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New language hurdle

Trainee teachers will be expected to show they can support pupils who are learning English as an additional language (EAL) under revised standards introduced last September to gain qualified teacher status.

For the first time, the standards outline how teachers must take into account the needs of EAL pupils in the planning and delivering of lessons. New teachers must analyse the language demands and learning activities of EAL pupils, and, with the help of an experienced teacher, identify their levels of attainment.

Hugh South, former chairman and executive member of the National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (Naldic), described them as "a positive and radical rethink".

He said: "The TTA (which published the standards) have accepted that all teachers can expect to meet children from diverse backgrounds in their teaching career, and need basic knowledge in order to prepare them for that.

"It is an important step forward for the TTA standards to include statements about EAL teaching, so that all teachers are able to address the needs of EAL learners.

"We hope this will cause training institutions to rethink their programmes and build these issues into them. Teachers need to be able to understand there is a difference between EAL pupils and pupils with special educational needs."

Cash boost for Emag, page 34

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