EAL: A whole school approach. Focus: Identifying and supporting Advanced Bilingual Learners at KS3 to eradicate underachievement at KS4. Oli Knight Vice Principal Ark Academy [email protected] Aim: to make sure that language was not a barrier to learning. Overview: Focus on Advanced Bilingual Learners within the school. This presentation is only looking at what we did with Y7. A recent study by the IOE would suggest that provision for early stage EAL learners is good but Advanced Bilingual Learners is somewhat patchy at best. In school the majority of those who could be classified as ABL appear to have a KS2 English result above national norms. An analysis of the school’s RAISEonline data for 2008 highlighted that 43% of the pupils who underachieved at KS4 seemed to have an underlying language-based need. Theoretical perspective: Beyond the semantic striptease. Based on a synthesis of two theories of knowledge Durkheim’s ‘sacred and profane’ and Vygotsky’s ‘scientific and everyday’ concepts and the attendant language demands. Forms rather than bodies of knowledge and a clear separation between knowledge acquired in an academic setting and everyday knowledge. Knowledge located within communities of specialists with their own rules, disciplinary frameworks and language requirements. Changing economic landscape. Why employment-related options are not a sound basis for policy. From Wiliam, D. SSAT 2009. In a nutshell. All pupils need to develop their ability to communicate effectively and to deal with large amounts of data. Current EAL-based theory with its emphasis on systemic-functional linguistics (what language does and how it does it) is not enough and is in danger of simply recycling everyday experiences – practical and linguistic. All pupils need to have access to concepts with explanatory power and not just a curriculum based on everyday practical experience and they need to access the specialist language inherent within those fields. What we did. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Analysis of RAISEonline. Cross-reference with language data. Update language data for pupils and parents. Identify Y7 students likely to underachieve in Y11. 4 waves of intervention. Analysis of impact. Contextual Value Added Key Stage 2 to 4: Overall, predicted versus actual for pupils - 2008. What the data suggested: Of the pupils below the Zero CVA Line, 43% of them had a CATs gap of 10 or more. (Explained later.) By focussing support at this group of pupils in Y7, 43% of KS4 underachievement could disappear. Methods: a) Identification. An analysis of Y7 CATs and KS2 data was undertaken. The data analysis was undertaken with a member of the Newham Ethnic Minority Achievement Team. The schools language data was also updated and deepened through a student questionnaire carried out during English lessons. This highlighted the fact that 34% of our Y7 pupils only speak English at school and converse in another language at home, even if English is technically their First Language. The following data analysis was undertaken: (Non-verbal+quantatitive)/2-Verbal = CATs gap. The higher the CATs gap, the more impeding the language issue is in enabling a pupil to access or express their thinking. A gap of 10 or more is deemed statistically significant and warrants further intervention. For example, Pupil A has a CATs gap of 26.5, worked out as follows: (119(NV) +114(Q)) /2 – 90(V) =26.5 The purpose of this identification method was to uncover pupils who would otherwise go undetected – average to high KS2 scores, making satisfactory progress across the Key Stage, English as their first language according to school data, not on the Code of Practice. Name First language Main language spoken at home CATs difference KS2 English Pupil A English Lebanese 26.5 5b Pupil B Malayalam Malayalam 19 5c Pupil C English Ga 17 3 Pupil D English English + Jamaican Creole 15 4c Pupil E English Tagalog + English 13.5 4a Pupil F Yoruba Yoruba 13.5 4b Pupil G English English and Malayalam 13 4a Pupil H English French 13 3 Pupil I English English and Ga 13 4a Pupil J Tamil Tamil 12 4a Pupil K English English 11.5 4a Pupil L English English 11.5 5c Pupil M Polish Polish 11 5c Pupil N Jamaican Creole Jamaican Creole 11 4c Pupil O Russian Russian 10.5 5b Pupil P Polish Polish 10.5 4a Pupil Q Twi Twi 10.5 4c b) Support. 1. A weekly session focussing on language acquisition – board games such as Scrabble, Pictionary and Boggle. 2. Training staff with the skills to focus on language and subject teaching and to see the two as symbiotic. (As Cummings points out, for most pupils Academic Language is a foreign language and the project was also influenced by Australian Genre Theory and to a lesser extent by the work of M.D.Young and the theory of powerful knowledge.) 3. Develop a life-long love affair between the targeted pupils and reading. In simple terms; the more you read, the better your writing becomes. 4. Surgical analysis of pupil need through data and teacher professional judgement that could enable teachers to plan for access and challenge on an individual level and allow formal lesson observations to focus on individual pupils or specific groups. In-depth look at some interventions. 1. Staff training – considerable expenditure to ensure staff have the skills and knowledge to teach language development in their subject area – NOT just doing more of the same! Used the LILAC course as the foundation for this. 2. Reading. “One nearly invisible issue in American education is the fate of young elementary students who read accurately (the basic goal of most reading research) but not fluently…some of these children become capable decoding readers, but they never read quite rapidly enough to comprehend what they read…to have close to 40% of our children ‘underachieving’ reflects a horrific waste of human potential. It is a great ‘Black Hole’ of American education – a netherworld of the semiliterate, into which more and more of our children slip.” Wolf, M. (2007). Proust and the Squid. The story and science of the reading brain. Icon Books. Reading Leaders Training older students how to mentor struggling/reluctant readers in the years below and sending Y7 students into primary schools to read with Y5/6 reluctant/struggling readers. Use of external trainers to give course gravitas. 3. Use of student data. Lesson planning using the data Evaluation of impact: Impact will be evaluated by taking a measurement between pupils’ baseline English NC Level for Reading and Writing (December 2008) and their Level in March and June 2009. (Y7 reporting cycles.) Use of RE data and teacher Professional knowledge to evaluate the impact of Class Sorter on pupil access and progression. Pupils reading ages are also taken in December – Renaissance Reader and Reading Test data – and again in June. Impact will also be gauged by enthusiasm – attendance – and pupils will be videoed in December 08 and April 09. The purposes of this are to chart and evaluate the changing nature of their language usage. Take up and use of TLC – pupils checked against register of books being taken out. Is there an increase in the frequency of this? Perhaps for me the biggest markers of success are the ones that are the hardest to record: seeing a pupil reading whilst waiting outside a classroom, pupils coming to my office to show me their new book or to discuss what they have just read, the inner-shift as they move from reluctant to obsessive reader, hearing the shift in language usage whilst speaking in a lesson and perhaps most importantly the impact 10 or 20 years down the line when that former student is still a reader and perhaps even an author.