What is the EAL in the Mainstream Classroom Project?
The EAL in the Mainstream Classroom was a pilot project funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, The Bell Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy, and delivered by Challenge Partners, in partnership with Hounslow Language Service and Lampton Schoon from 2016-2018. The training programme was completed in summer 2018 but the impact evaluation continues until the release of GCSE results in summer 2019. The University of York have been commissioned by the EEF to conduct the Randomised Control Trial and Impact Evaluation, this evaluation team are due to publish final findings in 2020.
The project training aimed to support EAL pupils in the mainstream classroom. It was designed to build expertise and capacity among classroom teachers so they could provide the best teaching and learning for EAL pupils, reducing the need for specialist support.
At the core of our approach was a focus on academic language, and the training supported classroom teachers’ use and understanding of grammar, core vocabulary, and spoken language, key to helping EAL pupils within a whole class context, and which are also likely to have benefits for children more broadly, especially those from a disadvantaged background.
The University of York is currently conducting a Randomised Control Trial with 71 Evaluation Schools to assess the impact and effectiveness of the training on pupils. Half the schools were randomly allocated to receive the training (intervention schools) and half allocated to continue with 'teaching as usual' (control schools).
The pilot programme initially targeted secondary schools in England, mainly in regions with a high percentage of EAL students. The final evaluation will focus on teachers of KS4 pupils in History and Science. The Impact Evaluation will continue to assess the success of the training through to the release of GCSE results in summer 2019, with the evaluation team due to publish their findings in 2020.
Find out more
If you would like to find out more about the project please get in touch with us by emailing eal@