Identifying SEND

EAL is not a special need, but a small number of children with EAL also have special needs. If a pupil is suspected of having learning difficulties or delay, liaise with the SENCO to gather and consider information pertaining to:

– Have EAL strategies been used in teaching and tasks?

– What is the level of first language competency? 

– Low levels of fluency in the first language as well as slow progress in English can indicate SEND.

– Are there background circumstances which may be affecting progress?

– Are there any medical needs which have been missed?

The materials below will guide you through this process: 


Lambeth Mother Tongue Assessment (for ages 4 – 11) An Initial Screening for SEN in Primary-aged EAL children

Mother Tongue Assessment Pack

Another excellent MTA pack written in 2012 by Angelika Baxter, EMA Adviser for Mid-South Essex for use from EYFS through Keystage 4

Essex First Language Assessment

And Hertfordshire LA Flag Guidelines

If a learner has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, ensure any aims/ teaching also incorporate EAL targets and strategies.
 Resources to support deaf learners who use EAL