This page gives information about English as An Additional Language.

Teaching and Learning

1. Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition - Overview of Cummins BICS (Basic Interpersonal and Communication Skills) and CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) model Bilingual acquistion
2. MYP - Language and Learning in the IB:
3. Supporting EAL Learners in the classroom - key principles to be aware of when supporting students in mainstream classes.Supporting EAL learners
4. Scaffolding

Teaching Strategies

Reading Strategies

1. Before reading
A The role of context - there a number of activities that teachers can use to activate students' prior knowledge.
  • Students can be asked to predict content before they read the text.
i. Teachers can provide students with the Heading, or the first sentences from the paragraphs. Students guess what the passage will be about.
ii. Teachers can provide students with photos or diagrams before they read the passage.
iii. Teachers can dictate a number of questions and students can be asked to guess the answers. The students scan the text for answers.

B. Pre-teach key vocabulary
  • Teachers can decide beforehand the key vocabulary that they wish their students to know. Vocabulary activities include:
i. Use realia and pictures to teach the vocabulary
ii Use a glossary, dictionary or translate key words
iii Create a word bank - for example, nouns on a particular topic
iv Use of mnemonics to help students to retain vocabulary
v An exercise in which students are given synonyms or antonymns of the key words
2. Activities during reading
  • Jigsaw reading. Students work in groups and are given sections of the passage. They complete a task and then have to share their information with other groups.
  • What is the purpose of the text? Who is audience?
  • Graphic Organisers - use a framework to support students' understanding.
  • Note-taking skills - students are provided a framework which helps them to focus on key nouns, adjectives, verbs.
3. Activities after reading
  • Checking understanding.
i. concept questions
ii crosswords or word searches - useful for recycling vocabulary
iii Finding mistakes
iv gap-fill exercises
v Completing diagrams
vi Cloze exercises

Coping with dense texts.
Students will often have to read a text that contains vocabulary that is lexically too difficult for them. There are some strategies that teachers can use to help students to make a text accessible.

  • Providing students with a frame such as graphic organiser with key words given in headings will help them to focus on the information you wish them to know rather than trying to understand all the text. Link to graphic organizers:
  • Provide some background to the text to help students gain an understanding of the context.
  • Teachers can read the information aloud contained in the text in an informal way. This can help students to see differences between spoken and written English.

Websites giving information about developing reading skills


Speaking Activities

  • Information gap activities -
  • Sequencing - students have to sequence sections of a text - can be at sentence and paragraph level
  • Jigsaw Problem solving activity - students have to solve a problem in a group

Supporting Writing
  • Model text - Give students a model of the text that you wish them to produce
  • Deconstruct the text - ask students to order the paragraphs to focus on the arrangement of the text
  • Focus on reference system - How is cohesion created in the text? Focus on Discourse markers such as However, First of all, etc. Focus on reference system - use of pronouns
  • Dictogloss - a very useful activity. This helps students to focus on the structure and organisation of a text. The teacher sets the context and reads aloud the text. The students then have to reproduce the text in groups. They can then compare their versions to the original.
  • Running dictation - The teacher puts a piece of writing on the wall. Students work in groups. Each student is given a number and takes it in turn to run to the paragraph and memorise the sentence. She/He then has to dictate the sentence back to the group.

EAL Writing Handbook. The following Handbook has been prepared in consultation with the Humanities, Science and Mathematics Departments. It offers a range of different text types with guiding questions and frameworks. The document also includes a selection of Visual (Graphic) Organisers.