Monday, 29 November 2010

Tips for teaching EAL students...


·        Welcome and greet your EAL students in their home language if possible. (Ask EAL team to provide you with the list of greetings)
·        Please pronounce their names correctly. If you don’t know how to pronounce them please ask the student himself/herself.
·        Allow the new arrivals to be silent for a while until they get used to their new environment.  
·        Talk about the topic; find out what your students already know about it.
·        Make learning objectives clear and explicit to the students.
·        Identify 5 keywords and write them on board.
·        Say the keywords and ask the students to repeat after you.
·        If you can find the matching pictures, stick them on board next to the keywords.
·        Make sure your EAL students write them down and look them up for the meaning in their bilingual dictionaries if they are literate in home language. (Always ask for your literate EAL students to have their dictionary ready)
·        Identify the language structure and the grammar that the EAL students will have to use in lessons and teach them in context.
·        Plan structured pair/group work opportunities for developing speaking.
·        If the lesson requires writing make sure that it has a purpose such as; writing for a school newsletter, writing to the Mayor, writing to the Head teacher etc.
·        Prepare visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities.
·        Always keep relating to the real life situations.
·        Allow students to use their first language to translate and activate their creativity.
·        Prepare writing frames for your EAL students to use.
·        If you are supported by an EAL teacher or TA in your lesson, take time for joint planning and make sure that you can do some partnership teaching with the EAL teacher.
·        Always celebrate the background and languages which your EAL students bring to your classroom.


·        During speaking and writing activities provide advanced bilinguals with specialised and highly technical language such as; bunking (everyday lang.), truancy (specialised lang.), truancy, attendance issues (highly technical lang.)
·        Ask your students to practise changing the nouns, verbs, adjectives or adverbs in a sentence such as;

‘Shaking with anger, the teacher shouted at the class’

Ask them to change the verb or/and the subject of the main clause.
(Good starter activity)

·        ‘ You shall know a word by the company it keeps’
J. R. Firth (British linguist, 1890-1960)

             Give some collocations to your EAL students; words which they go     together such as;
                    to break (verb);
                        a habit, a leg, a promise, a record, a window,  someone’s heart, the ice, the law , the news to someone, the rules

                       (adverb + adjective) utterly stupid, fully aware

                       (adjective +noun) regular exercise, excruciating pain

                        (noun + noun) round of applause, bars of soup

                        (noun + verb) lion roars, dog barks

                        (verb + noun) to commit murder, to give a presentation

                        (verb + expression with preposition) to have run out of money, to burst into tears

                        (verb +adverb) to place something gently, to whisper softly


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