A Review of Potential Teacher Development Opportunities in Improving Literacy Skills of Eal Pupils

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TABLE OF CONTENT Topics Page Numbers ______________________________________________________________________________

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Introduction……………………………………………………………....………3 – 4 English as an Additional Language Classrooms in England……………........... 5 – 7 Relevance of Formative Assessment in EAL…………………….…….…....…. 7 – 8 Issues in Assessing English as an Additional Language……………………….. 8 – 11 Teacher Professional Development: Novice to Expert?.................................... 11 – 12 Teacher Professional Development Strategies in EAL…………………….…...13 – 15 Suggestions to Overcome Issues in EAL……………………………………… 15 – 17 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………...… 17 – 19 References…………………………………………….…………………….…. 20 – 22 Appendices o Appendix A…………………………………………………………..…….23 o Appendix B…………………………………………………………………24

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A Review of Potential Teacher Development Opportunities in Improving Literacy Skills of EAL Pupils Introduction This evaluative essay focuses on reviewing teacher professional development strategies in using assessment for learning (AfL) to improve English as an additional language (EAL) for primary pupils in England. Teaching is a difficult job. Improvement and constant development are therefore necessary to ease the burden of hardworking teachers. As a result, teacher professional development is a mandatory requirement in many jurisdictions (Wiliam, 2011). Shimahara (1998) stated that teacher professional development is a typical concern in industrialized countries because it is the key to improving teaching. However, William (2011) mentioned that teachers feel inundated as they are continuously ‘bombarded’ with innovative strategies to increase their working efficiency. Keeping teacher professional development in mind, the focus here also relates to the teaching and learning of English as an additional language. Globalisation plays a major role in stressing equal opportunities and social equity for all learners. Due to the long tradition of migration trends across the globe, the international concerns also encompass of contextualise social justice for multi-lingual learners (Cajkler and Hall, 2009). To highlight this matter, a statistic from the Department for Education in 2011 shows an increased in the number of ethnic minority pupils in English state funded primary schools (DfE, 2011). This reflects the circumstance of England primary schools where pupils whose first language is other than English has increased in number. The urgency of this matter is supported by Ofsted (2012) by stating that English has a momentous position in the school curriculum. Thus, teachers’ 2

strategies to tackle this situation become the centre of attention. Where the English language has served as a lingua franca for ethnic minority pupils in England, literacy skills play an important role in their academic and everyday routines as well. By putting forward the two important aspects of this essay; teacher professional development and EAL in primary schools, it is only necessary to mention the relevance of combining both of these aspects in a topic for discussion. With all due respect to other core subjects in the curriculum, the reality of teaching as a difficult job and a statement made by National Association for Language Development in Curriculum (NALDIC, 2009:1) on EAL that it is a ‘very complex phenomenon’, seem to have formidable implications for teacher professional development. Educational reforms such as curriculum reform, does not guarantee necessary changes in classroom practices. It is well known that how a subject is taught wins over what is taught, hence ‘pedagogy trumps curriculum’ (Wiliam, 2011:13). Therefore, when curriculum frameworks only work as far as guiding teachers in dealing with EAL, thus assessment for learning (AfL) is then best integrated in pedagogy to further develop the practice of serving teachers and raise pupils’ achievements.

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English as an Additional Language Classrooms in...
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