The Bell Foundation and EAL Nexus websites have been amalgamated

The 150+ resources, guidance and “Great Ideas” from EAL Nexus can now be found in the same place as the EAL Assessment Framework for Schools and digital Tracker, training opportunities, research, news and blogs.  Through combining the expertise, evidence, tools and thought leadership from these two sites, the aim is to provide you with an enhanced, seamless and more complete experience. All the resources and tools are free. You just need to register to access them.

Visit the new website
Find out more about the resources
Great Ideas
The twenty Great Ideas pages provide teachers with the rationale behind using the various tried and tested approaches and strategies recommended for use with everyone in the class, but in particular, with learners who use English as an Additional Language.  Each Great Idea includes links to relevant resources and four Great Ideas include short guidance videos.  Each week additional Great Ideas videos will be posted on the website.

Home Learning

This section of the site includes advice, guidance and resources for teachers working with learners and their parents/carers.  For example, the parental involvement section includes flyers, available in 17 of the commonly spoken languages in English schools, which schools can give to parents so that they are able to help their child(ren) to learn. Find out more here about the guidance.

Continuing Professional Development

The Foundation is developing a national calendar of training – online courses, face-to-face courses being held at regional Centres of Expertise, as well as the very popular series of webinars. There is a webinar running in November. Click here to book a free webinar place.

Webinars from the NALDIC and CCT partnership

In September, NALDIC was delighted to announce it is working in partnership with The Chartered College of Teaching to deliver termly online training webinars that are open to both NALDIC and CCT members.

At each event, there will be a presentation by an expert in one element of EAL teaching and learning, followed by time for audience members to reflect on key messages in breakout rooms before they return for a plenary session.

In the first of these, which took place on October 6, 2020, Naomi Flynn (NALDIC Chair of Events) introduced the audience to some research-to-practice ideas for great EAL pedagogy.

Attendees appreciated the opportunity to ask questions of both Naomi and of each other, in what was a fruitful exchange of ideas among like-minded practitioners and researchers.

Members can view the first recorded webinar on our website here.

Global practices in teaching English to children

How much has changed in the past 10 years?

If you teach English to children aged 7 to 11, please consider taking part in this survey investigating current global practices in teaching English to children, funded by the British Council (and carried out by researchers at Aston University, Birmingham). They conducted a similar survey 10 years ago, which was filled by over 5,000 respondents. This is a unique opportunity to make a strong comparison and develop new findings.

Here is the link for the survey in Arabic, English, Japanese and Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/teaching_english

Here is the link for the survey in Chinese: https://www.wjx.cn/jq/58381205.aspx

Opportunity for your school: the Young Interpreter Scheme

The Young Interpreter Scheme (YIS) is an award-winning scheme created by Hampshire EMTAS – the Collaborative Partner in this proposal. The specific mission of the YIS is to facilitate the transition to school for children who are new to English, i.e. novice EAL (English as an Additional Language) learners. Young Interpreters (YI) are either children who have an additional language themselves, but who have advanced English language skills, or monolingual English-speaking children. Their role is to act as mentors to novice EAL learners in everyday school activities. Young Interpreters take part in a 4-part training programme where they are taught about their role and responsibilities, the cultural and linguistic needs of the novice EAL learners that they will be helping, and different methods to aid communication with their EAL peer. The training is delivered by a designated member of school staff using resources made available online by Hampshire EMTAS on Moodle. The scheme has now been adopted throughout the UK in more than 800 primary and secondary schools, but it has not yet been the subject of any systematic research investigation. 

Would your school be interested in taking part in a study evaluating the benefits of the Young Interpreters Scheme? The project is led by Debra Page and Ludovica Serratrice, from the Child Development Group at the University of Reading.

What would being part of the research look like for schools?

  • Consent from parents of up to 30 children aged 6-11 years (up to 15 Young Interpreters ready to be trained and up to 15 non Young Interpreters).
  • Staff to help identify children and contact parents about the project.
  • Assistance with setting up video calls to assess the participating children, and therefore a computer in a quiet room where this can take place.
    • 1 week of testing either side of the Young Interpreter training, and 1 week of testing 6 after training is complete.
  • I will help, via video chat, with delivering the Young Interpreter training.
  • I will provide children with a Young Interpreter diary to log their work.
  • The scheme can help children with EAL settle into school quicker, and improve their English.
  • Young Interpreter children can raise their empathy and intercultural awareness.
  • Schools can create an ethos of inclusivity and celebration of others languages and cultures.
  • There are no assessments for teachers or parents to complete.
  • Your school will get free access to the Young Interpreter Scheme’s materials (worth £95).

This video talks about the scheme and the research project.

Please get in touch with Debra via email at debra.page@pgr.reading.ac.uk  if you have any questions or are interested in taking part in the project

Communicating with multilingual families

Mother Tongues and the School of Education at Trinity College Dublin have created video for teachers/principals/administrative staff on communicating with families in different languages – see here – and a list of useful phrases that can be used in schools. This is a project we will continue to work on over the next few months and anyone can request phrases to be translated (see here).

Helping multilingual families support at-home learning

In collaboration with the School of Education at Trinity College, Mother Tongues have produced short videos on how families can support young children with their literacy, numeracy and creativity during the school shut down, available in 4 languages (Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish and Romanian) as well as in English. You can access these videos here.

Remote learning: what works?

The EEF’s rapid evidence assessment has published a report on the existing research (from 60 systematic reviews and meta-analyses) for approaches that schools could use, or are already using, to support the learning of pupils while schools are closed due to Covid-19.  The report is available here.

How can the excellent EAL support normally provided in schools be adapted to remote learning? Please get in touch (via language@leeds.ac.uk) to share your experience

Quantifying bilingualism

“How bilingual are the children in my classroom?” “How much experience of English have they had over their lifetime?” “From what point can I expect this EAL child to have caught up with her peers in terms of English proficiency?”

Children with English as an Additional Language can present very different profiles, and their needs and potential require a more fine-grained approach than a binary EAL / non-EAL categorisation.

The Quantifying Bilingual Experience project brings together an international team of researchers and practitioners to establish a consensus regarding what aspects of the multilingual language experience we need to measure in school settings and for what purpose.  This will inform the creation of user-friendly, online questionnaires (and their associated back-end calculators) to return measures of current and cumulative language experience in real time. Exploiting cutting-edge statistical techniques, we will also develop an objective method to identify early those bilingual children in need of support with their school language, helping practitioners estimate when a child who speaks a different language at home can be expected to have “caught up” with their monolingual peers.

The Q-BEx project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council from October 2019 to September 2022. It is led by Professor Cecile De Cat (University of Leeds).