EAL is not a subject specialism in teacher training. The current conceptualisation of EAL in England is as an ‘aspect’ of compulsory education but as a ‘subject’ ( ESOL) in post compulsory provision.
The new Teachers’ Standards (DfE, 2011) which apply to all trainee and qualified teachers note that every teacher must: ‘adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils’. They must ‘have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them’. (Standard 5).
To meet the new Teachers’ Standards, all teachers and trainee teachers will benefit from an understanding and recognition of EAL as a significant field of teaching and learning.
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