Strand 1

Slides 2
Strand 2
20th August 2021

Pre-session objectives

  • Familiarise participants with the context of EAL
  • Reflect on current practice

Participants should complete the pre-course activity and answer the following questions:

  • What are your feelings on the provision you offer EAL learners in your school?
  • What more would you like to know on this topic?

A few points to note:

  • This course is based on ‘Teaching English as an Additional Language 5-11: A Whole School Resource’, by Caroline Scott, and a full bibliography is listed here.
  • Activities listed (e.g. ‘See activity 5.2) refer to activities in the shared document for each strand.
  • Text in Italics provides the trainer with prompts to read directly to participants.


Strand 1 learning outcomes


  • Know about the process of learning a language and the factors affecting it
  • Know about the factors hindering language learning


  • Be able to explain translanguaging
  • Be able to lead the language learning of others


  • Develop your understanding of EAL learners in the mainstream


Slide 2 – Aim

Share the Across Cultures aim.


Slide 3 – Across Cultures EAL Framework

How did the resource file develop? 

Originally developed for UK schools delivering the National Curriculum and later, international schools running other curricula, the aim was to support teachers in offering good provision for EAL learners in schools where English is the language of instruction.

After a successful application for partial funding to write the resource file, over time, this developed into a practical, useful guide to supporting EAL learners that became widely used in London and then in many schools throughout the UK. Schools welcomed the support and highlighted that children using the resource file made very good progress.

Over time, more extensive research was completed to allow the programme to evolve into a book, called  Teaching Children English as an Additional Language: A Programme for 7-11 Year-Olds. This programme has been used worldwide, with children in UK and international schools. It was then further developed to include a wider age range, offering a broader selection of survival language and advice and guidance on many aspects of catering for children learning English as an Additional Language, with a whole-school focus. The latest development includes the Learning Villagea teacher-managed online learning tool for 6-16-year-old EAL learners in schools that fits seamlessly with the resource books.

The manuals for this course are written by Caroline Scott, BA DipM NPQH MA, author of ‘Teaching Children as an Additional Language: A Programme for 7-11 year olds’, ‘Teaching English as an Additional Language 5-11, A Whole School Resource’ and ‘An English as an additional language (EAL) Programme: Learning through images for 7-14 year olds’. Caroline’s background includes:

  • Teaching in Thailand as a class teacher and teacher of English as a Foreign Language to 6-16-year-olds (with children who are 100% beginners to intermediate level)
  • Teaching in England as a class teacher, EAL coordinator, senior manager, governor, EAL support teacher and Parental Involvement Coordinator (where 90% of children have EAL)
  • Founding Head of Primary in an International school in Cairo (where 99% of children have EAL – 800 pupils on roll). Curriculum: English National Curriculum and International Primary Curriculum (IPC).
  • Primary Principal in an Italian International School (where 99% of children have EAL – 550 pupil on roll). Curriculum: International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP).


Slide 4 – Course agenda

This is a flexible course. You can deliver the training in a number of ways.

The course is divided into 9 strands. 

  • Strand 1: Understanding EAL learners in the mainstream
  • Strand 2: Enhanced admissions including community-building
  • Strand 3: EAL assessment
  • Strand 4: Induction-to-English
  • Strand 5: Planning differentiation for EAL learners in class
  • Strand 6: Differentiation for EAL learners in class
  • Strand 7: Focused scaffolding of language 
  • Strand 8: Effective use of language learning strategies
  • Strand 9: Whole-school EAL development

Each strand varies in length. Allow at least 2 hours for each strand of you will be delivering this in your school.

Participants receive an Across Cultures Teacher Certification if they attend every session and produce evidence that:

  1. Their learners have made progress as a result of the Across Cultures training.
  2. Across Cultures sessions have had a positive impact on their approach to catering for their EAL learners and families.

Receiving an Across Cultures Teacher Certification is a recognition that participants are able to make a positive impact on EAL learners’ progress and inclusivity using the Across Cultures resources. Mail [email protected] about starting a course.

The training may also be delivered more flexibly, concentrating only on certain strands. However, in these instances, participants will not be eligible for the Across Cultures Teacher Certification status.


Slide 5 – EAL Framework Rubric

Review the EAL Framework Rubric and explain that after each session you will be asked to use your own professional judgment to decide where to place your school on the professional learning journey. 


Slide 6 – Strand overview and preparation

Strand overview:

  1. Allow staff to experience what it feels like to learn a foreign language without translation.
  2. Do teachers know the major factors hindering English language proficiency?
  3. Do teachers know why and how to support learners’ home language?


