EAL: A whole school approach.

Report
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.

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