• Question: I’d like to get some advice on how to motivate EAL pupils. I have a class in my second school placement with majority of the pupils being EAL and struggling to understand scientific terminology. What strategies would you implement particularly for EAL pupils in terms of attention/motivation?

    Asked by tutku to Mike, Lorna, Kathryn, Gaia, Courtenay on 28 Feb 2018.
    • Photo: Gaia Scerif

      Gaia Scerif answered on 28 Feb 2018:

      Key word bingo intermixed with games / group work that gets to understanding the meaning of the scientific terms you’d like them to learn, but then consolidating them in game format.

    • Photo: Mike Hobbiss

      Mike Hobbiss answered on 28 Feb 2018:

      Sounds a challenging situation. The EAL position clearly adds an extra layer of challenge for the student, but I would treat the key words as another piece of factual information that they need to know, and try to encourage them to learn this factual information using the best techniques we know of for learning information, i.e. lots of low-states quizzes and testing, repeated and spaced out across the year. Add in some rewards for good performance (or even a ‘mastery’ requirement, where they re-take the quiz until they have got 100% and then you make a huge thing of them having got 100%), and repeat this regularly. Hopefully, then the key words will start to stick, and the other understanding can begin to stick around those.