SEN, Teaching assistants and EAL

(12 Posts)
turkeylovessprout Fri 26-Feb-16 10:28:08

Ok, so just started on a level 3 TA course for which I need a placement.
Met with my children's school's EAL teacher and I'm gong to be going in each morning to help with the EAL students.
What I am unclear of is the fact that she seemed to out on a limb by herself and not really under the umbrella of the teaching assistants. I think she works in lots of schools and goes in once a week.
they obviously have lots of other teaching assistants but I just assumed EAL came under the SEN umbrella?
I specified that I was interested in EAL as my background is in TEFL so i am really happy to be working with her, but I'm just a bit confused now.
If she is only in once a week, I'm guessing these EAL kids are not getting much help at all, unless the general TAs do it as well.
I am also going to another school who have a literacy programme especially for the EAL kids (meeting next week) and that seems to be along the same lines.
Can anyone clear it up a bit for me?

mrz Fri 26-Feb-16 17:05:46

EAL isn't a special educational need ..

PatriciaHolm Fri 26-Feb-16 17:21:02

EAL is not, in itself, a SEN. Sometimes the EAL coordinator in a school is the Senvo, but it doesn't have to be, and many schools will have a separate EAL lead. Strategies to support SEN needs and EAL needs are very different; what you are describing isn't rare at all.

PatriciaHolm Fri 26-Feb-16 17:21:32

Senco. Not Senvo!

ChalkHearts Fri 26-Feb-16 17:23:56

The EAL pupils are probably not getting much support.

I was at a school that did not have a single resource for EAL pupils. They were just expected to learn English by listening.

turkeylovessprout Fri 26-Feb-16 17:50:30

Thanks so much everyone. That's a great help. I think I'd really like to go down the road of EAL. I'm not sure if QTS is a requisite?
Obviously I don't have QTS but I have thought about it but decided against it. My maths is not very great and the stories I hear have put me off anyway.
I do have a BA and other TEFL qualifications. I wonder if there would be a way into it without QTS.

I'm really enjoying the course so far. It's made me realise I know nothing about the NC and mainstream ed!!

mrz Fri 26-Feb-16 18:59:16

The level if support for EAL will vary depending on need. Some areas/schools will have high numbers of EAL pupils others will have relatively few.
It's common for students to be supported by TAs under the direction of a teacher.
In my area EAL teachers work for the LEA rather than individual schools and offer support to staff rather than work with pupils.

irvine101 Fri 26-Feb-16 20:15:00

I was once a EAL student in US. They didn't give me any regular(as in class) support, but gave me where to go to seek help if I needed. I had a volunteer teacher come in to school and helped me (during breaks and lunch time), also get me in touch with other EAL student. They also assigned me with a student who was willing to help. I was almost secondary age, so needs may be different for younger children though.

turkeylovessprout Fri 26-Feb-16 20:31:33

Irvine, I was in a similar position to you. My parents went out to France when I was about 15. I was put straight into a French school knowing about 4 words!
I did struggle especially in my other subjects.
I'd never had problems in education before, it was the pure lack of language skills.
I didn't have any support in school. I hated it and was very lonely.
This may have something to do with why it interests me.

irvine101 Fri 26-Feb-16 21:11:05

Same for me! I went to America, not able to speak any English. I think you will be a great help for the children, because you know what it feels like. Biggest help I got was from Mexican volunteer teacher, who had gone through learning English and going through school life at the same time when she was younger.

turkeylovessprout Fri 26-Feb-16 22:52:35

When I met some of the children the other day Irvine, it made me feel quite sad actually. Some were fine but there was one little girl, who was about 7, who looked so timid and daunted. She'd only been at the school about 2 weeks.
I'm used to teaching English abroad to native students which is kind of different.
I'm glad your Mexican teacher was able to help you through her experience.
Did it affect your other subjects?

mrz Sat 27-Feb-16 06:06:46

www.thetottenhamindependent.co.uk/news/4257181.display/ the difficulty faced by some schools (with a shrinking budget)

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