In March, the Tutor Trust held CPD events to provide advice for any tutors with EAL (English as an Additional Language) pupils. These are pupils who are not native English speakers and might have less developed English skills than others in their year groups or tutoring sessions. This can pose difficulties for tutors, so we conducted this CPD in all three cities to ensure they are prepared for any sessions they may have with EAL students.

Of the school pupils that Tutor Trust supports, 28% of primary pupils are EAL, whilst for secondary school this figure is 20%. Research shows it’s possible for EAL pupils to take between 5-7 years to operate on a par with their monolingual peers. With Tutor Trust’s intervention, these pupils can receive the extra attention and support needed to reduce this learning disadvantage.

Our CPD sessions took place on the university campuses of Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool and were led by our three Quality Managers, Jenny, Matt and Jo. They covered the potential problems that EAL pupils and tutors of EAL pupils encounter, approaches for overcoming these problems and practice for future assignments they may have with EAL learners. Some of our tutors have already worked with EAL pupils whereas others had said they felt less confident about the idea of tutoring them. We therefore wanted to provide our tutors with an opportunity to share their own experiences and learn from one another.

All our tutors described the CPD as either ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’. One said that the thing they found most useful was “hearing about others’ experiences” as this would allow them to “learn tips from them”. We provided our tutors with a variety of resources and techniques for teaching to EAL pupils. For example, flash cards and graphics that can be used to communicate ideas visually in lessons were popular amongst the tutors. One tutor even specified that they found “resources with useful techniques/activities to use in sessions” most valuable.

The quality of materials provided for the tutors and the positive feedback they gave reassured us that attendees will now be prepared for any assignments and experiences they might have with EAL pupils.

Thank you to those who attended this CPD – keep an eye out for the next event coming up!