Practitioners' perceptions of meeting the academic needs of EAL pupils at Key Stage 2
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There are a growing number of children from a wide ranging ethnic background and much research has highlighted the need for raising the achievement of EAL. This study was designed within a mainstream primary school setting to explore practitioners' perceptions in meeting the academic needs of pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) at Key Stage 2 (KS2), A qualitative approach to data collection was utilised. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to elicit what practitioners' perceptions were concerning how EAL pupils' academic needs were met at KS2. Observations were also conducted to identify whether teachers perceptions were congruent with what they practiced in teaching EAL pupils. The interviews demonstrated that practitioners had an awareness of EAL practice but the observations revealed that this was not fully practiced in their teaching. The data reflected a number of common issues, namely KS2 practitioners need further training in meeting the academic needs of EAL pupils. Teachers also need training in how to encourage children's home language within classrooms to increase their attainment without language being abarrier. This would facilitate their learning and enable them to be at a level similar to their non-EAL peers. Although the results of this study highlighted some key issues concerning the teaching of EAL pupils, it had some shortcomings and therefore the results should be interpreted with caution. The research was based on a small scale sample, therefore future research should employ arunge of methods and utilise a larger sample size across several mainstream schools to establish consistency of the present research findings.
BA (Hons) Education Studies and Early Childhood Studies
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