English as an Additional Language and Initial Teacher Training (webinar)

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Although in the past two decades there has been a significant increase in the number of research studies which have focused on the teaching and learning of English as an Additional Language (EAL), considerably less attention has been paid to Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes. There are very few papers that report on research into how university Schools of Education prepare ITE students to meet the increasingly varied and diverse needs of EAL learners in mainstream classrooms and explore the conceptual underpinnings of university EAL courses; and there are only a few studies that report on student teachers’ views of the usefulness of their training in relation to EAL. This webinar will present findings from a research project (published by the Centre for Education for Racial Equality at the University of Edinburgh, The Bell Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy) seeking to fill this gap in the literature, exploring the perceptions of both teacher educators and students as to what extent initial teacher education programmes fully prepare students to meet the language and literacy needs of EAL pupils. Beginning with questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews with both tutors and students in institutions across England, the research developed case studies of two university ITE providers, taking into account both the traditional PGCE route and employment-based routes, such as “School Direct”. Findings and recommendations from the project will be discussed alongside an introduction to sets of resources that are being developed and piloted as part of the study. 

Who should register for the webinar:

  • Policy-makers
  • Local authority education teams
  • Academics
  • School senior leadership

Why you should register for this webinar:

  • Access to a leading academic
  • Introduction to the latest research
  • Time-saving, one-hour intensive session with Q&A
  • Access to session recording
  • First to hear about future webinars and how to sign up

If the webinar is full, please complete the Wait List form and you will be contacted if a place becomes available. Everyone on the Wait List will be sent a copy of the webinar recording.


Dr. Yvonne Foley has worked as a teacher for many years in the field of English as an Additional Language in schools and universities in Taiwan and across the UK. She is currently Head of the Institute of Education, Teaching and Leadership at Moray House School of Education, The University of Edinburgh. Her teaching and funded research projects focus on the role of teacher education in promoting social, cultural and linguistic inclusion, and she has a particular interest in the ways in which critical approaches to literacy can be implemented in classroom practices to meet the language and literacy needs of pupils learning English as an Additional Language (EAL), Yvonne is a co-director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) and currently serves as an Executive Committee Member of the National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC), the national subject association for EAL in the UK.

Dr. Jean Conteh has worked in multilingual contexts for her whole career, first as a primary teacher and teacher educator in different countries and then as an academic at the University of York and Leeds University, where she took up a senior lectureship in 2007. She has a particular interest in the roles of language and culture in the processes of learning, particularly in multilingual settings, and has published many books, chapters and articles about these issues, including The Multilingual Turn in Languages Education, (Multilingual Matters, 2014). Jean is a longstanding member of NALDIC (National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum), and has been involved in several projects, relating to researching EAL in teacher education and development.

Joining Instructions:

The webinar uses Adobe Connect, for the best user experience please ensure you have the latest version of the Adobe Connect app installed on your device. We recommend that you access the session at 3.45pm on Thursday 27 June as the technical team will be available to assist if you have any questions.

Full joining instructions, Adobe troubleshooting and the webinar URL will be issued a few days before the session. Please check your ‘junk’ folder if you have not received this information 24 hours before the event.

We are aware that some participants are unable to attend the webinar on the day and as a result we over-issue tickets to ensure the session is full. Through our experience of hosting webinars we have calculated the likely drop out rate in order to have a full event, however, we do not want to disappoint people. Therefore, to be as fair as possible we admit ticket holders on a first come first served basis on the day. We will be most grateful if you would cancel your ticket if you know you will not be able to attend.

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