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77 Seiten, Note: 73.4
Policy and practice
EAL learners’ assessment
Effective pedagogy for EAL Learners
Teachers’ perspective on EAL provision
Setting and sampling strategy Method of data collection -refer to appendix 1 (interview and focus group guidance)
Data analysis – refer to appendix 2 (example of transcript)
Limitation of the study, reflexivity and subjectivity
Consent and ethical considerations
EAL support and strategies
Students’ progress and achievement
Teachers overall experience
Conclusion of the dissertation
I am very grateful to my supervisor, Dr Rossana Perez Del Aguila, whose patience, guidance and support enabled me to complete this research.
I would like to thank all the teachers who gave up their precious time to participate in the study.
I would like to show my gratitude to Ms Andria Zafirakou and Mr Aamir Bashir for their ongoing support to facilitate the MA course.
I would like to thank my dear husband for his tremendous support and patience.
Lastly, I offer my regards and blessings to all of those who supported me in any respect during the completion of the project.
This research explores teachers’ perspective on EAL (English as a second language) new arrival provision in a secondary community school in West London. This research aims to focus exclusively on the teachers’ experience, which explore their attitude and perception about the provision of EAL for new arrival students in their school. This is a small-scale qualitative study exploring secondary school teachers’ views and experiences, who are responsible for the progress of these students. Although, teachers’ perspective on EAL new arrival provision has been studied by many researchers, it has focused mainly on students. To gather teachers’ views, this study employed three qualitative interviews and one focus group discussion which have been carefully analysed using a thematic analyses approach. This research has revealed the teachers’ beliefs, practice and overall experience in catering for these students. It has shown that the provision needs to be explored through the teacher’s eyes in order to get a clear picture of different concepts of EAL new arrival provision as to make effective provision for such pupils.
As a teacher of M1ern foreign languages from an ethnic minority background and having the English as an additional language, I have first-hand experience in learning English as an additional language. I feel it is vital to have an effective provision for our EAL new arrival students which entails not only the academic progression but also an understanding and appreciation of the differences between their home country and the UK.
In the UK today, there are over 1 million children with English as an additional language who speak in excess of 360 languages among them, in addition to English. (Camacuk, 2014). English is a minority language in 1500 schools, one million immigrant children account for one-sixth of the school population and in some London boroughs, only one-fifth of the children speaks English as a first language costing the government around one quarter of a billion pounds in support for them. (National Office for Statistic, 2015) Research on EAL provision in the UK educational system is extensive and dates as far back as the 1930s. Britain has received migrants for decades, Britain in the 21st century is more diverse than at any point in history, however. This has taken the issue of EAL students in states schools to the political scene, and debates about EAL provision were taking place. Morrison explained in the Guardian that “One of the more significant changes to the school population in recent years has been the increase in the number of children with English as an additional language. The number has risen by 20% during the last five years” (Morrison, 2014). The requirement for EAL provision in education has been long raised by researchers as some “schools have a long track record working with EAL children, allowing them to develop, tried and tested approaches” (Morrison, 2014). The literature on EAL provision suggests that EAL provision is becoming a necessity to ensure that EAL children are effectively integrated in mainstream classes. Furthermore, EAL provision is a relative concept and will vary according to the students’ level of English. The National Curriculum guidelines give the teachers the flexibility to establish an adequate provision within their teaching subjects and offers guidance to support EAL students (British Council, 2016).
Since the A8 in 2004 (countries who have joined the EU: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) and the recent uprising in the middle east, the focus has been narrowed to the EAL provision for new arrivals students which has been carefully defined by the British Council as those who have limited or no knowledge of the English language and may need relatively intensive support during their induction program and who have lived in the UK for less than 2 years. (British Council, 2014)
The term EAL (English as an additional language) designate students for whom English is an additional language (British Council, 2016). This term is used for anyone who has one or more languages that they use or are exposed to, at home or in their community regardless of their levels and fluency in these languages. This research will focus on a specific group of EAL students which are called EAL new arrival students. “New arrival” students are specifically those who have limited or no knowledge of the English language and who have lived in the UK for less than 2 years (British Council, 2014). As for the term of “EAL provision”, again according to the British Council, is to provide an education suitable for EAL learners, the training and support for teachers as well as support to students to reduce language barriers and facilitate the access to the mainstream classes (British Council, 2016). As Ofsted made very clear, it is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure an adequate provision to enable EAL students to make progress (DfE, 2011, Standard 5).
Following an extensive search of the key words “EAL new arrival policy” in official documents and government websites, we found that the terms does not generate recent publications, and in some cases, does not generate any publication at all. However, the wider concept concepts such as EAL and inclusion are widely mentioned. Current policies also stress integration, inclusion and community cohesion. We also find that “ethnic minorities” are extensively mentioned in official documents only regarding their academic performance and not in the provision of EAL new arrival education. While the provision of extra support in learning English as an additional language is also declared, the teaching and learning of students’ mother tongues has no place in education policies. It is up to the school to accomM1ate their students according to the degree of the diversity it faces. In this summary of government policy in relation to EAL learner, publications from the official government website (DfE: Department for Education) will be given a great deal of importance.
The DfE expect the pedagogy for EAL learners to be imbedded in the curriculum, in section 4: Inclusion. The review of the national curriculum in the England Framework document states in section 4.5 that: “Teachers must also take account of the needs of pupils whose first language is not English. Monitoring of progress should take account of the pupil’s age, length of time in this country, previous educational experience and ability in other languages.” (DfE, 2014). The curriculum states clearly that teachers must take into account the students level of English and that the progress they make will depend on many aspects of the student’s characteristics.
In section 4.6: “The ability of pupils for whom English is an additional language to take part in the national curriculum may be in advance of their communication skills in English. Teachers should plan teaching opportunities to help pupils develop their English and should aim to provide the support pupils need to take part in all subjects.” (DfE, 2014). This means that the provision must suit the students level of English as some may be more advanced than other and that lessons must be planned so that everyone can access the learning.
As the British Council stated, currently, the DfE does not offer any specific provision for particular groups of learners but instead set the following procedures for schools to follow: “Have high expectations of all learners irrespective of their backgrounds or needs, give full freedom to the schools to implement the necessary measures and have a high level of accountability through Ofsted and school data.” (British Council, 2016). Also, “between 1999 and 2009 the Department for Education (DfE) and the National Strategy produced extensive guidance and training materials for schools and teachers with a focus on EAL” (British Council, 2016). The material available on the National Strategy website includes PowerPoint, booklets and DVDs. Some of these materials were also presented by the local authority in the form of CPDs (Career and Professional Developments). These materials were created to support schools with EAL provision, in order to ensure EAL learners’ progression and narrow the gap for achievement with their English-speaking peers.
The Department for Education has published a wide range of documents and guidance over the last 15 years. Many of these publications are based on educational research. Amongst the most recent publications on EAL, we found the following: In 2011 the DfE published a guideline called “The Developing quality tuition: effective practice in schools - English as an additional language”. This publication aims to summarise the findings in different research on effective practice for EAL provision in schools in Britain. To meet the specific needs of EAL learners, schools must provide tuitions following the guidelines stated in this document. The guidelines require rigorous communications between the school and parents, the use of tutors fluent in the relevant home language, setting clear targets for the EAL students, focus in all tuitions on the development of the English language and the use of a wide range of assessments to identify students’ weaknesses. Another more recent publication (2014) shows an example of a school in Britain supporting students with the use of English as an additional language. This example of practice focused on how to support children to develop their language skills both at school and at home. They provide parents with support to help their child with homework as well as parents’ workshops to develop their English skills. The DfE stated that “this good practice example shows what support Ravensthorpe Community Childcare and Kirklees Local Authority give to children and families who speak English as an additional language” (DfE, 2014).
It is worth mentioning that the teachers standard official document dates from July 2011 and an updated version was published in June 2013. We found that all standards are relevant to EAL students’ provision, however EAL is explicitly mentioned only once in section 5. Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupil: “have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.” (DfE, 2013).
In England, “funding for EAL learners under the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG) ceased in 2012” (British Council, 2016). However, according to the Schools revenue funding 2016 to 2017 Operational guide version 2, local authorities will continue to have flexibility to move funding between the blocks, provided that they comply with requirements on the minimum funding guarantee (MFG). The fund given to local authorities through the Schools Block of units of funding is calculated on students’ characteristics and factors. The allowable factors include an EAL optional factor which is provided to support EAL learners for the first three years in a British school as mentioned on the policy: “EAL pupils may attract funding for up to 3 years after they enter the statutory school system. Local authorities can choose to use indicators based on one, two or three years and there can be separate unit values for primary and secondary.” (Education Funding Agency, 2015, p.5). This factor is optional, and the local authority will decide whether the EAL factor is taken in consideration when calculating the total funding allocated to a school. If the EAL factors is counted, it is up to the local authority to decide if the EAL students must have been enrolled in a British school for up to one, two or three years, rather that the three years allowed by the government. Despite the fact that the EAL factor is optional and that local authorities may not at all count it as a factor in their calculation, “87% of local authorities use an EAL factor in their local formulae.” (British Council, 2016).
As for assessment, it essential to note that there is no national assessment system for EAL students in the government policy. However, Ofsted has provided some guidance and stated that:
“The school should monitor the attainment and progress of pupils who may be at the earliest stages of learning English. For example, schools may be using the step descriptors from A language in common: assessing English as an additional language. Although the scale is not statutory it was strongly recommended by the former DCSF. The school should also have taken steps to assess the learners’ proficiency and literacy in their first language and established what prior subject knowledge and experience they have in other subjects”. (Ofsted, 2014).
This document is intended for guidance only, and school are not obliged to apply it when assessing EAL students.
To conclude, the government have developed and published mainly guidance to support the teaching and learning of EAL students and to develop effective strategies for those working with these students and their families. As the numbers of EAL students have significantly increased in the recent years, more recent publications are needed. The National Curriculum contains limited references to EAL provision which may be a problem for schools where the majority of students are EAL learners. However, The National Strategy have recognised the importance of EAL provision in UK school and therefore provided a wide range of support for schools to face the growing number of their EAL students. The funding for EAL learners has been cut in 2012, and although EAL is mentioned in the Schools revenue funding 2016 to 2017 Operational guide, it is listed as an optional factor and it is up to the local authorities to take into account or not. Each of the teachers’ standards clearly apply to EAL students, however, the latter is mentioned explicitly only once throughout the standards. Finally, the assessment system for EAL students has not been given any place in any government policy.
Cleary, there is many leaps and gaps in the government policy on EAL provision, this shows that the government is not ready to recognise EAL as a significant educational provision that many children would benefit from if implemented rigorously by the government.
This research aims to explore teachers’ perspective on EAL new arrival provision in secondary community school in West London. First, a literature review will outline research published in the area of EAL provision in UK schools, mostly in the last five years. Secondly, the methodology will provide a theoretical analysis of the methods used in this research. Next, the data analysis will present the data to uncover and understand the big picture of EAL provision from the teachers’ view. Finally, the discussion chapter will discuss the findings in relation to the research question and the literature.
As the concept of EAL new arrival provision is vast and it is the teachers’ responsibility, this review will look at three specific areas of the provision: Assessments for EAL new arrival, pedagogy for EAL new arrival and teachers’ views of EAL new arrival.
The review looks at work in the area of EAL provision in UK schools published in the last five years, referring to earlier work when the study is relevant to this research. The search involved electronic and manual research literature databases (eLibrary, Google Scholar and JSTOR) together with a search of the Internet. The following key words were used: English as an additional language, EAL new arrival provision, EAL provision in UK schools, EAL teaching and learning in the UK… The aim of this literature review is to analyse research and studies about EAL provision in states schools in the UK, in order to have an understanding of teachers’ view on EAL provision new arrival students. Three general topics have been identified as being the most considered in the research field: assessment as the source of knowledge about EAL students, the pedagogy to support EAL students and finally the teachers’ views on EAL provision.
The DfE requires all “schools to report levels of Proficiency in English for all EAL pupils aged 4-16 using a five-point scale” (The Bell Educational Trust limited, 2017). Most research emphasise the importance of assessing EAL students for various reasons. Wolf and Butler also agree with the general thought found in this review that “the appropriate measurement of English language proficiency will be critical if assessment is to play an effective role in children’s development and academic success” (Wolf and Butler, 2017). Assessment should be carefully drawn out, however, to prevent invalid result. As Wolf and Butler stated in their extensive research on English language proficiency assessment for young learners: “an array of issues needs to be carefully thought out in terms of young learner’s characteristics and their language development.” (Wolf and Butler, 2017)
It is paramount that accurate and adequate assessments are provided for EAL new arrival learners to avoid misdiagnosing of EAL pupils. Anderson and Tilbury, in their case study on EAL formative assessment, insisted on “the accuracy of assessments to generate reliable data on which teachers’ decisions are based” (Anderson and Tilbury, 2014). Inadequate assessments may lead to erroneous information on their potential and subsequently a lower expectation being placed on them.
