Multilingualism and additional language learning
Here you will find summaries of research papers that relate to multilingualism and additional language learning. Each summary is worded to be reader-friendly, and covers no more than one side of A4. If you have any questions about the research, or would like to know more, please contact us, or the theme leader, Vicky, at email@example.com
A typical English primary school is a fascinating mixture of monolingual, bilingual and multilingual children
Can educational interventions help EAL children improve their English language and literacy skills?
Yes they can. Not every intervention works of course, but many studies have demonstrated that interventions focused on improving English language and literacy skills of EAL pupils (in English speaking countries) can be successful. See: A review of intervention studies examining this issue.
What kind of interventions might help?
The systematic review of interventions aimed at improving English language and literacy has shown that interventions aimed at improving word-level analysis skills can help with the decoding aspects of reading. Interventions aimed at improving vocabulary development (with a particular focus on academic vocabulary for school-aged children) can have a positive impact on the comprehension aspect of reading skills. See the complete review.
A recent update to this review (2018) shows that in the intervening years not much has changed and that there is still a pressing need for more intervention research on best practice for EAL pupils.
Other examples of successful interventions in the early years for developing oral language in EAL pupils are Dockrell, Stuart and King (2010).
This report presents an analysis of data from six local authorities on the Proficiency in English (PiE) of pupils with EAL which was introduced by the DfE, but has since been rescinded. This report illustrates how important PiE is in predicting academic achievement in EAL pupils and illustrates the need for the DfE to reinstate the requirement to collect this data.
Fielding, R., & Harbon, L. (2020)
- Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
- bilingual/CLIL; primary years 3, 5, 7 and 9 (Australia)
- Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian or Korean