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Policies & Guidance

Features of Other Languages: the Basic Differences Between Some of the Asian Languages and English
DCSF - Narrowing the Gap

Resources to support the achievement of Black and minority ethnic, disadvantaged
and gifted and talented pupils. Please note this may no longer reflect current Government policy.

Ofsted

There is supplementary guidance on English as an Additional Language for the Ofsted Inspection Framework which can be downloaded as part of a zip file from the Ofsted web site:

 

First Language Assessments

First Language Assessment Guidelines Revised
Interpretor Request Form

 

References and Links

DCSF
New Arrivals Excellence Programme (NAEP): CPD Modules, April 2008, Ref: 00041-2008FLR-EN

DCSF
New Arrivals Excellence Programme (NAEP): Management Guide, March 2008 Ref: 00041-2008

DCSF
Ensuring the attainment of pupils learning English as an additional language: A management guide, 2007. Ref: 00011-2007BKT-EN

DCSF
Supporting children learning English as an additional language. Guidance for practitioners in the Early years Foundation Stage, 2007. Ref: 00683-2007BKT-EN

DCSF
New Arrivals Excellence Programme Guidance, September 2007. Ref: 00650-2007BKT-EN

DCSF
Raising the attainment of Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Somali and Turkish heritage pupils: A management guide, March 2007. Ref: 00069-2007BKT-EN

DfES
Excellence and Enjoyment: Learning and teaching for bi-lingual children in the primary years. Teaching units to support guided sessions for writing in English as an additional language (pilot materials). March 2007.Ref: 00068-2007FLR-EN

DfES
Excellence and Enjoyment: Learning and teaching for bi-lingual children in the primary years. (EAL Toolkit), October 2006. Ref: 0013-2006PCK-EN

MCB
Towards Greater Understanding - Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils in state schools. Information & Guidance for Schools, February 2007

NFER
Raising the Achievement of Bilingual Learners in Primary Schools. Statistical Analysis, 2007. Ref: RR006

QCA
A Language in Common: Assessing English as an Additional Language, 2000.

 

Bilingual Pupils with SEN

If a bilingual pupil is having difficulties in literacy or in accessing the curriculum it is important to be able to differentiate between a possible learning difficulty and a language difficulty due to lack of experience in using English.

In addition, where a pupil is not making expected progress in school we need to take into account the context in which learning takes place as well as the pupil's strengths and weaknesses. In schools with a supportive ethos, where linguistic and cultural diversity is valued and taken into account in planning the curriculum, where expectations and standards are high and where pupils feel secure and free from racial harassment and bullying, most pupils will make good progress.

Developing bilingual pupils may need time and support to gain sufficient command of English before they can show progress. Improved parental involvement, effective use of first language for learning, additional pastoral support or mentoring and an improved learning context may reduce difficulty. However, some pupils may have additional difficulties, which need careful assessment and planned intervention.

The inclusion agenda places a clear responsibility on whole school strategies to ensure that all pupils have equal access to the curriculum. There is an emphasis on the role of the learning context, the appropriateness of the curriculum and teaching methods and materials. This has implications for teaching and learning, school and classroom organisation and support, deployment of staff, timetabling and curriculum options. There is a conflict between focusing on individual pupils' difficulties, labeling them in relation to that and creating an inclusive environment.

Publication:

Bilingual Pupils with Special Educational Needs - Assessment and Intervention - Raz Alpren and Judith McCall.

For further information contact:
BME Achievement Team
Tel: 01438 844387

Hypothesis Testing Approach

It is not easy to make distinctions between these various needs and when there is concern about the progress of a bilingual pupil, it is important to use a hypothesis testing approach and consider broadly which of the three possible reasons might account for it.

  • The pupil's lack of progress is related to English language acquisition. The pupil needs more time to learn English as an additional language.
  • The pupil's lack of progress is related to factors in the school, home or community.
  • The pupil's lack of progress is related to special educational needs.

It may eventually be a combination of these factors. The important issue is to identify the needs, even if it is not clear what the possible cause of difficulty might be, and make the appropriate provision.

Hypothesis

Questions to Ask

The pupil's lack of progress is related to English language acquisition. The pupil needs more time to learn English as an additional language. Is the support less than expected even with additional support?
Is the pupil's first language competence appropriate for their age and educational experience?
Does the pupil show progress when taught using their first language?
The pupil's lack of progress is related to factors in the school, home or community.

Is lack of progress due to environmental factors rather than a pupil deficit? For example:

  • school ethos
  • learning environment
  • inappropriate curriculum
  • inappropriate strategies
  • racial harrassment (in school or the wider community)
  • bullying
  • trauma
  • lack of parental involvement
  • interrupted schooling
The pupil's lack of progress is related to special educational needs.

Does the pupil have learning difficulties with:

  • cognition and learning
  • general learning difficulties
  • specific learning difficulties
  • communication and interaction
  • speech and/or language difficulties
  • physical impairment

 

 

(Deryn Hall has proposed a similar hypothesis testing approach in "Assessing the Needs of Bilingual Pupils - Living in Two Languages". 1995)