In addition, the British Council highlights the fact that teachers have to base their teaching on EAL students’ assessment. The British Council considers that the assessment of EAL students is the baseline to the teaching and the learning of these students and that assessments may not be limited to the English language and must consider other subjects. It states that teachers “need to consider the EAL learner’s level of English, their previous experience of different areas of the curriculum and their attainment in different area of the curriculum.” (British Council, 2017).
Most research on EAL provision agree that a school that has a clear understanding and methodology of assessment for EAL pupils will cater for these pupils effectively. However, Peer and Reid expressed, in a case study, the teachers’ opinion on formative assessments, where the only problem for EAL new arrivals is that “the English Language is the medium of assessments of cognitive ability.” (Peer and Reid, 2016). Therefore, NALDIC recognises the importance of EAL assessments as long as it does not interfere with any other factors that may impair the data. It should assess exclusively the English proficiency level of the students and may not be used to assess their level in other subjects.
“ EAL proficiency is a key factor in terms of access to the school curriculum and the new requirement for the collection of EAL proficiency levels is welcomed. However, in the current official guidance to schools there seems to be an unhelpful conflation of two issues: pupil nationality and EAL proficiency level”. (Now and Account, 2017).
NALDIC’s statement expresses clearly that the student’s nationality must not be an element that influences the students’ ability to access the curriculum and it is not an aspect that offers any information on students’ academic abilities. (NALDIC, 2017)
Furthermore, Anderson and Tilbury (2014), in their research on English language teaching, found that assessing the pupils’ language skills is a valuable part in developing appropriate programs for EAL students (Anderson and Tilbury, 2014). Afitska’s research on “supporting teachers in EAL classroom” published in the same journal, agrees with Anderson and Tilbury, she stated that assessments provide a tailored program that meets the student’s needs in the acquisition of the English language in order to gain a rapid access to mainstream classes. However, little is known about the effectiveness of assessments for EAL students and the students’ and teacher’s view on these types of assessments (Afitska, 2017). Gibbons and Cummins reinforces both views in stating that “assessment is an integral part of the pedagogy and is a vital tool of information about students’ language learning needs.” (Gibbons and Cummins, 2002, p.125). The literature agrees that assessment of EAL learners is an important part of the provision to inform the pedagogy which is the learning and teaching that take place for the very different learners within any classroom.
The literature review clearly shows that the pedagogy is an important part of EAL provision. It is often looked at in much detail and described with various technical words. EAL pedagogy has been defined by NALDIC as “the set of systematic teaching approaches which have evolved from classroom based practices in conjunction with the development of knowledge through theoretical and research perspectives” (NALDIC, 2011). These approaches must meet the language and learning needs of pupils for whom English is an additional language. (Davies, 2012)
The Teachers' Standards for all newly qualified teachers states that every teacher must: 'Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils’. They must 'have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those (…) with English as an additional language; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them' (DfE 2011, Standard 5). According to the DfE, the pedagogy for EAL learners is a fundamental part of the teachers’ ability to adapt their teaching and support their learning.
Costley (2013) stated that recent studies on the teaching and learning of EAL students show that pedagogy may take various forms as teachers may adopt different approaches using a wide range of strategies and techniques (Costley, 2013). In addition, teachers use a wide range of teaching strategies to support EAL new arrival learners to access the curriculum (Olson & Land, 2007). The pedagogy implemented in the classroom by the classroom teacher is all the more important since EAL students are integrated in the mainstream classroom as soon as possible. Some research mentions the effective induction program which last about two weeks in most schools (NALDIC, 1998) but this is not given much importance as researchers often look at the pedagogy in the long term amongst classroom teachers to support EAL students. Thus, some research focused on a particular school subjects.
Also, previous research has found that teachers’ knowledge on EAL pedagogy may not be sufficient to support EAL students’ needs and that the Initial teacher training must be adapted as to practice in multicultural schools (Skinner, 2010). On the same note, Haworth stated that “Previous research shows that class teachers often have little training to teach students with English as an additional language (EAL), so they may often operate on a trial-and-error basis, become frustrated easily, feel negative, and have little confidence in their ability to be successful with EAL students.” (Haworth, 2012).
Furthermore, the following studies explore a range of pedagogical issues in terms of the curriculum and the collaboration of EAL staff and subject specialist teachers (Leung and Creese, 2010). Haworth raised concerns that the teaching of EAL students can be restricted according to the profile of the school. If there is a small number of EAL students, EAL pedagogy may not be a priority, thus “mainstream teachers may be reluctant to undertake relevant professional development if there are just a few EAL students in the class” (Haworth, 2012). Leung and Creese also indicate that “EAL pedagogy, unless properly resourced with appropriate teacher expertise and knowledge may fail the very students they set out to support.” (Leung and Creese, 2010).
In general, the literature on EAL pedagogy insist on its importance and it is defined as the teaching and learning for EAL students. The teaching standard set by the DfE states that teachers have the duty to cater and adapt their teaching for EAL students. In addition, research has given a greater importance to the pedagogy which is happening in the classroom and deliver by the subject specialist teacher as to study the impact of different pedagogical approaches in the long term. Teachers may not have the proper skills to support the teaching and learning of EAL students, especially in schools where EAL students are a minority. The teaching and learning process may put more pressure on the teacher as they not only have to plan for the subject they teach but also cater for their EAL students if they know how. Therefore, teachers’ attitudes and perceptions about the provision of EAL students in their classroom needs to be considered seriously.
The literature on EAL provision from the teachers’ view has demonstrated that teachers have a positive attitude towards the linguistic diversity of their schools; however, there is some mixed feeling about the teacher’s responsibility and duty to cater for EAL students. However, as Franson (2013) concluded, in her research on mainstreaming EAL students, the teachers’ “attitudes and perceptions about their roles and responsibilities in relation to EAL learners in their classrooms” remain unclear (Franson, 2013).
Another research concluded that teachers’ view on the subject differs considerably, while some may regard EAL teaching as the result of globalisation, other have mixed attitudes towards languages (Liu and Evans, 2015). Haslam and Wilkin (2016) suggested that teachers are very open minded in terms of having students from a different linguistic background. In their research, they have identified key concepts that teachers have mentioned are very important in teaching EAL students. They summarise those key concept as “an attitude of care which takes into accounts the students’ experiences, situations and cultures.” (Haslam and Wilkins, 2016, p.64). In contrast, some research found that teachers, although tolerant of these students, did not think that they were able to access the learning. As Franson stated, EAL students’ access to the classroom does not mean access to the curriculum. (Franson, 2010)
The literature on EAL teachers’ perspective agrees that “there is a consensus that mainstream teachers need more EAL-focused training and advice” (NRDC, 2017). Teachers often feel that they do not have the expertise to support EAL learners and that they have limited collaboration with EAL professionals due to the work load imposed on them. Cajkler and Hall (2009) highlighted the lack of training that new teachers expressed. They argue that “initial teacher training programmes give variable attention to EAL. While there are strengths (placements, training sessions, speakers, awareness raising) there are also gaps in the training, for example in learning how to manage the integration of new arrivals and assessing EAL learners.” (Cajkler and Hall, 2009). Teachers expressed that further training is greatly needed to support EAL students such as teaching methods strategies, inclusion and differentiation. Adequate resources were also needed, as well as raised awareness of the multilingual and multi-cultural profile of their schools. Teachers also raised concern on how to assess EAL students. (Cajkler and Hall, 2009)
Walker et al. (2012) argued that teachers who have the most positive view on EAL students are those who have had structured training on the matter, a university degree and who come from an area where multiculturalism is the norm. (Walker et al, 2012). In a similar study, Youngs and Youngs’ (2001) findings advised that positive teachers’ attitude towards EAL students come from teachers who had training in supporting these learners, who have experienced the learning of a foreign language, who worked in a culturally diverse community and who lived abroad. (Young and Young, 2001). On the other hand, some research has also outlined the fact that teachers attitude may deteriorate considerably in the next few years for various reasons. Walker et al. (2012) said that the rise in the number of EAL new arrival students in rural areas where teachers, who are responsible for their academic attainment, have little experience of cultural diversity may have negative repercussions on these students. (Walker et al., 2012)
Generally, the literature agrees that teachers have a positive attitude on EAL new arrival students. Teachers are usually open minded about having EAL new arrival students in their classroom, however they also feel that often these students are not able to access the learning. The literature also outlines the lack of teacher training in the provision of EAL and often finds that teachers are more likely to have a positive attitude if they had proper training in this field and multicultural experiences whether professional or personal.
For EAL students, assessment is a complex process that not only assess the English language acquisition but also the student’s achievement in the curriculum. The purpose of assessments for EAL students is the same as the assessment of other students. However, in order to provide reliable data about our EAL students, other factors must be taken in consideration. These assessments provide valuable information to implement the pedagogy effectively.
EAL pedagogy is indeed a set of different teaching approaches that teachers use in the classroom or that research have proven to be effective. These approaches support the learning of students for whom English is an additional language. In general, the literature seems to agree that the need for schools to have an effective EAL provision has never been as important as in recent years. Research confirms that much more is needed in the support of EAL learners and training is at the centre of the EAL problematic. Most mainstream teachers have expressed their lack of expertise in the subject and that they needed more support from the schools. At the same time, the literature on teaching Additional Language learners in mainstream schools generally agrees that the learning of English as an additional language within the curriculum, if well implemented can contribute successfully to EAL students’ academic and social development.
The literature on EAL provision has shaped significantly the structure of the research tools: the interview and focus group questions and therefore, the main themes covered by the literature will be investigated in this research. However, there is a gap in the literature where teachers’ pedagogy and the use of assessment has been studied with little regards on teachers’ perception. Moreover, the literature has not covered teachers’ perspective on EAL provision as the teacher being at the centre, it has always focused on students, such as assessment to inform teachers’ future planning for students. Therefore, this research aims to investigate teachers views and perspectives on EAL provision with a teacher focus only.
EAL new arrival provision in a secondary school: What are the teachers’ views and experience of EAL new arrival provision?
This section explains the methodology used to answer the following research question: What are the teachers’ views and experience of EAL new arrival provision? Unlike positivists, I strongly believe that any social context is relative and cannot be defined exclusively by tangible facts. This research focuses on teachers’ perspective and personal views of EAL new arrival provision in a UK school. Thus, as explained in the literature review, it is not a fixed concept that can be succinctly defined, and its outcome has been unpredictable as the results may vary from one school to another, depending on the school’s population, its internal policy on the provision and the school’s teaching strategies.
This research has not attempted to find a new concept or resolve any problem within society. “Post- M1ern conditions of radical uncertainty have led to a shift towards - as well as increased validation of - work-based knowledge. Such knowledge is in part removed from the universal claims of disciplinary knowledge as it is more local and particular in its application” (Avis, 2003, p.370). This research will be conducted specifically in my work place and has looked at the state of EAL provision on a micro scale and from the teachers’ perspective. There is a wide range of school profiles in the UK and the findings would vary a great deal according to various indicators such as the proportion of EAL students, the school’s EAL policy and practice, etc... Therefore, the specificity of the context in this research may not be generalised or transferable to another school.
As a practitioner and a novice researcher, it is important to explore the range of methodology used by educational researchers and decide appropriately on the methodological theory to develop a methodological sensibility to conduct this research in a measured and creative way. Punch and Oancea (2014) stated that “In our view, research practice, particularly in a field as broad and contested as education, is more that the skilled use of toolkits. It involves reflective and imaginative work, situational understanding, deliberation, sensibility and voice.” (Punch and Oancea, 2014, p.19). This is clearly expressed in the tool description in the following section.
This particular research on EAL provision in a UK secondary school, from the teachers’ perspective requires an interpretivist approach which I have gain over the past few years as a student in sociology. “The interpretivist paradigm is to understand the subjective world of human experience.” (Cohen et al., 2011, p.17). This describes perfectly the social setting of this research where concepts, such as pedagogy and assessments, are experienced through empirical research involving active investigation of teachers’ perspective on EAL provision. In contrast to the positivist paradigms which are: “premised on scientific, objectivist ontologies and epistemologies” (Cohen et al., 2011, p.23), as a teacher, living and working in a multicultural society, I believe on interpretive approaches that are premised on sociological and relativist ontologies and epistemologies, and interpretive approaches often depend on naturalistic methods such as interviews, group discussions or observation. These naturalistic methods enabled interactions and open dialogues with the participants from which the constructed theory have aroused and meanings have emerged towards the end of the research process. Cohen et al., suggested that “qualitative methods research has an affinity with equity, social justice and a transformative paradigm” (Cohen et al., 2011, p.31). It is in my view that, in order to get a full understanding of teacher’s views on EAL new arrival provision in secondary school, the methodology required in this research is a qualitative method.