  • Ensure all participants have their handbooks
  • Flip chart and pen
  • Language experience resources, e.g. Snake story 


Slide 7 – Introductions

It’s important to start your session with an introduction that includes:

  • Who you are and your background in this context. Discuss why you are delivering the training session, as well as your Across Cultures training and what it includes.
  • How the Across Cultures resources are used and their success. It’s important your participants are convinced of the benefits of the resources. A well-presented introduction sets the tone for the whole course. There is a bibliography at the end of the manual in the ‘Additional Resources’ section on the Across Cultures Framework Hub.
  • How the resource file was developed and about the author.
  • Who your participants are and their experiences. This is essential so you have an idea of what they need.

Prepare two flip-chart pages titled according to the following pre-course activity questions:

  1. What are your feelings on the provision you offer EAL learners in your school?
  2. What more would you like to know on this topic?

Ask participants to write their answers to question 1 on a post-it note and stick it to the flip-chart page, titled accordingly. Then do the same for question 2. Participants can refer to their pre-course activities for inspiration.

Share some of these reflections.

(Time guide: 10-15 minutes)


Slide 8 – Terminology

Explain that:

Across Cultures uses English as an Additional Language (EAL) to refer to learners who are acquiring English as an additional language. It can be used interchangeably with English as a Second Language (ESL). More information on ‘What is EAL?’ can be found on this link.

If you are training in an English-speaking mainstream outside of the UK (or even within the UK), you may be using different terminology for similar terms. Differences may include references to year group ages or just simple spellings. 


Slide 9 – Reflection and action points

Participants must ensure they have a few pages of a notebook available for Reflection and Action Points. Participants will have opportunities to contribute to these pages throughout the course.


Slide 10 – Nature of languages

Explain that most linguists would agree that languages share the following:

Languages are systematic

  • They consist of recurrent elements that occur in regular patterns of relationships.
  • They have an infinite number of possible sentences (usually that have not been memorised)
  • When so many combinations are new every day – how do we understand them!?

Languages are symbolic

  • We (the speakers of a particular language) agree that sounds and letters groups together have a meaning, e.g. frog
  • Languages are systematic – we use language to categorise and catalogue the objects, events and processes of the human experience.

Languages are social

  • Languages are symbolic – we could define language as the expressive dimension of culture.
  • Languages are social – each language reflects the social requirements of the society that uses it.
  • We cannot learn our own language without interaction within the society.

Knowledge needed to acquire a language:

Explain that:

In the coming days we will be learning more about the knowledge needed to acquire a language.

  • Lexicon (vocabulary)
  • Phonology (sound system)
  • Morphology (word structure)
  • Syntax (grammar)
  • Non-verbal structures (with conventional, language-specific meaning)
  • Discourse (ways to connect sentences, structures, e.g. story-telling, engaging in conversations)

Saville-Troike, M (2007)  Introducing Second Language Acquisition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge


Slide 11 – You are a young learner

Provide the participants with a first-hand experience of what it might be like to be a new arrival.

NB: Two possible scripts are provided here. They can be translated into any other language. You also find visuals of the language learning experiences on the Across Cultures Framework Hub. This includes ‘Snake Story’ and ‘About Snakes’ (although these do not need to be the stories you choose).

We suggest, if you do not speak another language, or your ‘other’ language is known by the participants, that you ask someone who can speak an alternative language to prepare the language learning experience in advance and deliver it during the session. 

Explain to participants:

Imagine you are a young learner  (specify an appropriate age for your context). You arrived in the country last week. You are in your first lesson and you don’t speak the language.

Participants need to listen to the story.


Slide 12 – You are a young learner 2

Provide the participants with a first-hand experience of what it might be like to be a new arrival:

You will need to read the story twice. Read it once without reference to anything else (just read from the page). Then read it with reference to the pictures and with actions in context.

Snake Story (first version: to be read aloud in another language: no English should be used)
Last year I saw a snake in the garden.
I think it came from the forest.
The snake was yellow and brown.
I gave it a pizza, chips and a hamburger but the snake wasn’t happy.
The snake slept under the tree and was not well.
My mother and father came to see it.
I told the snake to return to the forest.
I said “go home, go home” and the snake slithered back into the forest and I never saw it again.

