EAL/Assessment: Child’s play

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By Jennifer Becklesfreelance journalist

Playing games can help build an inclusive classroom environment and enable teachers to assess the progress of EAL children

Teacher and pupil

Small is best when it comes to the size of teaching groups of EAL children

With a packed curriculum, schools have a lot to cover and it is easy to overlook some of the more fundamental and essential skills needed by children who are learning English as an Additional Language. Skills, such as speaking and listening, form the groundwork for children’s learning, so planned opportunities will help to set the stage for later learning.

Make it focused

Small is best when it comes to the size of teaching groups and for good reasons. Many EAL children who aren’t confident in English feel more secure in a small-group situation. By talking to each other, children help to clarify their ideas, meanings and questions and will feel more confident to speak in front of a smaller audience. Also, there is a great sense of achievement felt by the group when a task is completed, which helps children to feel proud of themselves.

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