The research was conducted in a large secondary school in west London. The school is ethnically diverse. In September 2012, the school became an academy. There are 1408 students currently enrolled of which 48.3% are girls. The majority of students comes from ethnic minority groups which form 98.6% of the school population, noting that the national average is 26.8%. The percentage of EAL students is 74%, while the national average is 15.1%. White British students form 1.4% of the school population compared to the national average of 70.4%.
The last OFSTED report dated May 2014 states that: “The majority of parents, carers and staff agree that behaviour is consistently well managed. This shows the success of the school’s work to promote a cohesive community where students from different ethnic background are accepted and good relationships are fosters.” (OFSTED, 2014).
This school has been selected for this research because it is conveniently easy to access as it is my workplace. Also, the extremely high number of EAL students means that the participants will have experienced the provision for EAL and are more likely to be very familiar with the concept. The first part of this research has involved colleagues in my department as it is convenient to regroup several members of staff within one department and I took the opportunity to conduct part of the research during our weekly departmental meetings so that it does not impact on teachers’ preparation and planning time. Also, it is compulsory for teachers to attend these meetings, this way I was certain of the presence of all staff who have agreed to participate. Obviously, permission from the Head of Department was sought and granted verbally. The other part of the research implicated teachers from three different departments. Their subject specialism has no implication in the study. These are the teachers who voluntarily came forward to take part in the research. A pilot study has been conducted prior to the research in order to test and improve the design of the research tool: the interview. This has help improve the interview questions and avoid comprehension errors and misconception.
The purpose of this research is to have an understanding of EAL new arrival provision in secondary schools from the teachers’ perspective: What are the teachers’ views and experience of EAL new arrival provision? As previously mentioned, qualitative methods approach has been used. This research does not focus on a particular year group or class focus. The scenery of the whole school will be looked at.
The pilot study was conducted with two teachers from different subjects, with whom I work daily. The information sheet was handed to both participants who were informed that the data collected during the interview will be kept anonymous and that they have the right to withdraw from the pilot study at any time. When the interviews were completed, I realised that the second question of the first section of the interview did not produce the intended information sought. The question was: “Do you plan your lesson with EAL new arrivals in mind?” In fact, this is a closed question and teachers responded with a yes or no answer, then, they hesitated as to justify their answers. I needed to formulate the question differently as to extract an extended response and accurate information. Perhaps the question should have been: “Do you plan your lessons with EAL new arrivals in mind? And why?”
During the interviews, I may have engaged in the conversation more than I was supposed to, as I work with them on a daily basis and know them well. Thus, it may have inclined the participant’s answers. It is vital to address the issue of reflexivity as Cohen et al. stated: “reflexivity recognises that researchers are inevitably part of the social world that they are researching.” (Cohen et al., 2011, p.225). Conducting a qualitative research in my own workplace can only reiterate this account. “Reflexivity requires researchers to monitor closely and continually their own interactions with participants, their own reactions, roles, biases and any other matters that might affect the research.” (Cohen et al., 2011, p.225). I did not participate in any way in the interviews which could have dangerously become a conversation, except for reading the questions out loud and adding some questions to get more specific answers.
This tool trial has indeed informed the conduct of the main research. The pilot has been fruitful as It has raised consciousness of the influence I may have on participants and raised up the question of reflexivity and objectivity. Also, it has been helpful in revealing the tool’s capacity and to redesign it as to be more effective. The way the questions were formulated could undermine the validity and reliability of the research. Cohen et al. stated that: “reliability is a necessary precondition of validity and validity may be a sufficient but not necessary condition for reliability.” (Cohen et al., 2011, p.179). In this pilot, the questions have to be reliable in order for the answers to be valid and the answers must not be influenced in any way if I want them to be genuine. I transferred this experience to other tools that were used in this research.
Following the pilot, three semi-structured interviews were conducted. Semi structured interviews are widely used in qualitative research: a semi-structured interview allows the researcher to collect the views and perception of the participant. The theme and questions were decided and planned before the interviews took place. In this research, this type of interview has been particularly useful as it has generated data that is rich and precise to enable the research to explore the theme explicitly and in depth on certain points covered in the interview. Furthermore, unlike the “structured interview” which is very rigid and does not allow extended responses, and “the unstructured interview” which leans on few main questions and where it is easy to lose focus and the interview may drift away from the very topic that I aim to study, the “semi-structured” interview is differentiated by its freedom of expression of participants about their views and feelings on a particular topic. As Punch and Oancea (2014) stated “semi-structured interviews are guided by a set of questions and prompts for discussion, but have in-built flexibility to adapt to particular response and situation, for these reasons they are among the most popular forms of interviews in education research.” (Punch and Oancea, 2014, p.184). This method aims to stay focused on the research topic and guarantees the study of all questions the researcher is interested in, and at the same time generates extensive data. Using the semi-structure interview has allowed me to add questions as to get a more specific answer or even extend participants’ responses. The semi-structured interviews have been conducted and recorded on a one-to-one basis in a free classroom to avoid external disruptions which have occurred as the school is a very busy place.
After the interviews, the focus group discussion was conducted. It is defined by Punch and Oancea as “a general term where the researcher works with several people simultaneously rather than just one” (Punch and Oancea, 2014, p186). Focus group discussion mainly focused on teachers’ experiences and opinions of EAL provision in MFL lessons. It was conducted during our MFL meeting where five teachers participated. It was important to think about my role as a researcher and the structure of the discussion. I conducted the focus group with various questions as to direct and facilitate the discussion.
The focus group discussion has produced data and insights that would not have arisen without the group interaction. The dynamic of the group explored and stimulated different points of view through the discussion. (Punch and Oancea, 2014) It has given teachers the motivation and the reasoning skills in expressing their personal views. The common shared experience gave the group a sense of solidarity and generated critiqued data. On the over hand the semi-structured interview complemented the focus group discussion as to give the participants the opportunity to speak freely and privately. Participants were able to express themselves without being concerned about what the others may think.
I adopted a qualitative data analysis method to conduct this research. Two different tools have been used for data collection, and therefore qualitative data analysis methods, will be essential to produce valid knowledge. Cohen et al., indicate that “There is no one single or correct way to analyse and present qualitative data.” (Cohen, et al., 2011, p.537).
The semi-structured interviews and the focus group discussion contain raw information that needs to be exposed, classified, analysed and interpreted to extract meanings. This is the thematic analyses defined by Braun and Clarke as “a method for identifying, analysing, and reporting patterns (themes) within data. It minimally organises and describes your data set in (rich) detail. However, it also often goes further than this, and interprets various aspects of the research topic.” (Braun and Clarke, 2006, p.6). This means that the answers to the questions asked during the interviews and the focus group contains information that has been scrutinised to make sense of them. In fact, as Boyatzis said: “Thematic analyses enables scholars, observers or practitioners to use a wide variety of types of information in a systematic manner that increases their accuracy or sensitivity in understanding and interpreting information about people, events, situations and organisations.” (Boyatzis, 2009, p.5). At the same time, thematic analysis allowed the examination of the semantic content which is the explicit meaning of the spoken data. Therefore, citations with an explicit reference to a theme will be retained for the analysis. To account for the semantic content of the data, the data-derived codes must be extracted and classified into different themes. Braun and Clarke stated that “data derived codes provide a succinct summary of the explicit content of the data; they are semantic codes, because they are based in the semantic data.” (Braun and Clarke, 2013, p.207). On the other hand, codes can also reflect the latent content of the data, information that is not explicitly expressed. Again, Braun and Clarke stated that the “codes can reflect conceptual and theoretical interpretations of the data, we call these researcher-derived or latent codes.” (Braun and Clarke, 2013, p.207). The latent codes are the assumption of frameworks that underpin the data. These codes may be semantic and/or latent. However, in this research, we have accounted mainly for the semantic data. For example, this citation: “they speak that language already, but the concept of the writing, is really difficult for them to understand” (Interview 2, line 34-35), is explicitly relevant to the “Teachers’ view on EAL literacy skills” theme.
No software has been used in this research, the data: transcription of the interviews and the focus group discussion, has been typed manually as the first process to be familiar with the content. At this stage, the inductive data analyses took place, this means that from the analyses of the transcripts themes have emerged, in other words, it has been from the bottom up. Indeed, the analysis of the content of the transcript for both interviews and the focus group has generated information and meanings that is presented and expressed in the transcript and which have then been classified. In the thematic analysis method, the question of coding and categorisation is central to data analysis process.
Moreover, in the process of thematic analyses, which consists of classifying in different categories, diverse elements reflected by the answers of the interviews and the focus group then allow a quantitative representation of the data. Boyatzis stated that thematic analysis is “a process that can be use with most, if not all, qualitative methods and that allows for the translation of the qualitative information into quantitative data.” (Boyatzis, 2009, p.4). Indeed, the categorisation of the data into themes is quantitative and qualitative. It is quantitative: after the coding process comes the quantification process which consist of evaluation, measuring, numbering and calculating the frequency of words apparition and themes. This process allowed a logical deduction of meanings and created links to the main question of the research project. Also, it is qualitative: after the quantification process comes the description and interpretation of the quantitative representation of the data. Interpreting the data is to consider facts as signs that are mirrored by a coherent theoretical concept that emerges from the empirical data and from which we have extracted the common structure. (Boyatzis, 2009). The risks of bias or subjective interpretations are very low as we base our qualitative analyses on precise quantitative results.
However, at this stage we needed to consider the categories very carefully as “the researcher needs to be able to define each theme sufficiently so that it is clear to others exactly what the theme is.” (Komori, 2017). The categorisation of the data into themes is a general representation of particular types of information. Therefore, the definition of each theme may be broad but at the same time needs to be clear. As argued by Braun and Clarke, there is no right or wrong way to categorise the data into themes as it is a wide and variable concept that changes according to the researcher, the topic studied and the theoretical inspiration of the research itself. (Braun and Clarke, 2013). However, the value of the thematic analysis depends on the themes that have emerged (see the table in the Analysis section). Consequently, the themes must be objective, exhaustive, exclusive and pertinent. (Braun and Clarke, 2013). It is in my understanding that the objectivity of the definition of the themes must be comprehensive and without ambiguities. They must be exhaustive in the sense that all meanings must belong systematically to a theme. They also must be exclusive where all meanings can only belong to one theme only and finally they must be pertinent as the themes must be related to the objectives of the research and the content analysed. In the same order of idea, Berelson said that the studies will be productive as long as the themes are clearly formulated and well adapted to the problem and the content. (Berelson, 1970, p.155)
In summary, the thematic analysis method has been used in this research. The data has been described and analysed following the methodology mentioned above.
At the time of year approaching the Christmas holidays, teachers were extremely busy with assessments, marking and data entry. Only three teachers came forward to participate in the study; two teachers failed to turn up for the interviews. The limited time frame meant that it was impossible to gather more extensive data. However, the focus group discussion allowed for five additional teachers to take part in the study. In total, eight teachers have participated in the study. All the themes that have emerged from the data analysis have been mentioned in the coding frame, however, due to the word limitation of this dissertation only the themes that are supported with 10 or more pieces of data will be discussed in the empirical chapter.
Silverman suggested that we need to: “pay attention to how our social positioning affects the interview exchange offers an important sight for social enquiry.” (Silverman, 2016, p.43) As an MFL teacher working in the school for the last five years, I do not think that my social position within the school will affect interviewees responses. However, I am aware that during the focus group, the head of department and a senior leader team member were present as they are both attached to the MFL department, thus, other participants may have felt restricted in expressing true opinions and life experiences. They may have M1erated their reactions or judgements. The opportunity to take part in the one to one interviews were given to these participants if they wished to develop their accounts further. I tried to remain as neutral as I can be during the interviews as not to engage very much into conversations especially when I would disagree with participants’ views. With the risk of influencing the participants’ responses, I must step back and let participants formulate their answers freely and constantly show an acknowledgement of their responses with a neutral gesture even if I disagree firmly.
It has been argued that: “all qualitative research is subjective, particularly in education (…) this is because our research interests and the approaches we use are influenced by our life experiences.” (Atkins and Wallace, 2012, p.140). Therefore, it is necessary to address my personal attachment to the topic of this research and any assumptions I may have about it. Thus, “reflexivity” needs to be considered throughout the entire process of the research. For this research, I need to consider my own perspective on EAL new arrival provision and how this may influence the research. Atkins and Wallace stated that “reflexivity demands that researcher reflects on and evaluates not only their own impact on the research but also how such things as personal values, past experiences, attitudes and assumptions might impact on the process” (Atkins and Wallace, 2012, p.127) in order for the research to be as objective as it can be.
