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EAL reading

Ensuring that pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL) receive the most suitable reading instruction is key to their academic success, but teachers need to know what programmes are effective.

This review summarises research on reading programmes for EAL pupils at primary level.

  • We looked at all available evidence on programmes designed to improve the reading achievement of EAL pupils, in order to establish what we know works for pupils aged 5-11.
  • We examined all studies of EAL reading programmes from all countries, as long as a report was available in English. (NB Most studies took place in the US).
  • We were then able to assess and compare the effectiveness of these programmes.

Descriptions and ratings for all the programmes are included in this summary.

The results of the review show that

  • the research supported structured, phonetic programmes which emphasise language development in both native-language and English instruction
  • programmes which use co-operative learning, vocabulary instruction, and literature were particularly effective for EAL pupils of upper primary-age

The full report (which this review summarises) is also available.

EAL reading

Educator's summary

As PDF document

As web pages

Top-rated programmes

Programmes with limited evidence

Other programmes

Review methods

Full report (27 pages)

As PDF document