Teacher Standards

EAL Assessment- TS6b

TS6b. make use of formative and summative assessment to secure pupils’ progress 


‘It is important to assess both their achievement and their attainment, in ways that recognise and value the full range of their experience, knowledge and skills’ (Conteh, 2012)

For children whose first language is not English, it can be difficult to assess their attainment using the national standardised tests without placing demands on their English language capabilities. It is therefore possible that accurate assessments of knowledge in Maths and Science for example cannot be made as the language proves to be a barrier. Conteh (2012) also recognises that ideas and content could be interpreted in different ways to those from different cultures

It is suggested that it may be more appropriate to assess maths or science in an EAL child’s first language in order to remove the language barrier and possibly gain more revealing results of capability. (We want to assess the child’s maths/science ability, not their ability to read and understand a question).     Upon reflection, I feel that this may also be true for many children, not just those with EAL and would like to set myself the target of keeping this is mind when carrying out formative assessments)

Assessing EAL learners

  • it is important not to interpret a language need (EAL) as a learning need (SEN)
  • consider using home language where necessary and heplful – cognitively demanding, context embedded activities
  • allow time for observation – write down things that seem significant (EYFS practice) – ETHICAL ISSUES
  • build a profile before the learner joins the school (name/ place of birth/ date of arrival/ family members/ languages used at home/ interpreter needed for parents?…)
  • collect range of evidence of achievements across curriculum at different stages

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