As an immigrant myself, having arrived in this country in July 2001 with little knowledge of the English language, I know exactly how hard it is for these young people to have a drastic change of life. I have great compassion and understanding for these students and would assume that all adults involved in their education would feel the same and would care a great deal for them. However, I also need to be aware that not all teachers would share the same feelings and that some may not have any compassion for them.
The BERA association considers that: "educational research should operate within an ethic of respect for any persons involved in the research they are undertaking. Individuals, should be treated fairly, sensitively, with high dignity and within an ethic of respect and freedom from prejudice.” (BERA, 2017, p.4)
It is very important to guarantee the safety of students, teachers and any person involve in the research. Ethical researchers recognise “the effects of the research on participants, and act in such a way as to preserve their dignity as human beings. Such is ethical behaviour.” (Cohen, et al., 2011, p.84). In order to respect all participants, this study will be led within the ethical principles.
I believe that informed consent is the basis of ethical behaviour. Voluntary informed consent “is the condition in which participants understand and agree to their participation without any duress, prior to the research getting underway.” (BERA, 2017, p.5). An information sheet was given to all participants to inform them of the purpose of the research and the way it was conducted. Written informed consents have been obtained from all participants (see appendix 3). All participants were informed that their participation is voluntary and that they have every right to refuse to take part. Written informed consent, as Cohen et al., affirm: “respects the right of individuals to exert control over their lives and take decisions for themselves” (Cohen, et al., 2011, p.77) after being informed about the research.
Researchers “must recognise the right of any participant to withdraw from the research for any or no reason, and at any time, and they must inform them of this right.” (BERA, 2017, p.6). Participants were also made aware that they can withdraw at any time during the research and have the right to withdraw their data prior to dissemination.
“the greater the sensitivity of the information, the more safeguards are called for to protect the privacy of the participant.” (Cohen, et al., 2011, p.91). In this research, personal information and personal views have been sought. I am aware that this type of information may be sensitive items for participants and therefore all measures will be taken to preserve these items as confidential and anonymous. “The confidential and anonymous treatment of participants' data is considered the norm for the conduct of research. Researchers must recognise the participants' entitlement to privacy and must accord them their rights to confidentiality and anonymity.” (BERA, 2017, p.7). The information provided by participant has not revealed their identity. Participants have not been asked to say their names or any other information that may identify them. All participants were given pseudonyms in the transcripts. In addition, the name of other people (if any) mentioned in the interviews and the focus group have been replaced with hashtags in the transcripts. All information has been kept confidential on a secured USB key of which I have the sole use. As per the BERA guidelines, “researchers must comply with the legal requirements in relation to the storage and use of personal data” (BERA, 2017, p.7). Participants have the right to know how the data will be stored and to whom it will be made available.
The purpose of this research is to explore teachers’ perspective on the provision of EAL new arrival in a secondary school: What are the teachers’ views and experience of EAL new arrival provision?
This chapter will provide an analytic narrative which will describe the data by themes. The order of the themes will appear according to the importance given in the data. Thematic analysis methods have been applied to the data collected through three interviews and one focus group discussion involving eight teachers in total. The participants’ quotes have been selected according to the semantic content, which is when a participant talks about a theme explicitly. Each piece of raw information extracted from the data has been written on a coloured card. 175 pieces of raw information have been extracted from the data which contains 92.82 minutes of recording. Each card has been numbered from 1 to 175; they have been labelled according to three components: the tool ID number (Focus group: 0; semi-structured interviews: 1,2 and 3) where the raw information has been extracted, the line number in the transcript where the citation can be found, and the theme to which it belongs (labelled with signs as explain in the table below). Each theme has been defined and an example of citations has been given, as well as the card number (1 to 175). About 24 themes have emerged in the very first part of the analysis. These 24 themes have been grouped to form the 13 themes in the table 1 below which will be described in the data analysis section.
After a careful review of the themes, conducted together with my supervisor, six themes were developed as illustrated in table 2. In accordance with the diagram (table 2), six final themes have been identified with one theme being predominant: teachers’ views on EAL new arrival students support and strategies. These six themes will be explored in the discussion section of this paper:
1. Teachers’ beliefs: expectation and assumption of students’ background and motivation.
2. Support and strategies: induction period, withdrawal from lessons to receive one to one support in English language, support from teaching assistants and peers, and teaching strategies.
3. Students’ progress and achievements: Social and academic progress
4. Language skills: literacy and communication skills.
5. Assessments: the advantages and inconvenience of formative assessments.
6. Overall experience: definition and satisfaction of EAL new arrival students.
Table 1: Coding frame
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Table 2. The number of data per theme.
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As explained in the previous section, 24 themes emerged from the data initially. Then, they were grouped to form 13 main themes in the second stage of the analysis as shown in table 1 and finally to six themes as shown in table 2. These final six themes were identified as the key area for discussion. (See discussion chapter)
EAL new arrival students’ motivation
EAL new arrival students’ motivation has been articulated throughout the narratives, and teachers have acknowledged students’ motivation. Teachers think that they want to succeed, and they are keen to overcome the language barrier. One participant stated that: “they are actually very motivated because they know they need it.” (Focus group discussion, 2017, line 84). Here, “it” refers to the English language. And another participant expressed: “they are the students who are the most hard-working students because not only they have to beat the language barrier, but they also want to get GCSEs by the end of this.” (Interview 3, 2017, line 216-217). To a lesser extent, teachers have expressed the lack of motivation for different reasons: “sometimes they just want it easy I think.” (Interview 3, 2017, line 264-265) or “they have no motive, they have no reason” (Interview 2, 2017, line 374-375).
EAL new arrival background
Mostly, teachers expressed that they have little or no information on EAL new arrival students’ background. One participant said: “they have no data, no information, no nothing” (Group focus 0, 2017, line 147-148). However, participants have made some assumptions about their backgrounds: “I’m sure they’ve had difficult lives in India and they come here to make a better life for themselves” (Interview 3, 2017, line 218-219).
EAL new arrival definition
In general, teachers thought of EAL new arrival as those who have “just” arrived in the country, they also referred to their English language level. One participant stated that: “EAL new arrivals students are those students who have just arrived to the country and they erm exposed to the English language for the first time, they speak a different language at home and they need to start with English basically from zero” (Interview 1, 2017, line 9-12), and another teacher said the very same thing: “EAL new arrival is someone that has just arrived into the country and maybe their English is not the same standard as someone their age to the national curriculum levels” (Interview 2, 2017, line 5-6). The data proved to be in line with the official definition given by the British council: “EAL new arrival students are specifically those who have limited or no knowledge of the English language and who have lived in the UK for less than 2 years” (British Council, 2014).
EAL new arrival expectation
The data shows that teachers tend to have a low expectation of those students, as one teacher stated: “I normally put extension questions for other students, with them I don’t expect them to do those questions” (Interview 1, 2017, line 46-47). Another participant, when recalling a discussion with one student, told her: “you’re not going to be able to access our work, there is no way” (Interview 3, 2017, 337-338). This demonstrate that EAL new arrival students are mostly regarded as low achievers and therefore teachers have a low expectation from them.
Teachers’ empathy for EAL new arrival
Few explicit quotations about teachers’ empathy have been extracted from the transcripts, but those are worth mentioning. One teacher stated that: “I feel for them because I think when you are, when you are new in the country everything is different, everything” (Interview 1, 2017, line 89-91). In addition, another participant expressed that: “it can be quite heart-breaking when you see students are not making friends or you know when they’re not able to adjust, or when their needs are not being addressed” (Interview 2, 2017, line 340-341). The general thought that emerged from these quotations is that teachers tend to feel sorry for EAL new arrival students, implying that they are sad and have difficulties to adapt. However, it will be very interesting to ask these students because their answers may be very different from their teachers’.
A common thread through the various narratives of the participants was their explicit references to EAL support and strategies. Their narratives demonstrate respondents’ teaching tools to support EAL new arrivals in their classroom, the use of other students to help with explanation and translation, the need for teacher assistants and the time restriction.
Amongst these teaching tools, visual cues have been mentioned: “I use lots of visuals, so I use lots of, my power points are really visual with lots of pictures and I also use like, I don’t know what’s the technical word for these, but for example, when we were doing stationery, so I asked them to show me a pen for example so they would put it up or show me a pencil case, so they can identify those words just because of the object.” (Interview 1, 2017, line 22-24). Visual cues are an effective tool to access the course content, another participant stated that: “Also, visual cues, lots of kids (inaudible) to them as well so they can access the material.” (Focus group 0, 2017, line 11).
The narratives show that differentiation is key to EAL new arrival provision and has been given quite a significant space in the data, as one participant said: “A lot of it is differentiation, so giving them shorter tasks, giving them tasks that are maybe simplified compared to the other students.” (Interview 2, 2017, line 38-39). Differentiation by outcomes has also been mentioned giving the same tasks to all students and challenge the EAL learners: “there is 3 tasks on the board that everyone can achieve, most can achieve and then some pupil can achieve, so it’s like stretch, super stretch and then they are challenges task like that” (Interview 3, line 28-30). However, the same participant expressed concerns about extensive differentiation: “sometimes I try not to give anything that is very different from what is going on in the classroom, because at the end of the day they sit the same exam paper at the end, and they have to be able to access the same information. The only difference between them and another student would be that I’d give the information in smaller chunks.” (Interview 2, 2017, line 42-45). M1elling and scaffolding were also mentioned. This shows that teachers seem quite confident in term of teaching strategies. As EAL new arrival is common in this school, teaching strategies to support EAL New Arrival students seemed to have been developed quite well. Also, it is essential to mention that no participant expressed the need for further training in support of EAL new arrivals.
EAL new arrival support
In terms of support, we found that support from peers is very much solicited by the teachers. All participants stated that they use another student to support the EAL new arrival students for translation, explanation and clarification of what the student must do. Over 10 citations across every transcript have been extracted to support this statement, which shows that the strategy is commonly used within the school. One participant said: “Sometimes buddied them up, helping them sit with someone who is a little bit more able or catches things quicker because that person will usually adopt them and kind of guide them in terms of what they are supposed to be doing.” (Interview 2, 2017, Line 40-41). Another participant stated that they are: “relying on those little helpers who make my life easier and they translate for me.” (Interview 1, 2017, line 83-84). Also during the focus group discussion, one participant stated: “Specially in the case of new arrival students, if you pair them with erm, another Gujarati student that knows more English, they help each other, and they translate everything.” (Focus group 0, 2017, line 8-9). Another participant outlined the difficulty they face when they cannot find another student to act as a buddy: “it is difficult in the beginning. Especially if there is nobody else that that child can be buddied, or you know form a relationship with… and can’t access the language as well.” (Focus group 0, 2017, line 157-159). It seems that this practice has become a necessity for the teacher to be able to support EAL new arrival students and teachers may face great challenges if they cannot find a student who speaks the same language and who can provide support and guidance.
Participants have also expressed the lack of support in the classroom. Teachers speak about an additional adult referring to the need for a teaching assistant (TA) or a bilingual teaching assistant (BTA) to be present in the classroom. “That’s why I said it would be nice to have a TA who can like go through these things with them in their own language, it would be easier for them.” (Interview 1, M2, 2017, line 61-62). Another participant stated that: “Sometimes when they are complete beginners you wish you had another person another adult in the room to help you erm… like a TA which we don’t really have.” (Focus group, 2017, line 43-44). However, another participant, not only expressed the need for TAs, but also warned of the negative aspects a TA could have on the provision of EAL new arrival. Talking about a previous experience with a TA, she stated that: “she would tell the students a lot about what to write, how to answer the questions, which doesn’t mean that they are making any progress to be fair, because obviously it’s coming from the teacher not from them, erm… they were the hardest and haven’t made any progress academically.” (Interview 3, 2017, Line 316-319).
As for the question of time, participants expressed not only that they do not have enough time during lessons to cater efficiently for EAL new arrival students: “it can be very challenging because you want to provide them more time but you actually don’t because you have to teach as well the whole class” (Focus group 0, 2017, line 37-39), but also that the students are not given enough time to familiarise themselves with the new language they are exposed to before being integrated into the mainstream classroom. One participant stated that: “if they learn English a little bit better it would be easier for them to access other languages or even other subjects.” (Interview 1, 2017, line 96-97). Another participant said that: “two weeks is not enough for the very very basic students who have never spoken English before.” (Interview 2, 2017, line 74-75) meaning that the two weeks induction period is not long enough. Some teachers have also suggested solutions to resolve the problem; one said: “they would’ve been better off if they were given a reduce timetable, because these are students that can pick up the knowledge, they just need time.” (Interview 2, 2017, line 230-231).
