#TLT16: Workshop 1

Kamil Trzebiatowski is talking about EAL students and using academic language.

As competent language users, we don’t see the language: it is like a window through which we look at the content. For children who struggle with it, the glass is frosted.

The Prism Model helps students catch up with their native speaking peers. The triple focus must be language, academic AND cognitive development. So, withdrawal doesn’t necessarily work because it removes them from the school.

Children will develop BICS on their own, just more quickly with school intervention. CALP takes much longer – 5-7 years to reach the same level as their peers. Students need CALP to get at least a C in English.

EAL students have to learn English, plus the curriculum content, plus social language, plus culturally-embedded social practicrs: following the teacher’s gaze, knocking on the door etc. They have to make MORE progress just to keep up.

Strategies. If you use pictures, they can use the context to understand the words: no need to lower the language level (also promotes high expectations: Ofsted approved!)

Kamil talks us through the A-E EAL grading that has come in this year. At C, many students flat line: this is the area where academic language should begin to come in. He talks us through some examples from each level. This is extremely helpful: it gives me some ideas about what to look out for in my students’ written work.

Kamil sometimes records himself explaining something before a lesson so he can check his use of language ahead of time. Using substitution tables to show how sentences are built up assists EAL students when you’re checking content knowledge:

There was more to this, but the WordPress app ate it. I am no longer trusting the WordPress app with my conference notes. Google Keep FTW.

Trying to piece it together, I know Kamil also talked about using graphic organisers to help students sort out their work, building on the work of (I think) Malbec. Here is one that I thought would work in History, that I photographed:


Here is a link I have found to more of them.

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