I received a really ‘warm welcome’ from St George’s First School in Redditch on the 2nd September. The training requested was ‘supporting EAL learners in the classroom’ During the day I incorporated a range of activities suitable for all learning styles; videos, a presentation, practical and written group and individual work activities.
We started the morning with a lovely activity in which the TAs reminded themselves of the complex and rather busy job of a TA. Hence the TAs produced some super pictures of what they thought a typical TA looked like in terms of qualities and aspects of the role. We looked into linguistic theory of learning a language, stages of an EAL learner and putting ourselves ‘in the shoes’ of an EAL learner. During the afternoon we looked at a number of different ways to support EAL learners within the classroom such as recasting, modelling and went on to discuss the importance of using plenty of creative and stimulating visual materials to support the children’s learning. We briefly looked at Bloom’s model of questioning and the importance of self-reflection.
The TAs at St George’s demonstrated a range of existing skills and knowledge whilst at the same time were open to new ideas and reflection on existing practice. This receptiveness to training ensured that they were all open to new ideas and yet happy to revise existing practice.
I really enjoyed my day at St George’s working with a real mix of TAs, both new and more experienced. All of whom demonstrated positivity and a real enthusiasm for working with the children in school.
Verbal feedback and feedback from the evaluations was extremely encouraging and it would seem that the TAs really benefitted from the subject areas covered. The deputy commented that she would be able to follow up on some of the subjects covered in forthcoming CPD sessions. For example on the importance of quality questioning and BLOOM.