Induction program and withdrawal
Throughout the narratives, participants have expressed their views on the induction program that the school provides for EAL new arrival students, where they spend some time in the EAL department to acquire basic English language skills before accessing the mainstream classroom. The views on this matter have been quite negative. Teachers feel that the induction, although necessary, has a negative impact on the student’s social and academical life. As a teacher stated: “they missed out on the introduction lessons, they not had a chance to make friends with anyone in the room, so or them, I don’t know, it is alienating but it is necessary as well in some way.” (Interview 2, 2017, line 78-80). Another teacher said that: “it’s just catching up on some things that they missed like we did the alphabet earlier on, so if they missed two weeks, that means that by the end of the two weeks we covered that alphabet and that child isn’t there for that…” (focus group discussion, 2017, line 51-53). In addition, a participant stated that a student: “was taken out for induction at the beginning so when he came back he was shy.” (Interview 3, 2017, line 141-142). Another said: “they missed so much, and it was difficult for them, very difficult, like I could see the face, erm, and it’s hard when you’re demotivated like that.” (Interview 1, 2017, line 240-241).
A shared strand on progress and achievement has been found in the data. Participants have expressed their views on EAL new arrivals’ achievement from different angles: academic and social. The first and main one being the academic progress and achievements of these students, the data shows that perhaps it has been given more importance than any other type of achievements. As one participant explicitly said: “I think in this school we give a lot more importance to the academic achievement, but what we don’t think about is the social and pastoral achievement as much.” (Interview 2, 2017, line 368-367). Indeed, most of the citations about EAL new arrivals’ progress and achievements have been specifically about academic achievement. We found about 15 citations on academic achievements, such as: “some students are actually like what they said about the alphabet, they got it very quickly.” (Focus group discussion, 2017, line 104-105) or “I think we as teachers are told to focus on the academic so much more.” (interview 2, 2017, line 386-387) or even more explicitly: “they are learning better, they are quicker in acquiring stuff.” (Focus group discussion, 2017, line134).
On the other hand, participants have also linked the two concepts of achievement together, stating that one has an impact on the other, or facilitate the other. The hypothesis expressed is that if an EAL student makes progress socially, the academic achievement will follow. In terms of social progress and achievement, participants often referred to the students’ shyness, and a belief that they need to overcome that shyness to succeed. One participant made a clear statement about it, stating that: “they are not making progress (…) To me it was just, they were shy.” (Interview 3, 2017, line 346-349) while another participant confirmed that: “with some of the EAL students especially the main beginners we see a biggest success (.) because they’ve become really confident.” (Focus group, 2017, line 32-33) meaning that they became confident in a way that they were not before and, as a result, they are now doing very well.
Teachers have also expressed that even if EAL new arrival students don’t make much progress academically and socially, they have other set of skills which are undervalued. On teacher said that “a lot of them, if there is no language involved they will flourish, they will play instruments, they’ll be able to act, they’ll be able to dance…” (Interview 2, 2017, line 393-394). While another teacher said that: “sometimes my students may not be good at English, but they are amazing at art or music” (Interview 3, 2017, line 225-226) and shortly after added that “sometimes the parents may not value subjects like that which I found quite sad.” (Interview 3, 2017, line 227-228).
Literacy and language skills
Literacy and language skills have been grouped together as one has often been mentioned in correlation to the other. Some teachers have expressed that students who have strong language skills in their mother tongue can learn the English language better. For example, one teacher stated that: “the students who are coming with zero English, but they have a good understanding of their own language, so they can build the skill set” (Interview 2, 2017, line 163-164) in the English language. The same participant reiterated the idea by saying: “these students are struggling because they don’t have any of that grounding in one language at all” (Interview 2, 2017, line 92-93). Another participant stated that some EAL new arrival students “don’t have that grammar base, they don’t have that knowledge, they cannot translate from one language to another.” (interview 1, 2017, line 162). The idea expressed in the data is that some of the EAL new arrival students do not have a strong knowledge of their own language, and therefore it is harder for them to develop literacy skills that help students create knowledge through writing.
One participant stated during the focus group discussion that for EAL new arrival students “the writing tends to be quite poor”. (Focus group, 2017, line 113-114) and all other participants seemed to agree with his statement.
Across the data, participants voiced challenges they are facing with EAL new arrival students. A couple of common ideas are shared amongst participants. Firstly, they struggle to communicate with these students and therefore find it very difficult to support them. While one participant said: “I don’t know… because I can’t communicate to them, so I don’t really know what their problems were” (Interview 3, 2017, line 348-349), another participant stated that “they need extra support that we can’t provide because we don’t know their language.” (Interview 1, 2017, line 184-185). Secondly, the work load is heavier when having to cater for the EAL new arrival. During the focus group interview, one teacher said that: “the year 7 are really really large classes so it’s difficult as #### said to… to give them that support.” (Focus group interview, 2017, line 46-47) and another one added “it’s like a challenge for you, it’s a new challenge so it’s not all the time like oh how good I have a new student, in my case, you feel like oh my God. I need to now repeat again and again.” (Focus group discussion, 2017, line 129-130). These last citations clearly show that, for the teachers, having an EAL new arrival student in their classroom means a new challenge as well as increased workload. Also, another participant stated that: “they rely on you to give them all the answers and it’s so frustrating as a teacher for that.” (Interview 3, 2017, line 179).
Another theme that was fairly covered in the narratives was the EAL new arrival communication skills. This was discussed as teachers felt that communication skills are a great challenge for these students and lead to students not wanting to speak to them or try to interact in anyway whatsoever. One participant said: “What I am concern about is those students who can’t communicate with me at all, and they are sitting there, not talking to me, not producing any work, I don’t know if they are understanding me because when I try to speak to them they don’t say anything, and I don’t know what to do frankly with these students.” (Interview 1, 2017, line 118-121). Adding on to that another teacher stated that: “they don’t know how to interact with the teacher and an adult, so it took me for ever to even get the girls to look my way and answer a question, you know.” (Interview 3, 2017, line 355-357). These citations reveal that teachers feel that the students’ communication skills are very weak as they don’t try to make themselves understood, which may also be because they are in a very unfamiliar environment or feel intimidated by the challenge they are facing at this stage of their lives. Another participant revealed that even going to the medical room, EAL new arrival students are not able to express their aches with hand gestures and that she needed to go there in person to translate for them: “I got to a point where I was like, if you are in the medical room you need to tell miss, you need to use hand actions, you need to talk and try to communicate with her, don’t keep phoning me to come down to say you’ve got a stomach-ache, you can actually try and make that sentence yourself.” (Interview 2, 2017, Line 398-381).
Another theme that emerged from the data was the pros and cons of assessment for EAL new arrival students. In general, participants thought that assessments for EAL new arrival students generate important information. While some have mentioned that it would allow to assess their level of understanding: “student has to read at least one paragraph on their own so from that you can assess, they could read very well, they can, it’s just understanding, in order to assess their understanding” (Interview 3, 2017, line 93-93). Others have stated that assessments could help in developing specific skills, since assessments would reveal students’ weaknesses: “so you can learn what the specific skills are in the four assessments that we have to do, and I think that helps teach them better.” (Interview 2, 2017, line 302-303).
On the other hand, participants have talked about the downside of assessments. Some have stated that they are unfair to the EAL new arrival students: “you have to do a lot of tests and sometimes they are not fair because if the children don’t know, about to access the test and things.” (Focus group discussion, 2017, line 150-151). One participant added: “I normally put extension questions for other students, with them I don’t expect them to do those questions, but I haven’t given a special support yet, maybe it is something to consider in the future.” (interview 1, 2017, line 46-48). On the same strand, another teacher stated that: “because of the standards of assessments, the DIRT, the things we have to do, they have to do exactly what the other student does, which is sometimes unfair because if they can’t write anything.” (Interview 2, 2017, line 118-119). This data suggests that teachers are aware that some improvement in assessing EAL new arrival students must be made, as it seems that these assessments are not inclusive enough and EAL new arrival students are not able to access them. One other participant also mentioned an interesting point about assessment that perhaps we may consider: “I think mother tongue assessments; mother tongue assessment will tell us.” (Interview 2, 2017, line 198). Indeed, I believe it would be better, at the early stage of the student’s integration into the mainstream class, to give them an assessment in their mother tongue, which would not only reveal their true level in our teaching subject, but also would enable them to write something so that they don’t feel demotivated; the latter is explored in the next paragraph.
Throughout the data, teachers’ overall experience was exceedingly positive. Despite all the challenges and adversity that teachers have expressed in other themes, the data shows a 100% positive satisfaction from the teachers’ point of view such as “the joy when they not only understand that they can contribute” (Focus group 0,2017, 108-110), or “gives you a smile on your face every morning when you think of those students” (Focus group 0, 2017, line 137-138), or even “when they make progress it is a huge reward” (Interview 3, 2017, line 268). I found that 6 out of 8 citations were extracted from the group discussion, therefore the scenery of the group discussion may have had an impact on teachers’ views. Teachers might have not felt comfortable expressing any negative though on their overall experience in front of other colleagues.
This chapter provides a critical discussion of the findings around the six key themes and their connections to the existing literature. The overall aim of this exploratory study was to investigate the teachers’ views and experiences of teaching EAL new arrival students in a secondary school in London. The main themes in the literature review were: 1) assessments 2) pedagogy for EAL new arrival learners; and 3) teachers’ perspective on EAL new arrival provision with a student focus. The research findings show that these themes are relevant and important as they are dominant in the data and are a large part of EAL new arrival provision as explained below.
Theme 1: Teachers’ beliefs on EAL new arrival students
The findings show that teachers felt a great deal of empathy towards EAL new arrival students, based on preconceived assumptions that they are going through a difficult time as they just moved in this country and that they had a hard life in their country of origin. This study was not able to find out the true feelings of these students, therefore it will be very interesting to investigate this as their answers may be very different from their teachers’. The findings reveal the teachers’ low expectation, which may have been caused by the assumptions that these students are low achievers. Teachers revealed that the tasks set for them are usually at a very low level which means that they are not given more opportunity to learn. This may impact on students’ learning and own beliefs about their ability which consequently may also affect the effort they put in, which is their motivation. This study has found that teachers did recognise the lack of motivation in EAL students but also recognised that some students may be very motivated at the same time. Even if the study shows that these students are thought to be very motivated, because they are hardworking, and they want to succeed, it also expresses the teachers’ opinion that they lack motivation. One of the reason for their lack of motivation that was often expressed was the induction program and the withdrawal. Teachers believed that students missing on the first two weeks of lessons felt overwhelmed when entering the mainstream classroom and by then they would not be able to catch up with the learning and consequently will be demotivated.
Theme 2: Support and strategy
This study found that teachers do use a wide range of support and strategies for EAL new arrival learners. As Costley said, teachers may adopt different approaches using a wide range of strategies and techniques. (Costley, 2013). The study has found that teachers use mostly peer support, where they rely on another student who speaks the same language, scaffolding, and the use of visual clues. They also mentioned time issues and differentiation to cater for the needs of EAL new arrival students, which were viewed both as part of the support for EAL students and as problems for the teachers. During the interviews, teachers have spoken confidently about different strategies they use in their classroom, which suggests that they are familiar with these concepts. Haworth stated that the teaching of EAL students can be limited according to the school’s profile, nevertheless it can also be unbounded according to the school’s profile. This school do experience many new arrival students being enrolled every year, and therefore teachers are more likely to be well experienced. However, the data did not highlight any strategy being more effective than another.
On the other hand, this study conflicts with the literature, where “there is a consensus that mainstream teachers need more EAL-focused training and advice” (NRDC, 2017). This study has not found any evidence to support that statement; teachers have not mentioned the need for further training at all. Consistent with the literature, teachers have expressed the lack of resources to support EAL learner (Cajkler and Hall, 2009) which we found in this study to be specifically an additional adult in the classroom. Indeed, we found that teachers often expressed the need for an additional adult in the classroom, and this was referred to as a teacher assistant or even a bilingual teacher assistant to help the students. This research agrees with previous studies conducted in the UK that teachers use a wide range of teaching strategies to support EAL new arrival learners to access the curriculum (Olson & Land, 2007).
According to Attwood: “Many schools estimate that it takes about half term for the average EAL pupil to gain sufficient working knowledge of English for them to move into the mainstream classroom.” (Attwood, 2015). Some teachers have raised the question of the length of induction period, which they believe is two weeks. They had mixed feelings. Some teachers felt that the induction period, although necessary, was not long enough for the students to acquire sufficient English to access the curriculum, and another said that EAL new arrival students needed more time to learn the language before learning any other subject. As stated in the literature, EAL students’ access to the classroom does not mean access to the curriculum. (Franson, 2010).