Snake Story (second version: to be read aloud with actions and visuals. See ‘Snake Story’ on the Across Cultures Framework Hub)

Page A – Vocabulary introduction (point to each picture, say the word in the other language and signal for the class to repeat after each one). Use simple questions in the other language like “what’s this?” and point and say “do you understand?” and “well done.”
Page B – Last year I saw a snake in the garden. I think it come from the forest. (Point to the forest and mime using your hand moving from the forest to the garden)
Page C – The snake was yellow and brown. (Point to the snake and the garden as you say the words. Each time you say “I”, point to yourself, then point to “yellow” and “brown” as you say these words)
Page D – I gave it a pizza, chips and a hamburger but the snake wasn’t happy. (Point to the pizza, chips and hamburger as you say the words)
Page E – The snake slept under the tree and was not well. (As you say “slept”, close your eyes and tilt your head as if to sleep. Make a sad face when you say “not well” and point to “under the tree” as you say it)
Page F – My mother and father came to see it. (Point as you say “mother” and “father”) I told the snake to return to the forest. (Point to yourself to signal “I” and point into the forest as you say “return to the forest”)
Page G – I said “go home, go home” and the snake slithered back into the forest and I never saw it again. (Again, point to yourself as you say “I” and point into the forest again, using your hand to wave goodbye)
Finish by saying in the other language “Do you understand?”

Another possible learning experience is also available on the Across Cultures Framework Hub (About snakes).

This process must be done entirely in the other language without slipping into English for any reason. Even if the participants do not understand, you need to proceed. This is designed to help them experience what this might be like for a new arrival.

(Time guide: 15 minutes)


Slide 13 – Reflect on what it’s like to be a new arrival

After listening to the new language experience, in pairs, participants answer the questions in Activity 1.1 (Shared Document).

  • How do you feel? (for example, frightened, confused, frustrated)
  • What do you need? (for example, time, repetition, moral support, visuals)
  • How can the teacher provide this? (for example: spend time preparing, give special support, differentiate)
  • What problems does the teacher face with offering this provision? (for example, finding time to prepare such an enormous amount of resources and planning separately for a new arrival)

Explain to participants:

This course is about finding helpful solutions to the difficult yet rewarding task of supporting young EAL learners on many levels in the mainstream, e.g. in cultural transition, assessment, accommodating for different levels of proficiency in class.

(Time guide: 10 minutes)


Slide 14 – Is it really an issue?

Highlight the importance of success and share the quotes emphasising:

  • Children must feel safe, settled, valued and have a sense of belonging to the class. Learners will struggle to learn if they are not feeling comfortable in their environment or if they find tasks too challenging to accomplish.
  • Low self-esteem can be the result of early frustrations and language-related difficulties in school and a cycle of failure must not be allowed to develop. This is not confined to learners who are new to English. It also includes those who don’t learn the fundamentals of English and can struggle to be successful later – especially in writing.


Slide 15 – The major factor hindering students’ learning is limited proficiency in English

Give some thought to factors that hinder children’s learning if they have limited proficiency in English.

Each point has an example. Read each bullet point and provide an example or comment for each (see the notes in brackets after each point):

Learners of English as an additional language need support in:

  • Producing and understanding the sounds in English that differ from their first language (for example: in Arabic gh, r sound, in Thai ng sound – think of your own example)
  • Distinguishing between different sounds in English (For example: bed/pet, hard/heart/art)
  • Understanding oral sets of instructions (This requires time)
  • Processing language that is expressed quickly (slow right down)
  • Understanding and using appropriate intonation and stress (give an example, e.g. coffee as a word without meaning and ‘coffee?’ as a question)
  • Following whole group interactions (especially when everyone else is competent)
  • Understanding and using statements, questions, offers and commands (how might they know the difference?)
  • Understanding the meaning of particular language features in texts which we might take for granted, such as prepositions (some of which are omitted in some languages and used differently in others)
  • Understanding oral texts not supported by visual/concrete cues (think back to the first attempt of listening to the story with no support visually…)
  • Learning appropriate non-verbal communication (use an example of how different hand signals mean different things in other languages, e.g. the signal for ‘go away’ in English is the signal for ‘come here’ in Thai)
  • Identifying the key words in a message (they are unlikely to understand all of the sentence)
  • Putting words in the right order (does their home language follow the same pattern as English? Subject, verb, object…)
  • Understanding new vocabulary, especially increasing technical language (technical language used during the teaching of different subjects/topic in addition to survival language can leave children with the difficult decision of which to prioritise)
  • Understanding lexical metaphor (for example: ‘I’m pulling your leg’ or ‘time flies’ or ‘pull your socks up’)
  • Learning the appropriate language for playing collaboratively (so they can socialise)
  • Learning the appropriate language to interact socially with adults and peers (a more formal style for adults that is different to when they interact with peers)

There are other factors that hinder the EAL learner written in the pre-session reading activity by Jupp, 1996. Please also refer to this in the pre-session information in the Participant’s Handbook.

