Role and responsibilities of the EAL Coordinator in a secondary school

Your school might have set out a detailed job description for the post. If not, here are some guidelines. They are based on the idea that you are a qualified teacher with some years of experience and at least some departmental staff:

When you first take on this role it is a good idea to find out what is currently happening and build on that …

  • Promote diversity around the school. (Gently) Encourage all staff and pupils to talk about their own bilingualism. Foster the idea that speaking more than one language is a desirable skill. Put up posters.
  • Keep up to date records of all pupils with EAL, the languages they speak, their level of English proficiency, first language literacy, the time spent in the UK, previous education and the amount and type of extra support given to them.
  • Circulate all non confidential data to all other teachers so they are all clear about what is going on.
  • Organise a limited withdrawal timetable for absolute beginners/very early stage English learners only. Regularly review pupil progress and tailor future support to reflect this. Our aim is to minimise time spent out of the mainstream.
  • Provide a programme of in-class support for pupils needing it in mainstream lessons. Meet with mainstream teachers to plan.
  • Organise an EAL option in Key Stage 4 with a final, nationally recognised examination, for pupils arriving in Year 9 plus. Liaise with the Heads of Year, Exam officer and Modern Foreign Language department to ensure that all pupils in the school with reasonable use of first languages are entered for exams and some tuition / exam practice is on offer for them.
  • Provide a hub in a classroom or the library for new pupils to meet and socialise. Provide verbal and non-verbal games. Encourage friendly good English speakers to join in.
  • Liaise with the librarian to provide translated classics, bilingual texts and easy readers suitable for young teens.
  • Liaise with Pastoral leaders, SEND, Inclusion and other agencies regarding pupils with special needs, those who are looked after, require free school meals, can claim grants and other issues.
  • Communicate with parents, attend parent evenings, include a language progress report in assessments alongside subject reports.
  • Stay up to date with government regulations, OFSTED advice, access arrangements for GCSE exams and relevant research.
  • Offer in school training to interested staff. This can be during departmental meetings in all departments, on INSET days and after school. Provide in school certification to everyone completing a training programme.

See Also:

Useful websites on the secondary home page

Training slides for teachers