The Telegraph is reporting warnings from the ATL conference that British pupils are suffering because teachers are struggling to cope with an influx of foreign students speaking a total of 400 different languages…
UK schools are educating a rising number of students for whom English is an additional language (EAL), but teachers have limited time and resources to deal with these students.
One in six primary school pupils in England do not have English as their first language and they are being educated in areas where there were previously no EAL students.
Joy Wilson of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said that pressure on teachers meant they had put aside training on how to deal with bilingual students to focus on more demanding priorities.
This meant, however, that British pupils’ education was under threat, as teachers lack the training to handle the complexities of EAL pupils….
The comments emerged during a motion on providing more funding for schools with increasing numbers of pupils who do not have English as a first language. It was passed by members of the ATL, at their annual conference in Liverpool.
Despite concerns, there is evidence that pupils with English as a second language outperform native speakers.
Department for Education figures published earlier this year showed that pupils who have English as a second language are more likely to gain the “English Baccalaureate” than native speakers.
And this, surely, is one of the reasons why a song and dance about maintaining schools budgets is just not good enough.
To cope effectively with the education of such unprecendented numbers of EAL students, as well the native English speakers who might otherwise be neglected, is bound to require more money. It is also immensly important for integration and the future of the country.
Surely a priority for investment if ever there was one?
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