Young migrant learners helped to access learning

Wednesday 12 March 2014

New partnership between the British Council, The Bell Foundation and National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC) supports learners with English as an Additional Language (EAL)

A new initiative is helping young migrants access learning in schools, in the community and in society, it has been announced today (12 March 2014).

The EAL Nexus programme which benefits from the expertise of a partnership between the British Council, The Bell Foundation and National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC) provides opportunities to enhance the learning of English to promote intercultural dialogue and social cohesion.

Co-funded by the European fund for the integration of third country nationals (TCN), the programme plans to directly engage with almost 600 teachers and 450 TCN learners across the country with an overall aim to indirectly reach 17,700 learners and teachers.

Working with children and young people who speak English as an Additional Language, their parents and families, and their teachers, the programme will aim to better understand the complexities associated with EAL learning to help improve the experience of learners and teachers in the EAL setting.

As part of the programme, a unique website with a searchable database of quality assured materials for teachers to use with EAL learners will be developed whilst partnerships with EAL experts will support and create platforms for discussions around EAL in the UK. It is also hoped that the programme will build capacity in the EAL sector, as well as help to provide better support to parents and families of EAL learners within the wider community.

Commenting on the project, Anna Searle, Director English at the British Council said: “With over one million EAL learners in UK schools, it is important that projects like EAL Nexus are in place to ensure these learners and their teachers are well supported in their learning.

“It is fantastic to be combining our expertise in English LanguageTeaching with that of The Bell Foundation and NALDIC to bring this programme to EAL learners and their teachers across the UK. We hope that this unique partnership will allow us to make strong progress in developing the EAL sector and will ultimately ensure that young migrant learners feel included within the educational setting, as well as in the wider community.”

Diana Sutton, Director of The Bell Foundation said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership to deliver much needed training, resources and expertise to support children with English as an additional language.  This project comes at a time when numbers of children are rising, resources are declining and some children are not achieving to their full potential.”

Yvonne Foley, NALDIC Chair said: “We welcome this opportunity to work with colleagues to promote the quality of the educational provision for pupils with English as an additional language.  The nature of EAL is constantly changing because of the dynamic nature of the language and cultural developments across different communities served by schools.  We are proud to offer our expertise.”

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact Kristen McNicoll in the British Council Press Office on +44 (0)207 389 4967 or kristen.mcnicoll@britishcouncil.org

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover which last year was £781m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org/.

About The Bell Foundation

The Bell Foundation was established in 2012 with a mission to change lives and overcome exclusion through language education.   The Foundation works in two thematic areas: children with English as an additional language and offenders with literacy and language needs in the UK. The Foundation works in partnership, in the UK, to create opportunities and change lives through language education for excluded individuals and communities, with the aim of changing practice, policy and public opinion through evidence. www.bell-foundation.org.uk. For more information on The Bell Foundation, follow http://twitter.com/BellFoundation.

About NALDIC

NALDIC is the national subject association for English as an additional language (EAL). Our mission is to promote the effective teaching and learning of EAL and bilingual learners. For more information, please visit: www.naldic.org.uk or keep in touch through http://twitter.com/naldic.