October 20th 2016
Carlton Junior Infant and Nursery School, Batley
Thirty EAL practitioners attended the 13th Yorkshire and Humber RIG hosted by Rizwana Mahmood, Head of Carlton Junior Infant and Nursery School, Batley, and Monica Deb of Kirklees LA on October 20th. The theme was Working with other adults in the classroom to support EAL learners.
Therese O’Sullivan from Leeds City Council considered effective ways of working with teaching assistants in order to close the attainment gap and recognised the value of bilingual teaching assistants in particular. She asked groups to work on a card sort activity to decide what TAs should do, could do and should not do.
Jenny Smith outlined Sheffield City Council’s TA EAL Specialist Programme which aims to develop TA’s expertise in pedagogy and practice and create a network of TAs across the city to share good practice.
Linda Sandler and Pete Ruse, EAL teachers at Falinge Park, Rochdale shared their experiences of the power of partnership teaching, where an EAL specialist works alongside a subject specialist in the classroom, which not only enables EAL students to be in mainstream classes immediately after their arrival but also supports more advanced bilingual students who struggle with the academic language needed to achieve their full potential.
Rob Sharples, Editor of NALDIC’s new termly publication EAL Journal, highlighted some of the content and explained that it is only available to NALDIC members. He encouraged colleagues to share their good practice by writing for the journal. The next RIG at Sheffield Hallam University between 4 and 7pm on Thursday February 16th will focus on Good EAL Practice across the curriculum.