Across Cultures – EAL Framework Online Hub

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Welcome to the EAL Framework Online Hub!
This EAL framework provides a structured to support EAL development across the school. 

Understanding EAL learners


Strand 1 of our framework aims to give an understanding of the experience of EAL learners in the mainstream. It illustrates how it feels to experience a foreign language without translation and explains the major factors hindering English language proficiency amongst students. It discusses the importance of supporting learners' mother tongue, and shows how this could be achieved.

Enhanced admissions


Strand 2 discusses the need for enhanced admissions procedures for EAL in schools, with examples of what these should include. It considers the procedures required to communicate the appropriate information to all staff, and presents a sample 'welcome procedure', including the use of buddies. It notes the importance of providing a role for parents and activities to support their own transition, in order to build a learning community.

EAL assessment


In Strand 3, we consider how we should assess EAL learners. We discuss the use of an appropriate assessment continuum, and note how evidence can be used within this. Self-assessment by EAL learners is covered, along with methods of providing feedback. We discuss the frequency and formality of assessment and address the importance of using the assessment continuum to inform learning.



Strand 4 considers the initial 'induction to English' for new EAL learners. It discusses the type of lessons and activities that should be provided to new-to-English learners, including phonics and lessons that link to the school curriculum. It notes the importance of continually assessing learners and of keeping class teachers and parents informed of progress. In addition, this strand sets out the importance of strategies to support learners' language acquisition beyond the classroom.

Planning and differentiation for EAL learners


In Strand 5, we show how to plan differentiation for EAL learners in class. We consider the identification of content- and language-learning challenges, the assessment of content, and the appropriate selection of activities, resources and groups in which EAL learners will work. Strand 6 shows, in a practical way, how to steadily build upon a learner's prior knowledge, moving through the revision of concepts, the application of learning, and finally, the processes of review and reflection.

Focussed scaffolding of language


Strand 7 is all about 'scaffolding' - providing the structures needed for effective learning. We discuss the importance of scaffolding vocabulary and language structures and functions, with the end-goal of learners moving these into their receptive repertoire. We cover pre-learning methods and teaching strategies and emphasise the importance of appropriate grouping to support scaffolding in class.

Supportive use of language learning strategies


In Strand 8, we consider the most effective use of language learning strategies. Free voluntary reading, curriculum-related extended creative writing, role-play and drama, and collaborative speaking and listening activities are just some of the areas discussed. The overall aim is to identify strategies that help learners take ownership of their further language learning, as well as those that assist teachers and parents in supporting this.

Whole school EAL development


In Strand 9, we move from the individual learner and classroom to consider a whole-school approach to EAL, and how to develop this. We discuss the establishment of a working party to empower staff and leaders, with the aim of achieving short-and long-term goals as part of a shared vision for EAL. We provide practical suggestions on developing formal guidelines, in the form of development plans, handbooks and policies.

Additional resources


Here you can find additional resources.

Across Cultures

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