 (Time guide: 10 minutes)

Slide 16 – Internal factors affecting second language acquisition 

Explain the internal factors in language learning:

Some key internal:

  • Intelligence
  • Language aptitude
  • Learner beliefs
  • Motivation
  • Willingness to communicate
  • Language anxiety
  • Personality
  • Learning Style

Ellis, R. 2015, Understanding Second Language Acquisition, Oxford 


Slide 17 – External factors affecting second language acquisition 

Explain the external factors in language learning:

  • Age – the learner’s level of development and resulting ultimate attainment 
  • First language 
    • Language transfer – how much transfer will be made from the first to the second language will depend on their first language foundations
    • Linguistic difference – how distance is their first language from their second language? e.g. English and Arabic is very different and English and French is not as different.
  • Learner attitudes – there are different kinds of motivation  
  • Ethnic identity – often culture influences their learning habits 
  • Language input – what language learning inputs or instruction are they receiving?

See Further learning – Strategies for raising students’ motivation 

Ellis, R. 2015, Understanding Second Language Acquisition, Oxford 


Slide 18 – Let’s try a dictogloss

Explain the purpose of this dictogloss activity:

  1. To support participants in learning about young language learners.
  2. To provide participants with a tool to help EAL learners practise speaking, listening, reading and writing in one easy activity.


Slide 19 – Let’s try a dictogloss 2

Explain the dictogloss procedures on the slide.

Begin with reading the following and then go through each step listed on the slide. Participants must try to reconstruct the text exactly as it is read (Activity 1.2):

“It is important to remind ourselves that we are expecting our young learners to achieve survival language, intermediate then advanced proficiency as well as academic language proficiency almost immediately in order to access their curriculum. It is not a short term learning experience. Evidence suggests that it takes between five to seven years to achieve native like proficiency.”
August & Hakuta, 1997; Cummins, 1981; Lindholm-Leary & Borsato, 2006; Thomas & Collier, 2002 in Welcoming Linguistic diversity in Early Childhood Classrooms, Murphy, 2011.


  • Why is it important for learners to make an exact reconstruction? (It helps learners to lean and use new language structures and vocabulary)
  • What do participants think about the quote?

Reiterate to participants:

  • It takes 5-7 years to learn more complex language
  • The importance of catering for:
  • survival language
  • intermediate language
  • advanced language
  • academic language

(Time guide: 10 minutes)


Slide 20 – Factors to consider when young learners acquire an additional language

Provide the participants with 5-10 minutes to read ‘Further Reading: young language learners’ in Strand 1. Answer the questions in the Shared Document (Activity 1.3).

The first 2 questions will have been answered in the dictogloss.

(Time guide: 10 minutes)

What are the four stages of early language learning?

  1. A period of time when children continue to use their home languages in the second language situation (this is usually a brief period).
  2. When they discover their home language does not work in this situation, children enter a non-verbal period as they collect information about the new language and perhaps spend time in sound experimentation. This period of time is when survival language is necessary (see survival language resource file).
  3. Children begin to ‘go public’, using individual words and phrases in the new language. This is usually in the form of “repetition and language play, use of formulae, routine and single words” (Drury and Robertson, 2008). For example, this may be from memorised rhymes or models of phrases or sentences where children start to use words interchangeably.
  4. Children begin to develop productive use of the second language. This is the beginning of children developing more efficient use of language and more complex English.

Can you name some strategies to help in the non-verbal stage?

Clarke (1992, p17-18) highlights strategies to support children’s language development at the non-verbal or ‘silent’ second stage:

  • continued talking even when children do not respond
  • persistent inclusion in small groups with other children
  • use of varied questions
  • inclusion of other children as the focus in the conversation
  • use of the first language
  • acceptance of non-verbal responses
  • praising of minimal effort
  • expectations to respond with repeated words and/or counting
  • structuring of programme to encourage child-to-child interactions
  • provision of activities that reinforce language practice through role-play.

Name some differences between older and younger learners identified by Dimroth?

