EAL assessment practices

Our survey on EAL assessment practices was created through a collaboration of researchers from the universities of Bangor, Leeds, Reading, Plymouth, Edinburgh and Oxford, with the aim of identifying the needs for adapted tools and guidance.  The survey data is currently being analysed and the full report will be made available via this website.

In more detail:

We are a group of academic researchers at the universities of Bangor, Edinburgh, Leeds, Plymouth, Oxford and Reading interested in the assessment of the language development of bilingual children. We conducted a survey to learn more about the availability of resources for the early identification of developmental language disorders in this population.

With over 200 languages spoken in the UK, there are an increasing number of children who are learning English as an additional language. Such bilingual children can have language development profiles that are quite different from monolingual peers, putting them at risk of under- or over-referral for a developmental language disorder.

Our research indicates that practitioners can find it difficult to assess bilinguals’ language development because most current tools are designed for monolingual children. Through this pilot survey, we assessed what your current practices are when encountering bilingual children. We identified areas of needs, with the aim of creating better resources to support your work and that of other practitioners.

The term bilingual in the questionnaire is used to include children with English as an additional language (EAL). These can be children who grow up with one language in the home (e.g. Polish) and learn English through schooling and/or the wider community. It may also include children who grow up learning English and another language within the family, from birth.

In this questionnaire, we asked you about your assessment practices in general (for all children), and then about any special provision for bilingual children.

This study was approved by the Plymouth University ethics committee. There are no known risk to taking part.
For any comments or questions about this survey, or to exercise your right to withdraw once your have completed the questionnaire, please contact Dr Caroline Floccia, School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, caroline.floccia@plymouth.ac.uk

If you have any further concerns or feel that your issues have not been addressed, you can also contact the secretary of Health and Human Sciences Ethics Committee: Sarah Jones, sarah.c.jones@plymouth.ac.uk