Strategies for Supporting EAL learners

Harris Academy Morden
Strategies to support EAL students
Agnes Wolanin
EAL Manager
Instant Support Strategies
Draw pictures
Highlight key
Label diagrams
Use the
internet Provide
to practise key
words in
Listen attentively
Simplify text and
focus on key words
Develop bi-lingual
key vocabulary lists
Pre-teach key
Use a
bilingual or
Use visual
Classroom Strategies
Make eye contact
Cue them in
Give time to plan and to talk
Check understanding
Help them sequence
Examples of classroom
tasks that engage and support EAL
students’ progress
Envelope race
Prepare a list of tasks, cut them into strips and put each strip
into a separate envelope.
Prepare 1 set of envelopes for each group (the groups can
have different tasks to complete – good for differentiation).
Students start on the first task. Once completed they need to
race to you to get another envelope with another task. They
continue until they’ve completed all the tasks. First team to
complete all the tasks wins.
Thesaurus Race
Students race each other to find 3
synonyms for the selected
words/key words
Pass the bomb!
Students answer the question posed by the teacher as
quickly as possible.
The person who is answering holds the ticking bomb.
Once they’ve given their response they need to pass
the bomb to the next person.
e.g. - an adjective to describe a picture
- a synonym for ‘say’
- the title of the book in which a character is … an
orphan, rebellious….
Market Squares
Students work in groups to
become ‘experts’ in a given topic.
One person from each table stays
in their place to ‘trade’ their
knowledge to members of the
other groups.
Repetition aids internalisation
Colour domination
The tasks/questions/quotes are written on the
separate pieces of paper placed around the
Each student is given a different coloured pen.
They walk around the room and record their
answers on the sheets in a given time.
The person whose colour dominates the page
Works well with creative tasks e.g.
descriptive writing
Graphic organisers
Sorting cards onto a visual organisers
Why it works:
• opportunities to explore vocabulary
• practice in explaining concepts
• visual organisers structure thinking
• you can reinforce the organisers with games
Mind mapping
• Visual
• Encourage systematisation of
• Help in building associations
• Useful revision tool
Fill the gap mind map
Glogster is a tool that allows users to create virtual posters combining text, audio, video,
images, and hyperlinks and to share them with others electronically.
Teach students to create a glog using a think-aloud approach; model
the importance of selecting appropriate features, organizing the
elements with the reader in mind, and developing ideas using multiple
modes. Model for students how to use images and graphics to guide
the reader.

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