An investigation into practitioners’ perceptions of the needs of pupils with English as an additional language in the Foundation Phase Curriculum
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An extensive review of the literature showed that there are many strategies and resources in place to meet the needs of pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL). However, the literature didn’t recognise that pupils with EAL have social, emotional and personal needs and only concentrated on their academic needs.Therefore, this study investigates practitioners’ perceptions of the needs of pupils with EAL in the Foundation Phase (FP) of one primary school. The following three research questions have been explored; what are practitioners’ perceptions of the perceived needs of pupils with EAL within the FP?; What strategies and resources do they use to help meet the needs of pupils with EAL? and What are the perceived challenges in meeting the needs of pupils with EAL?.Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven practitioners(appendix 1) and narrative observations took place in three FP classes which focussed on the strategies and resources that practitioners use to meet the academic needs of pupils with EAL (appendix 2). Two research methods were used to triangulate the findings and to increase the validity of the study. The thematic coding of data showed that most practitioners were aware of the needs of pupils with EAL and had strategies and resources in place to help meet their needs. However, practitioners did highlight that they face challenges when trying to meet the needs of pupils with EAL due to lack of funding and the language barrier. These findings were then compared and contrasted to the information in the literature review.On completion of this study, it was found that practitioners are aware of the needs of pupils with EAL and have strategies and resources in place to meet some of these needs. However, there is a need for further research on a larger scale in this area.
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Educational Studies and Early Childhood Studies
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