Theme 3: Progress and achievement
The progress and achievement of EAL new arrival students has been covered many times in the interviews. Participants’ accounts revealed that more emphasis has been put on the academic achievements and that teachers, although recognising its importance, do not value the social achievement as much. However both types of achievements have been closely linked together, and the social achievement would therefore impact on the academic achievement as the following quote suggests: “I think in this school we give a lot more importance to the academic achievement, but what we don’t think about is the social and pastoral achievement as much, I think the two are very linked because when you see students that want to connect with other students they will have that reason to pick up a book and start reading so that they can talk to somebody else, they can learn more language and they can communicate” (Interview 2, 2017, line 368-372). The quote suggests that one achievement motivates the other, but the literature advises that: “There are shortcomings in exploring the impact of language development and social integration on educational achievement” (Shneider and Arnot, 2014). The impact of social achievement on academic achievement is an area that needs to be explored further.
Another issue outlined in this research is that participants felt that the progress and achievement of EAL new arrival students is generally very slow and that they may not achieve as well as their English-speaking peers. The atmosphere felt around this subject is rather pessimistic as if there isn’t much teachers could do about it. When asked of any success story they’ve experienced, however, participants were keen to mention a few names and explain their journey and how well they have achieved, feeling a sense of pride and achievement.
Theme 4: Language skills
The findings show that teachers are very worried about EAL new arrival students’ language skills. In terms of communication, the study found that teachers often point to the students’ struggle to communicate and make themselves understood even if their level of English is low. Often, teachers have referred to a type of students who sit very quietly, not responding, and therefore not doing any work. These are the type of EAL new arrival that teachers found most challenging. After all, the teachers reason, we don’t need the language to convey basic and simple information. For these students it may not be a question of language only, however; they may also feel very isolated and lack self-confidence.
As for literacy skills, teachers felt that the weakest students are those who cannot rely on their mother tongue. One teacher expressed that if students cannot use the structure of their own language they will not be able to go through the translating process from one language to another. Another said that teachers should not expect these students to make much progress in English if their mother tongue literacy skills are poor, because they simply do not know how a language works. Teachers seemed to have extensive knowledge of language learning processes, as all participants in this study are not only bilingual or even trilingual but are also language teachers. However, as mentioned previously, teachers expressed that they did not have any data on previous education or academic level. Again, these statements about the students’ abilities in their mother tongues were not supported by any data or testing done by the teachers.
Theme 5: Assessment
In this research, we found that assessment of EAL learners is a valuable tool to evaluate students’ understanding. One participant stated that she need to get a clear picture of students’ comprehension in reading that formal assessments may not reveal. This participant suggested that reading out loud and asking scaffolded questions was a technique she used often. Also, found in the literature, is “the need for teachers to use a variety of types of alternative assessment, especially non-threatening informal techniques, with young EAL learners” (Shabaan, 2007). This study’s findings reflect the literature, which suggest that “the field of evaluation has witnessed a major shift from strictly summative testing tools and procedures to a more humanistic approach using informal assessment techniques that stress formative evaluation” (O'Neil, 1992).
The findings also reveal that teachers value assessment to give them a guideline in developing students’ specific skills such as reading, speaking, writing or listening. Along the same lines, the literature suggests that assessing the pupils’ language skills plays a valuable part in developing appropriate programs for EAL students (Anderson and Tilbury, 2014). This research, in line with the literature, shows that assessment is the baseline for future teaching and learning and enables teachers to assess the student’s level, progress and achievements, but that it should not focus on the English level only and must take in consideration the previous learning and the level in other school subjects. An interesting point that was raised by a participant is that we should consider mother tongue assessments for other subjects so that teachers are made aware of a student’s knowledge in the subject without the barrier of the language.
In specific cases, teachers have decided to use alternative M1e of assessments based on the student’s academic and linguistic level. This is exactly what we found in this research, where teachers have developed other techniques for assessment for those students who are not able to access the standard test paper. However, the research also found that teachers did not want to deviate too much because they needed to follow the school’s policy and practice, which they admitted may not be fair to the EAL students.
On the contrary, some participant did not use any other form of assessment for EAL students. They’ve admitted that they often add extensions to stretch the more able students but do not provide any support to EAL learners as the assessment paper in their teaching subject starts at a very low grade. They deemed important to use the standard test paper as it would generate a result that can be translated into the grading system they have to use. However, they also felt that it was something they should think about in the future. In this research we found inconsistency in assessment practices within the school, whereas the literature has clearly suggested that schools must develop a clear and consistent method of assessment for EAL new arrivals as to cater for them effectively. (Peer and Reid, 2017)
Theme 6: Teachers’ overall experiences
Given the discussions related to the other themes, it was very interesting to hear that teachers have expressed a 100% satisfaction on their experience with EAL new arrival students. This study shows that these statements have been found mostly in the focus group interview, when several teachers took part in a discussion about EAL provision. This is not a topic that was found in the literature. While Haslam and Wilkin (2016) speak of teachers’ positive attitude and open-mindedness of having EAL students in their classroom, none of the reviewed literature has revealed the teachers’ opinion on their own experience of delivering the EAL new arrival provision. In this school, the overall experience was very positive as all the teachers implicated in the study were EAL themselves. As hypothesised by Walker, teachers are more likely to be positive about EAL students when they are from a multicultural background (Walker et al. 2002). One participant related the EAL students’ experience to personal experience: “I think when you are, when you are new in the country everything is different, everything, the culture, the people, the language, the food, everything” (interview 2, 2017, line 89-91). This statement clearly referred to the fact that the teacher is from another country and went through the same process as these students.
This research aimed to explore the teachers’ perspective in the provision of EAL new arrival students. The literature has covered many aspects of the provision for EAL new arrival students. The main areas of the provision uncovered in the literature were assessments, pedagogy and teachers’ perspectives, which have extensively informed the tools’ guidance and the shape of this study. The literature as focused mainly on the impact the provision has on students and has given little importance to the impact it may have on the teachers.
This research has adopted a qualitative approach so as to gather an in depth understanding of teachers views and experiences. Naturally, it seemed obvious that a qualitative method approach was adopted as it provided an understanding of attitudes, intentions and, most importantly, it gave a voice to the participants. The aim of this research was to investigate teachers’ views and experiences in a social context, therefore a naturalistic approach using naturalistic tools, such as the focus group discussion and semi-structured interviews seemed perfectly suitable for this type of research.
The findings are closely linked to the existing literature. The research has found concepts that have been poorly explored in the literature. These concepts are very important as they complement the findings in the literature and give us a fuller understanding of teachers’ views and experiences of EAL new arrival provision in this school. Overall, the project has started to identify potential links not only between progress and achievement, and the support strategies and assessments for EAL learner, but also between communication skills and students’ motivation, with all these concepts influencing teachers’ experiences and beliefs. However, more data needs to be collected to make stronger statements about the links among these themes.
What we find in this research is that teachers often express their views based on what is believed, common or assumed. We have found in this research that although, teachers are keen to work with EAL new arrivals, they often need guidance with the weakest EAL students. Despite that, teachers have not expressed the need for professional training. On the other hand, they seemed well experienced in terms of teaching strategies and tools.
Several teachers took the view that induction and withdrawals have substantial negative impact on students’ learning of school subjects. They expressed their frustration that students were missing a significant part of the curriculum content and that in two weeks teachers had covered a lot. They felt that students who attended the induction were not only unable to catch up, but were also falling further behind, which caused the students to be demotivated. This may be a very important issue that the school should rethink, as both the pro and con arguments are valid and obvious. When the induction period should take place and the length of it, are key to providing a good start for EAL new arrival students.
Assessments seemed to be the part of the provision where teachers expressed their doubts the most. Not a single participant was able to speak about the method of assessment in a precise and concise manner: participant felt somewhat that the type of assessment they were using at the moment were unfair to the students. Some participants have tried other methods of assessment when students could not access the standard paper. The study found that the school does not have a consistent method of assessment for EAL new arrival students.
Teachers think that EAL new arrivals have low communication skills due to a lack of confidence and their poor level in their mother tongue. The low level of communication often means that these students are not challenged, because teachers have a relatively low expectation of them. This should be investigated further as to validate these statements, which are very much based on assumptions made by the teachers. Even more, teachers often feel sorry for these students, as the teachers have preconceived ideas of their new lives in the UK. However, overall, teachers are very open minded about having EAL new arrival students in their classroom, and their experience as a whole seems to be extremely positive.
While, teachers have extensive experience in teaching EAL new arrival students, there is a need for the school to resolve issues that have emerged from this research.
The lack of information that teachers receive about their EAL new arrival students does impact on teachers’ practice. Teachers may not be able to understand the needs of these students if they don’t understand where they come from. Some kind of parents evening or coffee morning meetings for these students and their parents or guardians, to have an informal chat with the teachers supported by translators, would certainly enhance the relationship between the school and parents and provide more information about these students’ backgrounds and current lives.
The induction period and withdrawal from lessons are seen by teachers as essential to acquire the English language. At the same time, they are also seen as a cause of students’ demotivation and disconnection from peers and classroom routines, as well as missed course content, which lead to poor progress.
According to the teachers, EAL new arrival students not only have to overcome the language barrier, but also have improve their self-confidence. Often these students are described as shy and very quiet for reasons that were not investigated in this research. They not only need the language to access the curriculum, but they also need to have the confidence to speak out, to learn and progress. Perhaps some kind of “developing self-confidence” based training will enable them to connect with their peers and their teachers and to achieve their best potential.
Assessments was an area where confusion was reigning; participants were not clear about how to assess these students and often based their experience on a try and fail practice. The school needs to develop a consistent method of assessments and clear guidance for teachers to use with their EAL new arrival students.
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Wolf, M. and Butler, Y. (2017). English language proficiency assessments for young learners. Routledge, London.
Youngs, C. & Youngs, G. (2001). Predictors of mainstream teachers’ attitudes toward ESL students. TESOL Quarterly, 35, (1), 97-118.
1. Can you give a definition of “EAL New Arrival”?
2. Do you always plan your lesson with EAL New Arrival in mind?
3. Can you mention couple of strategies that you often use to support EAL learners in your classroom?
4. What type of support/ communication the EAL department provides to assist you in catering for EAL students New Arrival?
1. What are the challenges of assessing EAL New arrival students?
2. In your opinion, what would be the best assessment strategy to be used with these students?
3. How does assessments for EAL learners inform your practice?
1. Do you feel confident in teaching EAL New Arrival students?
2. What are the advantages of having EAL New Arrival in your classroom? What are the inconveniences?
3. How do you feel about having the duty to cater for these students and being held responsible for their progress and achievements?
Group focus guidance
1. What do you know about teaching strategies to support EAL New arrival students in our classroom?
2. Do you feel confident in teaching EAL New arrival students?
3. What is the greatest challenge you are facing with these students?
4. What are the advantages of having EAL students’ new arrival in our classroom?
5. What is your opinion on the responsibility placed upon you to teach EAL New arrival students? (Progress and achievement).
(.) short pause
((pause)) longer pause
O- Cut off speech
(word) best guess
Name? best guess as who is speaking
###### blanked out names
EAL Focus group: 10.03 minutes
The focus group contains 5 participants and the M1erator
1. M1: it records? Yeah ok, erm.. ok my first question is what do you know about teaching
2. strategies to support EAL new arrival students in your classroom? Who wants to tell me
3. something about that?
4. R2: so erm basically erm I use another student who has a bit of... he’s very like talented in
5. the subjects or he knows the routine of the lesson, I think sometimes they work better with
6. the classmate to actually guide them then actually the teacher so it’s a very good help.
7. M1: ok, alright, any other strategies that you guys use in the lessons?
8. M2: Specially in the case of new arrival students, if you pair them with erm, another Gujarati
9. student that knows more English, they help each other, and they translate everything.
10. M1: ok, alright…
11. R3: Also, visual cues, lots of kids (not audible) to them as well so they can access the
13. M1: ok, ok, alright…good, anything else?
14. R1: I am just going to recap on the rules and stuff, you know they said to buddy them
16. M1: yes…
17. R1: if someone is in the classroom for the first time, we can quickly run through certain
18. things that everybody else knows but it is just for that person to realise, this is what we do.
19. M1: Ok, alright, sounds great… and what sorry?
20. R3: Erm.. just reinforcement.
21. M1: oh, reinforcement…
22. R3: yeah because for year 7 you know it’s a new language so we always yeah… reinforce.
23. M1: Ok, alright. My second question is… do you guys feel that you have the skills to support
24. EAL new arrivals in your classroom?
25. C1: We do indeed because we are language teachers, I think that you know we’re a bit
26. more skilled (laugh) I don’t know, it’s something we do address, no it’s… I think that you know
27. we just do it without thinking that much about it as well because I think you know we are
28. always teaching new language and we are always sort of you know kind of go through that…
29. through that process.