Findings by Dimroth (2008) highlight some differences between older and younger learners. These findings show that older learners stick to one-to-one mapping between word order and information structure for a longer time than younger learners. For example, older learners spend more time on forming better word order in sentences than younger learners. Dimroth also notes that transfer of language has a huge impact on the adoption of a new language; due to a young learner’s prior language limitations, this will have an effect on new language acquisition. Findings also show that children’s ability to judge the complexity and usefulness of language learning tasks, as well as their ability to make informed choices in language learning, differ greatly from older learners. Additionally, most older learners make random but clever choices, in comparison with their younger counterparts. This requires a deeper understanding of the functioning of a language and communication, which younger learners don’t seem to have. Consequently, guidance for younger learners in their quest for English language acquisition is needed.

On a more positive note, Dimroth finds that younger learners copy forms of language from the input, resulting in more practice of the target language, whereas older learners may not attempt this, feeling that it’s not worthwhile. This aspect can be utilised positively in role-plays and in general open discussions, where children are encouraged to speak.

What is metacognition and why is this significant?

Effective metacognition in language learning can be a powerful tool to support language learning. Metacognition is simply defined as ‘thinking about thinking’. Anderson (2002) describes metacognitive learners as “knowing what to do when they don’t know what to do”. It’s about being able to self-regulate your own learning. Findings show that children who acquire regulatory skills succeed at challenging tasks (Zimmerman, 2002). Children have a grasp of the cognitive process from school age, but their ability to self-regulate is not developed. Parents and teachers can foster self-regulation through guidance, for example, by providing models of effective language learning strategies or by emphasising the value of self-correction. Metacognitive language learning strategies can be pre-taught through strategy instruction.


Slide 21 – Iceberg Model of Language Interdependence


Any new arrival entering the English-speaking mainstream will want to access the common language as quickly as possible in order to ‘survive’. This type of language is referred to by Cummins (2003) as Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS): the skills needed for oral fluency and for developing appropriate social language (seen in the diagram here as language that appears above the water – visible language). This is often referred to as ‘survival language’ or ‘everyday language’ at Across Cultures. This level of language needs to be achieved, alongside cognitive/academic language proficiency (CALP). CALP refers to the linguistic knowledge and literacy skills needed for academic proficiency (seen in the diagram here as language that appears under the water, often unseen or unused in everyday situations).


  • Is there someone in the room who feels comfortable talking about one topic in one language and another topic in another language? Why?
  • Imagine you spoke a second language in school and learnt all the academic language to go with those topics at school. You then went home, did your homework, and continued your day speaking your home language. It’s more than likely that you wouldn’t be as competent in both languages in the same topics.

Often learners have varied levels of proficiency in each language for different situations, e.g. the language of the home and the language of school.

Sometimes, a language learner stops using one language and the other begins to dominate. In these cases, there is a danger of subtractive bilingualism (an additional language at the expense of the first). We must foster both in order to enjoy additive bilingualism (an additional language gained whilst the first language continues to be fostered).

The illustration here shows that “Conceptual knowledge developed in one language helps to make input in the other language comprehensible.” Cummins (2000). For example, if a learner has a  fundamental understanding of the concept of fairness in one language, they can immediately translate this concept into another language, rather than relearning the concept.

More information – Using your home language (Strand 1) can be assigned as post-session reading.


Slide 22 – Home language

Read the slide which emphasises the importance of home language to support learning in English and to foster a learner’s identity.


Slide 23 – Translanguaging

The use of different languages together (translanguaging) can be a support tool for learning. Watch the video on Ofelia Garcia ‘What is Translanguaging?’

Ask participants:

  • Is the home language taught at your school?
  • Are learners using their home language to support their learning across the curriculum?
  • How can learners use all their language resources to support learning?

Ask participants to reflect on the questions (Activity 1.4 and 1.5).

On completion, refer to ‘More information – some ideas to support students’ home language development’.

Participants can highlight useful ideas.

(Time guide: 10 minutes)


Slide 24 – Explain to parents

Read the slide containing advice to provide to parents


Slide 25 – Pre-learning in the home language


Consider what learners could achieve in their home language in advance of learning topics in class.

The content of home projects do not need to be the same as the curriculum topics. However, if you are learning about life in a small, European village on the coast in class, perhaps the home project could be about life in a small village on a coast in a different country.

Consequently, learners would develop vocabulary in their home language which could then be used to articulate themselves in English.

Slide 26 – Post-session reading

All participants should ensure they read the ‘More information’ sections within Strand 1 that have not been covered in the session.

Slide 27 – Reflection and Action Points

Allow participants 5 minutes’ reflection time to add to their Reflection and Action Points notes.

Ask the participants to look back at the session in their handbook – how could this work in their context?

Tasks for participants:

  • Are there practical tasks found in this session you can ask participants to try out themselves?
  • Can they then feedback on these tasks in a follow-up session or at a later date?
Across Cultures

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