The Early Career Framework was made compulsory in the UK in September 2021. It replaces the year-long NQT period. It is a two-year programme of support and development for new teachers after they complete initial teacher training. The Framework covers 8 main areas:
All areas are relevant to and for the teaching and learning of our EAL pupils and ensuring they are successful in their learning. However, here we will look at two of the framework areas.
Successfully catering for your EAL pupils requires adaptive teaching and accurate assessment, which are sections 5 and 6 in the Early Career Framework. To adapt our teaching, we need to be mindful of the needs of individual pupils, understanding that pupils are likely to learn at different rates and require different levels and types of support from teachers.
Some key items to consider are as follows:
Once you have decided which tier the language demands of your lesson fall into, you can support your learners with appropriate strategies. For instance, pupils pre-learning the language for your lesson independently – or in a small group. Consider questions such as:
As the Early Career Framework states, “good assessment can provide teachers with vital information about pupils’ understanding and needs”. In 2016, the Department for Education began collecting a new teacher-assessed measure of English proficiency for pupils with EAL, through the school census. Schools are asked to position each child on a five-point scale according to a judgement of ‘best fit’, with briefly described categories: New to English, Early Acquisition, Developing Confidence, Competent and Fluent.
To assess accurately, schools should be using an EAL continuum. Assessment frameworks, such as the EAL Assessment Framework from the Bell Foundation or the Common European Framework, can help to provide accurate and purposeful assessments of what a learner can do in English, as well as delivering a road map for progression to support the teaching of EAL learners.
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Cummins, J. (2000). Language, power, and pedagogy. Bilingual children in the crossfire. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
Department for Education, Early Career Framework, January 2019, //assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/978358/Early-Career_Framework_April_2021.pdf, Accessed 17/02/22.
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