Supporting EAL Learners

by Helen Robinson

With the introduction of Progress 8, just a few students who are held back by language barriers can have an impact on overall school results. These students face the dual challenges of learning a new language and a new curriculum – so how can schools support them to reach their full potential?

Tracking language acquisition progress

As well as tracking students' progress through the curriculum, it is important to track the language skills which accompany them. As this Bell Foundation research highlights, while a student may be conversationally fluent, they may struggle with key academic vocabulary, which can trip them up in exams.

By using a personalised progress tracker of skill descriptors that relate to language acquisition, you can make sure that students are on track with the deeper development of their language skills.

Sharing their progress

When students can see their achievements and understand what to work on to improve, they are able to steadily gain confidence and take ownership of their learning. It is also important to regularly communicate this home so parents can see results.

Through Doddle this is achieved via an accessible homework and progress platform, where parents can view assignments and results as well as RAG rated specific skill statements to identify student strengths and weaknesses.

Independent access to resources

EAL learners may need more time to study the materials covered in lessons. By giving them independent access to these resources, students can catch up on work they may have missed, and read ahead to be prepared for other lessons. 

Whilst there are many ways for students to independently access resources to help their learning, with Doddle this can be achieved through individual accounts where students can browse for relevant resources to help themselves target areas in need of development.

Audio-visual supported learning

All learners are likely to disengage if they lose track of what is being taught, and this can be a particular challenge with EAL learners. To engage EAL learners and help them to keep on track, it is important to include a variety of learning media such as illustrations, animations and audio. The interactive presentations and self-marking quizzes within Doddle include a range of multimedia and key term glossaries to engage all students and optimise learning.

To find out how Doddle can support all your students, book a free in-school visit with one of our expert Education Advisers.

Share this post:

As a Doddle Education Adviser I work with lots of different people involved in education. As a qualified teacher myself, it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to work with so many teachers using Doddle to help improve outcomes for their students. With my background in Cognitive Neuroscience, I’m always keen to look analytically at the ways in which Doddle is helping staff and students across the country.

– Helen Robinson


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