We both feel that we are not able to comment on 'Teaching EAL' because the working practices it describes are very different from our work here in Tameside. The author is concerned with writing an alternative curriculum for groups of new arrivals withdrawn from class together. In the schools we work with, beginners arrive one by one, at any time of the year and do not form a cohesive group. We are aware that the kind of withdrawal situation described in 'Teaching EAL' has happened in Blackburn, but we do not feel we have enough experience of this kind of work to evaluate someone's contribution. Nor do we advise schools in our area to work in this way.

I do want to answer question 2 of the review sheet as I think it is important to contribute to a shared understanding of these issues. The differences between EAL and ESL, as we see them in Tameside are very significant. I believe most workers in this field share these definitions:

English as a Second Language could be described as a subject. It was taught some years ago, through withdrawal, in English schools to pupils who spoke other languages at home, but who were making their home in England and being educated in English schools. It was also taught in English-medium schools overseas. It draws its techniques, in part, from the teaching of English as a Foreign Language (a subject pupils abroad study, the way our children learn French or Spanish) and in part from ordinary English teaching. It is heavily influenced by the social and academic needs of immigrants, so it covers language needed to cope in social situations and in some lessons.

English as an Additional Language is a process some pupils go through. It is the process of operating in more than one language while at the same time being part of a class and a school and being educated through the National Curriculum. Pupils learning through EAL may be beginners or they may be very fluent in social English. They can be any age. Teachers of English as an Additional Language supervise the process, make the process easier and help other teachers to educate these pupils. Their work uses techniques from many sources, including ESL, the Inclusion agenda, and research into Teaching and Learning Styles.

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