High-quality language teaching is foundational to all pupils’ attainment, but is particularly important for learners with English as an Additional Language (EAL). An EEF evidence review (2015) highlighted a lack of evaluated programmes aimed at improving English language and/or literacy skills in children with EAL.
Integrating English adopts a functional approach to the teaching of linguistics and grammar, whereby teachers break down the language used in their specific subject in order to improve the understanding of learners. As part of this approach, teachers highlight the different varieties of genre in a subject, explain the register expected from pupils in their work, use the teaching and learning cycle (where texts are broken down to investigate their subject-specific features), and explore the relationship between spoken and written language. The intervention aimed to support teachers to practically apply these theories, particularly when teaching EAL learners.
Co-funded by the EEF with the Bell Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy as part of our joint EAL funding round, the evaluation aimed to test the impact of an intervention centred on a well-established Australian programme, Language in Learning Across the Curriculum (LiLAC).
Our trial involved 91 schools and 4,762 pupils. The independent evaluation found no evidence that Integrating English improved all pupils’ Key Stage 2 writing outcomes, the measure of attainment chosen for the trial
This result is rated as moderate-to-high security: 3 out of 5 on the EEF padlock scale.This is because, although the evaluation was well designed, nearly a quarter of pupils who started the trial did not take the final test
In addition, it is worth noting that, though the trial included a large sub-group analysis of almost 2,000 EAL pupils, there was no evidence that Integrating English improved their writing outcomes, nor were positive outcomes identified for FSM-eligible pupils. However, it should be noted that a limitation in this evaluation was the lack of a subject-specific writing outcome measure. The general writing outcome measure used may not have adequately captured literacy development in specific subjects.
Although the vast majority of teachers interviewed by the evaluator felt that the training was comprehensive and efficient, there was evidence to suggest that key principles were not effectively delivered by teachers. The training could have provided further ongoing support to teachers to remedy this, while parts of the training model could also have been simplified
The EEF has no further plans to trial the Integrating English programme
- There is no evidence that Integrating English improved pupils’ KS2 writing outcomes. This result has a moderate to high security rating.
- There is no evidence that Integrating English had an impact on the KS2 writing outcomes of pupils receiving free school meals. These results have lower security than the overall findings because of the smaller number of pupils.
- There is no evidence that Integrating English improved EAL pupils’ KS2 writing outcomes. Although this was measured through a large subgroup analysis, these results have lower security than the overall findings because of the smaller number of pupils.
- The process evaluation indicates that, although teachers responded positively to the training, the CPD model may not have been effective in creating the desired teacher practice change. A simpler model may be more effective.