Reflections on my EAL role

I’ve just finished a stint working in English as an Additional Language (EAL) at an international school. It’s been a really interesting experience, and one that has changed my direction in both teaching and writing.

I know many teachers (especially in this part of the world) who are moving/have moved from EFL roles at places like British Council and into international school EAL roles. Here are a few things I’ve learnt or reflected on after making that move. Some are general, others more subjective and relate to my specific role at the previous school.

From soft- to hard-CLIL

Teachers moving from EFL into EAL should prepare for big changes to the content you’ll teach. Some of us TEFLers will be used to teaching ‘CLIL in name only’ or using coursebook resources of that ilk – theme-based, general, vehicle for language instruction more than content, etc. However, EAL is about helping learners get to grips with deeper academic content across subjects.

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