English as an Additional Language and initial teacher training: views and experiences from Northern Ireland

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This paper* addresses training for teaching English as an additional language at initial teacher education level in Northern Ireland. This small scale qualitative study describes 15 primary and post-primary teachers’ perspectives on preparation for teaching English as an additional language in Northern Ireland. It explores reflections on EAL content in initial teacher education (ITE) programmes, the type of difficulties faced when teaching pupils whose first language is not English and the ways in which ITE might include the skills and knowledge needed to make effective provision for such pupils. The findings show that the current provision for EAL training varies and participants need and want basic as well as more advanced practical EAL coping strategies, in addition to a thorough grounding in EAL related theory. *This paper is developed from a recent HEIF (Higher Education Initiative Fund) funded study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-90
JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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