On average, it takes pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL) 7.30 years in English schooling to achieve fluency, and 5.8 years to be competent. Research shows a significant correlation between the stage of fluency in English and educational attainment; in their recent report, the DfE found that attainment increases with greater English proficiency at all key stages. Although the attainment gap is widening between disadvantaged pupils and their peers, studies show that EAL pupils joining school in Reception outperform their native-speaking peers.
How can we boost fluency and, in turn, attainment for pupils joining school at a later stage, in either primary or secondary? For EAL learners, targeted error correction and understanding collocations are key. The work by Cameron and Sharon (2004) shows there are statistical differences between EAL and non-EAL with regards to omitting or incorrectly using prepositions in KS2 writing. Incorrect use of prepositions and other errors may be a result of first language interference. Each home language affects learning a second language in different ways and so to help with this, FlashAcademy have created free EAL Learner Profiles. The guides offer background information on 10 different home languages including Arabic, Polish, and Romanian, highlighting areas where first language interference may present challenges to learning English.
To address specific learner errors and target correcting, it is useful to practise Fluency Boost activities. If you’re unsure how or where to incorporate these into your lesson planning, then now is a great opportunity to try out FlashAcademy’s free Fluency Boost packs. Although these accompany the in-app FlashAcademy Fluency Boost lessons, the worksheets can still be adapted and used without a subscription to the platform. To learn more about a subscription, you can book a free trial here.
In this pack, you will find creative class activities to help EAL with prepositions, adjectives, and verb collocations. Topics include Countable & Uncountable Nouns, ‘Give In’ vs ‘Give Up’, ‘-ing’ vs ‘-ed’ worksheet & reading task, Preposition Precision and more! Download here.
In this pack, you will find creative class activities to help EAL with articles and verb and adjective collocations, such as games of battleships, snap, and dominoes. Topics include Article Snap (practise using articles & communication skills), Contracting ‘is’ & ‘has’, Verb Collocation Dominoes and more! Download here.
In this pack, there are creative activities for both EAL and native English speakers to help them improve their use of modal verbs in their written work. Topics include Modal Board Game, Agony Aunt activity, and more! Download here.
These activities are designed to improve spelling skills for both EAL and native English speakers through correct identification of homophones which can cause errors in written work, such as selecting the wrong forms of ‘to’, ‘two’ and ‘too’ or confusing ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. These are common errors which could cost pupils vital spelling, punctuation, and grammar marks in GCSE’s across all subjects. Download here.