30. R2: Yeah…
31. C1: And I think, I mean no I don’t just think I believe that very strongly, it’s only because
32. I’ve seen it from personal experience with some of the EAL students especially the main
33. beginners we see a biggest success (.) because they’ve become really confident in a very little
35. R2: Yeah, it’s true, and…
36. C1: Oh sorry.
37. R2: And sometimes, for example in my case it can be very challenging because you want
38. to provide them more time but you actually don’t because you have to teach as well the whole
39. class, so you know that they… they want to have the best erm… they want to, you know, do
40. better and they put a lot of effort but actually maybe they need more time and the pace you
41. know it’s quicker so… it’s a shame sometimes.
42. M1: Ok, anything else?
43. M2: Sometimes when they are complete beginners you wish you had another person
44. another adult in the room to help you erm… like a TA which we don’t really have.
45. R2: This year at least…
46. M2: Especially this year… the year 7 are really really large classes so it’s difficult as #### said
47. to… to give them that support.
48. M1: Okay, erm… next question: what is erm.. what are the challenges that you are facing
49. with these students? What is your biggest challenge when you have a new arrival, an EAL new
50. arrival student in your class?
51. R1: Sometimes it’s just catching up on some things that they missed like we did the
52. alphabet earlier on, so if they missed two weeks, that means that by the end of the two weeks
53. we covered that alphabet and that child isn’t there for that…
54. R2: Yeah, and sometimes they take them for… like English intervention in the language
56. R1: Yeah.
57. R2: So, when they come
58. R1: they miss…
59. R2: they don’t really, you know, kind of do anything because they missed… what? Like as
60. you said two lessons or three lessons. So…
61. M1: Okay, yeah, anything else? ((pause)) No? Okay, What’s EAL New Arrival for you guys?
62. M2?: mmh?
63. M1: What is EAL New Arrival for you? What is it?
64. R1: New Arrival student is someone who’s just arrived in the country or is attending
65. School A for the first time, so usually we have a large cohort of year 7 in September for the
66. first two weeks that are kept within the EAL department, erm… sometimes we have mid-term
67. arrivals who are kept for two weeks and then they kind of start (resuming) their timetable.
68. M1: Okay, do you guys agree?
69. R2: Yeah, and that also you cannot actually communicate with the person, so you
71. R3: Or the language (not audible) access the English language.
72. R2: The barrier… yeah.
73. M1: Okay, okay, so that is the biggest challenge that you face, not having access to the
74. English language.
75. M2: Yeah, communication
76. C1: yeah, yeah…
77. M1: Okay, what are the advantages of having an EAL New Arrival student in your classroom?
78. What’s the benefit of it? The beauty of it?
79. M2: they come in with an extra language.
80. R1: Absolutely.
81. C1: And they know the value, they know the value of learning another language.
82. R3: And you can teach them all the rules and everything from the scratch and that you
83. know they are learning really well.
84. R2: They are actually very motivated because they know they need it.
85. M2: Yeah, they are very interested yeah.
86. R2: Hard working.
87. R1: And they appreciate that you know a different language as well, because they walk
88. in with a different language, s they see you as a positive role M1el.
89. M2: yeah… absolutely.
90. M1: Okay, that’s very interesting… erm… what do you think about the progress and
91. achievement of your EAL New Arrival students, this year? ((pause))
92. R1: Well, sometimes when they arrive with nothing, very beginner, it’s… it’s very… it’s
93. not easy to show progress but they climb really quickly in some cases.
94. C1: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
95. R1: In some cases, the progress for them is a lot clearer than it is for students that maybe
96. attended the school.
97. R3: It’s very erm you cannot say that one cohort is making you know steady progress
98. in the same direction, you know, it varies because it’s a mixed ability group so…
99. C1: Well, exactly and that’s the think, sort of you know, it depends of the ability of
100. students you know and how, and how they cope in general, how the sort of you know,
101. adapting to their environment, you there is all this kind of factors, it’s not just you know, just
102. the motivation ect ect but… ((pause)) I don’t know.
103. M1: Okay, anything else about the progress and achievement of your EAL new arrival?
104. R2: I think it depends on the students as well, some students are actually like what they
105. said about the alphabet, they got it very quickly, sometimes they need more time for… I think
106. the path sometimes is different as well.
107. C1: It’s also different strength in what you know what they can do, because I think that
108. you know, I mean the reason that I am saying this, I mean, I, I am sure we can all picture some
109. absolute beginners in our classes that sort of you know, are very quiet and then the joy when
110. they not only understand that they can contribute…
111. R2: Yeah…
112. C1: And they end up being the ones participating the most in the lesson. But what I am
113. saying is that for listening and speaking whilst the writing tends to be quiet poor. So, you know
114. there is still you know other skills.
115. R2: Yeah…
116. M1: Anything else? No? Okay, my last question. What is your overall experience of teaching
117. EAL New Arrivals students? I really want you to be honest on this one.
118. C1: What do you mean the experience, I mean there is one thing, is that, I have to share
119. this, this goes back many times, and that is you know, that’s the one story, that sort of you
120. know stays in your mind, I had a girl who joined us in year ten erm… I think she was from
121. Lithuania, that was in my first school, so it was a long time ago. So, it was a Lithuanian who
122. came with no English at all, joined us in year ten, came to my French class and left with the B
123. in French, and that was, that was you know, it just sort of you know, illustrates what I say, it
124. wasn’t me, it was that girl, you know, just sort of you know, works so hard and you know that
125. kind of think, so it’s that kind of sort of you know, so it’s achievement for both, it’s obviously
126. sort of feels like you know, ok so you made a contribution but also have one achievement for
127. them it is, you know.
128. R2: Yeah and it can be I think the first thing for my opinion it’s like you, it’s like a challenge
129. for you, it’s a new challenge so it’s not all he time like oh how good I have a new student, in
130. my case, you feel like oh my God. I need to now repeat again and again but later I think that
131. the progress is very rewarding for you as well. So maybe at the beginning, you can feel a bit
132. challenging, like difficult for you in your daily, you know, routine or your daily lesson but then
133. when you see the results at the end of the year, you, feel like more happy because they are
134. more motivated, they are learning better, they are quicker in acquiring stuff, so ….
135. R3: mm, it varies, you know there are some students, you know, who made like ####
136. and #### said, great progress and (especially if) they start learning from scratch, this is, it’s
137. amaze you with the results, so… that gives you the … you know… gives you a smile on your
138. face every morning when you think of those students, that you know, I taught this student
139. from scratch and look at the results and there are some you know who are strugglers, you
140. know, no matter what you do, but erm… so it’s a mix of both
141. M1: Yeah.
142. R3: But you remember positive more. I don’t know if you agree but…
143. M1: I agree, I agree. Erm, anything else?
144. R1: This is anonymous, right?
145. M1: Of course, it is.
146. R1: Erm, I think I find it very difficult and I started with the EAL department, and
147. sometimes when the children, specifically in our school come in, they have no data, no
148. information, no nothing erm… If you speak that language, then you might get more out of it
149. sometimes but if you don’t then you have no information to start, you have no baselines, you
150. have to do a lot of tests and sometimes they are not fair because if the children don’t know,
151. about to access the test and things. So, I find it, yes it’s rewarding but I find it very difficult
152. especially in the beginning when you, the child doesn’t know how to communicate with you,
153. they don’t who you are, it’s new building, it’s new faces. I, I use to have to deal with them a
154. lot of that, the social aspect of it and there is a lot of explaining, the culture is different, the
155. timetable is different, you know, I, I find it very difficult.
156. R2: Yeah.
157. R1: But it’s rewarding, like they said, but it is difficult in the beginning. Especially if there
158. is nobody else that that child can be bodied, or you know form a relationship with… and can’t
159. access the language as well.
160. M1: Okay. Alright, anything else guys?
162. M1: That’s it? (.) Well thank you very much and this is anonym.
EAL Interview 1: 22.09 minutes
1. M1: Okay, it’s recording now, ok perfect, alright. So, couple of questions about EAL provision
2. in the school you are working in.
3. M2: Yes.
4. M1: There is three categories of questions, one is about pedagogy, the second one is about
5. assessments and the third on is about your own perspective, your own view about the subject.
6. M2: Okay.
7. M1: So we going to start with pedagogy, so the first think I’d like to know is, erm, if you could
8. give me a definition of EAL, new arrivals.
9. M2: New arrivals, so EAL new arrivals students are those students who have just arrived to
10. the country and they erm exposed to the English language for the first time, they speak a
11. different language at home and they need to start with English basically from zero.
12. M1: Yeah, okay, erm, do you plan your lessons with EAL new arrivals in mind?
13. M2: Erm (.) I do, erm, but I rely also on little helpers in the class so pair them with ordinary
14. students and erm I rely on them because those students I pair them with speak that language
15. so sometimes they can explain things in their own language it makes it easier for the new
17. M1: Okay, can new mention the strategies that you often use to support EAL new
18. arrivals in your classroom?
19. M2: So, this is one, this is the main one obviously pair them with other students, erm, but
20. because they are in year 7, I use lots of visuals, so I use lots of, my power points are really
21. visual with lots of pictures and I also use like, I don’t know what’s the technical word for these,
22. but for example, when we were doing stationary, so I asked them to show me a pen for
23. example so they would put it up or show me a pencil case, so they can identify those words
24. just because of the object.
25. M1: Okay, right, erm, what type of support or communication the EAL department provides
26. to assist you with your practice, in supporting EAL students new arrival?
27. M2: Erm.. Well I know that when you ask them for help they will probably help you, erm,
28. but initially I don’t think they provide enough support apart from telling you when this student
29. is going to arrive which sometimes it’s not the real date and tell you a few strategies to use,
30. erm, it would be nice to have someone in the class, a TA to help those kids especially when
31. they’ve just arrived to you class because we start on September and then these students
32. sometimes join my classroom in October and they missed a lot of content. So, I think maybe
33. they could give us a little bit more support erm maybe come in those first days and helping
34. them to settle in, in the class.
35. M1: Okay, erm okay about assessments now, what is your experience of assessing EAL new
36. arrivals students?
37. M2: So, (.) This is my first year teaching new arrivals EAL.
38. M1: Oh, okay.
39. M2: So, I don’t have much experience with them, I, I assess them in the same way I assess
40. the other students but I take into consideration that they started later and they obviously
41. need a little bit more support.
42. M1: During the test?
43. M2: Not during the test, is that what you want to ask? During the test?
44. M1: oh no, just asking.
45. M2: I don’t give them, I haven’t given them extra support during the test yet because at the
46. moment I think the learning is not that high, like I normally put extension questions for other
47. students, with them I don’t expect them to do those questions, but I haven’t given a special
48. support yet, maybe it is something to consider in the future.
49. M1: Okay, erm, in your opinion, what would be the most appropriate assessment strategy
50. to be use for these students? In your opinion.
51. M2: Erm, okay, so for example I did an assessment last week and the instructions were in
52. Spanish (.) so I decided to write them in English, so kids would understand what they needed
53. to do, because sometimes when they come in year 7, it’s a bit daunting for them that they
54. really don’t know what they need to do. Now, for these students, whose English is not that
55. good, would it be a good idea to have these instructions in their home language, perhaps,
56. because I didn’t make it easier for them writing the instructions in English, so I had to go to
57. them individually to all of them and explain exactly what they needed to do in English. Some
58. of them understood some of them didn’t.
59. M1: What happened to those who didn’t?
60. M2: Erm, I carried on the assessment, but that’s what I mean this is my first time, so I think
61. I probably have to look in to that erm a little bit more. That why I said it would be nice to have
62. a TA who can like go through these things with them in their own language, it would be easier
63. for them.
64. M1: I agree with you, unfortunately you won’t be provided with any TA.
65. M2: I know, I know. I understand but I am just finding it a little bit hard at the moment
66. because erm group in year 7 are quite large and so we have to cater for all abilities and then
67. we have a group of students whose English is not their first language, so it’s like a lot of
68. differentiation to do.
69. M1: Yeah, it’s lots of work isn’t it.
70. M2: Yeah
71. M1: And erm, when you do these assessments, how does it inform your future planning?
72. Once you’ve got the assessment, whether they did good or not, how does it… influences…
73. M2: Yeah, obviously you need to look into the things that they did not understand and go
74. through it again, and maybe do things better, erm different way as I said this is how I did now
75. but maybe in the future I will have to explain in a different way, so I haven’t marked them yet
76. but as soon as I do I will look into the areas we need to reinforce or change for the future.
77. M1: But how would you know if they did not understand because of the English or because
78. they didnt know the answer…?
