Allocation of exam grades – information for parents and learners

In response to the Department for Education announcement that GCSE exams will be replaced with teacher assessment for the second year running, The Bell Foundation has created four guides, one each for learners, parents/carers, senior leaders and teachers.  The parent/carer and learner guides have now been translated into 17 of the most commonly spoken languages in the classroom. Teachers are encouraged to share the guides with parents and learners by email, by post, or face-to-face.

The other two guides, one for senior leaders and one for teachers, offer advice and suggestions on how to ensure the best outcomes for learners using EAL within teacher assessments. The impact of school closures on learners is likely to be considerable as many will have experienced some degree of learning loss during this time. For pupils using EAL this may also include potential language loss and be particularly significant for late arrivals to the UK school system and those who are new to English.

Resources linked below:

Guidance: Papers for senior leaders, teachers, learners and parents
Webinar Recording: Assessment arrangements for 2021: implications for learners using EAL
Webinar Recording: Teacher assessment in 2021: meeting the needs of learners who use EAL
Article: Teacher assessments 2021: Ensuring equity for EAL learners

EAL in the Early Career Framework

In the latest best practice article from The Bell Foundation, Silvana Richardson, Strategic Education Advisor for the Foundation, examines EAL in the new Early Career Framework. From September, it will become a statutory requirement for all schools to offer, and for all early career teachers (ECTs) to undertake, a two-year professional development support and training programme based on the Early Career Framework. The focus is on quality learning for all which means there is no mention of EAL within the framework.

The below articles, therefore, provide practical advice for schools on how to identify opportunities to apply an “EAL lens” as ECF sessions are planned and how to select, adapt and create materials based on the generic content.
Read the article in Headteacher Update (primary)
Read the article in SecEd (secondary)

Sharon Unsworth’s podcast: New episode about trilingualism!

Repost from Sharon Unsworth:

Many children around the world are growing up with not one, not two, but three languages (and sometimes more). In this episode of Kletsheads, we talk to Simona Montanari (California State University, Los Angeles) about what you can realistically expect from a trilingual child, and how best you can support their multilingual language development. There’s a bit of an Italian flavour to this episode because in Let’s Klets, we talk to an Italian-speaking mum living in London about how the lockdown has changed her daughter’s bilingualism, for the better. And our two trilingual Kletsheads of the week teach me some Czech and tell me why think it’s important to speak more than one language. Enjoy!

#bilingualism #multilingualism #multilingual #languagelearning #kletsheads #podcast #sciencecommunication #languagedevelopment #parentingtips #lockdownstories

Free KS3 EAL resources from the Learning Village

The Learning Village now has a secondary learning area, in addition to the primary area. Here, there are also free EAL resources. The free, award-winning resources are now in one easy place. There are printable resources for teachers and for learners which range from scaffolding resources to flexible EAL schemes of work. These are ideal for offering support during periods of home learning and beyond.    

The resources also link to an extensive EAL teaching blog – great for professional development!  

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:

Here is the link for the survey in Chinese:

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  if you have any questions or are interested in taking part in the project