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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
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
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.
Bilingual Pupils with Special Educational Needs - Assessment and Intervention - Raz Alpren and Judith McCall.
For further information contact:
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.
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.
(Deryn Hall has proposed a similar hypothesis testing approach in "Assessing the Needs of Bilingual Pupils - Living in Two Languages". 1995)