79. M2: Well yeah, this is what I need to find out, so I will have to talk to them. The problem is
80. that I’ve got couple of students who don’t speak to me at all and I don’t know if it’s because
81. they cannot communicate or ((pause))
82. M1: They probably can’t.
83. M2: yeah, so, I am still relying on those little helpers who make my life easier and they
84. translate for me, my little angels. Erm, because sometimes it’s just too hard for them, I
86. M1: what about you?
87. M2: What do you mean?
88. M1: you said it is to hard for them, what about you?
89. M2: It is hard for me as well, of course it is, erm but I feel for them because I think when
90. you are, when you are new in the country everything is different, everything, the culture, the
91. people, the language, the food, everything, and fair enough they need to learn English because
92. they are going to an English school, but do they need to learn an extra language at the same
93. time. Could they use those hours to have extra English instead (.) I don’t know, I think, I think
94. we are asking them for too much at the moment.
95. M1: Okay.
96. M2: This is my opinion, and you know like if they learn English a little bit better it would be
97. easier for them to access other languages or even other subjects.
98. M1: Yeah, so you don’t think they should do languages at this stage?
99. M2: No, I don’t think so.
100. M1: Even though it is probably the only subject that they would start at the same level as
101. their peers?
102. M2: Erm, yes, they do, they do start at the same level, erm, I mean most of the kids now do
103. languages in primary school also, it’s not necessarily the same level.
104. M1: Okay.
105. M2: Erm, it’s you know, I’ve got like mixed feelings, because on one side I feel like learning
106. another language is good for them and as you say they start at the same level so maybe they
107. can you know erm like be really proud they’re learning another language and an easy subject,
108. but I see that point, but at the same time I think that sometimes it could be to hard for them,
109. a bit like instead of erm, (.) Instead of helping them to be excited and positive about it, it could
110. bring them down if they are not performing as well as. Like in the first assessment I did erm
111. in this year, I gave some of them grade 1, some of them grade -1 and erm 1+, and one little
112. kid who got -1 started crying his eyes out, erm, and you know, I just said to him that’s normal
113. because you started a bit latter, you know, that’s why they have 1 or 1+ because they’ve been
114. learning it for longer. And he was like, “I really studied” I know but, it’s just, it’s just hard.
115. M1: Oh, you just want to give him a grade 1 just because he studied, but why not, if they can
116. lose their confidence.
117. M2: Of course, some of them are really enthusiastic, they put their hand up and even if it’s
118. not correct, like you know that they are trying. What I am concern about is those students
119. who can’t communicate with me at all, and they are sitting there, not talking to me, not
120. producing any work, I don’t know if they are understanding me because when I try to speak
121. to them they don’t say anything, and I don’t know what to do frankly with this student.
122. M1: So, maybe learning another language is not for everyone?
123. M2: Yeah, so maybe it is not for everyone, you know. You know some people are good with
124. learning another language and some people need a little bit more support, so perhaps for
125. some of the… it would be better to erm to have a little bit more time in this country with this
126. system before they learn another language.
127. M1: You feel for them because you went through the same thing, right?
128. M2: yes of course, of course and I know how hard it is to learn a language, yes of course.
129. But at the same time, I had this experience, one of my new arrivals, I had to move him to
130. Gujarati because it was a bit too much, erm, he didn’t understand instructions in English so he
131. was misbehaving, he was very naughty, he didn’t understand that he had to sit down, he was
132. getting up or sitting in a very weird way and the rest of the pupils at his table said that he was
133. swearing in his language.
134. M1: But you wouldn’t know about that? (laugh)
135. M2: No, I wouldn’t know because I would understand, for me he was a very quiet boy but
136. apparently, he was being very rude to the others and the others didn’t like it at all, and I did
137. what I do, pairing him with another student, and the other student said “miss, miss he is not
138. listening to what I am saying, he doesn’t follow what I say, he’s not writing anything in his
139. book, I don’t want to do this” He said, “I don’t want to help him, I don’t want to do this”
140. M1: Okay
141. M2: So, I talked to the Gujarati department, they talked to him and they realised that he
142. did not understand basic instructions in English, he was not preparing, he would have needed
143. like more than 2 weeks because he didn’t understand instructions, so they decided to keep
144. him and now he is very happy. He sees me in the corridor and he’s like “hola, hola” oh and I’m
145. like now, now you say hola. (laugh) but I think for his confidence, it’s better to learn Guajarati
146. because he is familiar with it and it’s probably a lot of things with handwriting and all of that.
147. M1: Well, isn’t he a new arrival from India?
148. M2: Yeah, but not all of them know how to write.
149. M1: So, he might have come from a remote place and didn’t get access to education.
150. M2: Yes, of course and the writing is very hard, so perhaps he speaks the language but it’s
151. not that easy.
152. M1: Right.
153. M2: So maybe it boosts their confidence if they are in a subject they can access, erm…
154. M1: And it’s also maybe about keeping up with their mother tongue?
155. M2: Of course, that is very important.
156. M1: It is and…
157. M2: Sorry, another thing that I wanted to say, erm, now with the new GCSE, translation is
158. very important and I feel like if this is not good, it’s difficult to translate, because this has
159. happened to me sometimes when I’m making connection with the two languages, it’s not like
160. literally translating word by word, you need to erm check the meaning and I’m doing it with
161. year 10 and year 11 and they don’t know sometimes how to do it, and their English is good
162. but sometimes they don’t know the grammar, but imagine these kids, they don’t have that
163. grammar base, they don’t have that knowledge, they cannot translate from one language to
165. M1: not even in the long term?
166. M2: So maybe yeah, maybe they could be in languages in key stage 3, but they wouldn’t
167. choose it for key stage 4, that would be a little bit too much.
168. M1: Alright so not for GCSE.
169. M2: I don’t know, because as I said my only experience is in year 7, erm…
170. M1: You’d be surprised.
171. M2: Yeah, you never know, maybe they love it and some like you know maybe could be very
172. good, maybe. I am just talking about my experience at the moment which I am finding it hard.
173. M1: Yeah, because you’ve got only year 7 but you’ll see those year 7 growing and you will
174. see them in year 8 and year 9 and the progress will be amazing.
175. M2: Of course, their English is going to get better, of course, their English gets really good
176. because they speak to students, but you notice with English speakers that they speak really
177. well but they don’t write that well.
178. M1: Yes, that’s true.
179. M2: So, the translation will be hard anyway than if you are a fluent speaker, because you
180. don’t know basic grammar rules.
181. M1: So, for those who really succeeded, it’s not maturity, it’s exceptions?
182. M2: Yeah, (.) but you know it might be good for them to learn another language, and some
183. of them are very enthusiastic and it’s, it’s nice to see them, you know, answering in class and
184. all of that, I just think that maybe they need extra support that we can’t provide because we
185. don’t know their language.
186. M1: Yeah, yeah definitely. Okay, erm, so now about your own view, teacher’s perspective,
187. erm, what is your experience of teaching EAL students, how would you describe it?
188. M2: Erm… so I don’t have much experience, this is my first experience with new arrivals as
189. I said, and with EAL students, the same, so you rely on visual and, and (.)
190. M1: So, what’s your experience, how do you feel about it? Is it a good experience, a bad
192. M2: It is good, because erm, as we said the other day, when students speak more than one
193. language, are able to make more connection between a language or another, like they know
194. how a language works, and I think really like they could be good students maybe better than
195. those students who only speak one language and that’s it.
196. M1: What about your own experience?
197. M2: Yeah, the same, I think, personally, when you speak more than one language learning
198. another one it’s easier because you know how it works.
199. M1: Okay, erm, what are the advantages of having an EAL new arrival in your classroom?
200. M2: Erm, (.)
201. M1: If there is any?
202. M2: erm, just what I said, they, they know how a language works sometimes better than
203. other students, erm… (.) even if they don’t know the technical.
204. M1: So that would be an advantage for them, but what would be the advantage for you?
205. M2: Wait, this is an advantage for me as well, because they… they… you know, they can
206. help others to understand and it’s easier to access some parts of erm… from teaching.
207. M1: Okay, erm, now challenges?
208. M2: I think I talked about it times…
209. M1: Sure you did, but in few words…
210. M2: Yeah, erm, yeah, I think it’s difficult sometimes to, yeah, to translate basically, like
211. things, erm, some, I don’t know, like for example, erm, ok so (.) I learnt Italian in this country
212. and I learnt Italian at university with an English book, so for me, sometimes, it wasn’t good
213. enough to learn Italian from English, I had to, like, make connection to my own language, erm,
214. to learn the foreign language, so sometimes I feel like students need to make those connection
215. to their own language, which is not English necessarily. (.) So sometimes, I like to ask the kids
216. in the class, how do you say this in Somali or how do you say this in Arabic, because sometimes
217. you would be surprise, like there are some connections and it’s easier for them, like I learnt
218. two Somali words the other day and they are very similar to Spanish and with Arabic it’s the
219. same isn’t it so sometimes it’s good to go back to your own language.
220. M1: And make connection with it, brilliant. Yeah ok, erm, what is your overall experience for
221. being responsible for progress [disruption] Okay, so what is your overall experience for being
222. responsible for the progress and the achievement of your EAL new arrival students?
223. M2: Erm, so again that’s something I am not very familiar with because this is my first time,
224. but I don’t know how it works exactly, but, I think it’s a bit unfair, erm, that perhaps they
225. looking into your target and your students’ progress and they don’t take into consideration
226. that some students who do less progress regardless of your teaching, erm, what I am saying
227. is like sometimes, it’s not up to us to be responsible for that progress, so I don’t know, I, I
228. don’t know how I feel about it, how it’s going to be at the end, I would like to see some
229. progress but obviously it’s not going to be the same as the other students.
230. M1: So, you are responsible for the progress of your classes and all you students, and…
231. M2: Well, yeah as a teacher, I feel responsible for the progress but…
232. M1: But, have you ever been told about the progress of your EAL students new arrival?
233. M2: Not really, no. As I said we didn’t have much information and we received an email
234. saying these students are coming to class, this week, but then they didn’t, for me they came
235. probably like three weeks after something like that.
236. M1: yeah.
237. M2: And then there was a mess because they had missed so much.
238. M1: I think because they were withdrawn for the English support thing.
239. M2: Probably, so it was just too late, and I just (.) yeah, they missed so much, and it was
240. difficult for them, very difficult, like I could see the face, erm, and it’s hard when you’re
241. demotivated like that, so yeah, perhaps it would have been better to have more information
242. about those students.
243. M1: Okay, well thank you very very much.
244. M2: thank you.
Name of Participant: .
Title of the project: EAL New Arrival provision in a West London community secondary school.
Main investigator and contact details: Mrs Asma Lebbakhar
1. I agree to take part in the above research. I have read the Participant Information Sheet which is attached to this form. I understand what my role will be in this research, and all my questions have been answered to my satisfaction.
2. I understand that I am free to withdraw from the research at any time, for any reason and without prejudice.
3. I have been informed that the confidentiality of the information I provide will be safeguarded.
4. I am free to ask any questions at any time before and during the study.
5. I have been provided with a copy of this form and the Participant Information Sheet.
Data Protection: I agree to the University processing personal data which I have supplied. I agree to the processing of such data for any purposes connected with the Research Project as outlined to me.
Name of participant (print)…
If you wish to withdraw from the research, please complete the form below and return to the main investigator named above.
I WISH TO WITHDRAW FROM THIS STUDY
Signed: ________________________ Date: ___________
Section A: The Research Project
1. EAL New arrival provision in UK secondary schools: Teachers’ perspective.
2. In this research, we aim to investigate EAL provision in our school.
3. You have been invited to participate.
4. The research will be conducted by Mrs Asma Lebbakhar under the supervision of University Tutor Dr Rossana Perez del Aguila and Ms Andria Zafirakou (Associate Deputy Headteacher Professional Development).
5. All data will be anonymous; no names will be mentioned.
6. If you have any queries, please contact Mrs Asma Lebbakhar.
Section B: Your Participation in the Research Project
1. We focus our research on teachers’ perspective on EAL provision for students who have recently arrived in the UK.
2. You can refuse to take part.
3. You can withdraw from the project at any time. If you wish to withdraw from the research, please complete the slip attached to the consent form and return it to Mrs Asma Lebbakhar.
4. You will be asked to fill in a questionnaire. For the MFL team: you will be asked to take part in a focus group, where discussion on EAL provision will take place.
5. Any information/data/samples that are collected from you will be kept anonymous. No names will be used in the study.
6. Participant will benefit from self-reflection about their own practice. They will be able to also reflect and comment on their peers’ views during the focus group discussion.
7. It will take about 30 minutes to conduct the interview and the focus group discussion will last approximately 15 minutes.
8. All data will be collected anonymously; no names will be mentioned in the study.
YOU WILL BE GIVEN A COPY OF THIS FORM TO KEEP TOGETHER WITH A COPY OF YOUR CONSENT FORM
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