English language proficiency and attainment of EAL (English as second language) pupils in England

Feyisa Demie
2018 Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development  
Peer-reviewed Citation for published item: Demie, F. (2018) 'English language prociency and attainment of EAL (English as second language) pupils in England.', Journal of multilingual and multicultural development., 39 (7) . 641-653 . The full-text may be used and/or reproduced, and given to third parties in any format or medium, without prior permission or charge, for personal research or study, educational, or not-for-prot purposes provided that: • a full bibliographic reference is made to
more » ... rence is made to the original source • a link is made to the metadata record in DRO • the full-text is not changed in any way The full-text must not be sold in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders. Please consult the full DRO policy for further details. Abstract This paper aims to examine English as an Additional Language (EAL) pupils' English proficiency and its impact on attainment to improve our knowledge about EAL pupils and how they might be supported in the classroom. The study considers empirical evidence from an inner London Local Authority (LA). The data for EAL proficiency was collected from 17,571 EAL pupils. The sample for performance analysis consisted of 2,957 pupils who had completed Key Stage 2 (KS2) and 1,953 General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). The main findings of the KS2 attainment data using the new national EAL proficiency stages in England shows that no-one at stage A (New to English) achieved the expected standard of achievement compared to 12% at stage B (Early Acquisition), 56% at stage C (Developing Competency), 66% at stage D (Competent), 85% at stage E (Fluent in English) and English only (71%). Similar findings also emerged from the analysis of GCSE data at the end of secondary education. Overall the findings of the research confirm that there is a strong relationship between stage of proficiency in English and educational attainment. The results also suggest that the percentage of pupils attaining expected outcomes or above at KS2 and GCSE increased as stage of proficiency in English increased. Pupils in the early stages of English proficiency performed at low levels, while the achievement of EAL pupils who were fully fluent in English far outstripped that of pupils for whom English was their only language. The conclusion from the study is that the national EAL pupils' English proficiency stages is useful as a diagnostic tool to analyse needs for future teaching focus, tracking progress and to provide baseline information for statistical purposes. Policy and research implications are discussed in the final section. Key Words: English as an Additional Languages, language proficiency, Attainment, Key Stage 2 and General Certificate of Secondary Education . 1. Recent studies have examined the effect of stages of English proficiency on attainment at Key Stage 2 tests (KS2) and General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). For example, the analyses of the national KS2 test results and GSCE examination results for pupils in an inner London Local Authority (LA) by levels of English language proficiency show that EAL pupils at the early stages of
doi:10.1080/01434632.2017.1420658 fatcat:4fkqtuyx2zh2vmn7isms4epq24