How Effectively Are Mainstream Teachers Prepared to Meet the Needs of Learners for Whom English Is an Additional Language?
There is a consensus in the international literature that insufficient attention has been given in Initial Teacher Education programmes to preparing novice teachers to support learners for whom English is an Additional Language (EAL). This chapter reports on a research and development study which has sought to make a contribution to addressing this gap. The study examined the current preparation of teacher education students to meet the needs of EAL learners in two Scottish university schools of Education; and explored how provision could best be developed in these two sites and more widely within the UK. The chapter frames this project within relevant international literature that has delineated the challenges faced by EAL learners, and identified issues related to second language acquisition, language diversity and literacies. A synoptic description is given of the design of the study and of the developmental intervention at its centre which aimed to provide student teachers with an initial orientation to the needs of EAL learners. Findings related to a survey of teacher educators in these two sites are then reported, followed by findings concerning the student teachers. The chapter concludes by considering the lessons for policy and practice in Initial Teacher Education that appear to flow from this project; and it is argued that a truly inclusive approach to EAL learners needs to be framed as part of a wider agenda of social justice and informed by theoretical perspectives that bring out the connections between language, literacies, culture, identity and power.
KeywordsTeacher Educator Student Teacher Teacher Education Programme Continue Professional developmentProfessionaldevelopment Novice Teacher
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