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EAL teaching assistant? How do become one?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by glovebox82, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. Hi!
    I'd love to hear from anyone who works in EAL. I'm really interested in working in this field but the route in doesn't seem very clear. How could I do it?
    I've been scanning education job sites but EAL roles don't seem to come up much, but when I have seen them they've always been assistant roles. Is there much work as an EAL teaching assistant, and what sort of things does the role involve? Are you in the classroom with the class teacher, or working with smaller groups of EAL pupils giving extra langauge support?
    I've been to the NALDIC website (seems to be the main (only?!) UK body for EAL and it seems to confirm my feeling that the role of EAL staff isn't always well defined, nor is there a single training route.
    I don't have QT status but have a CELTA teaching certificate and thave been teaching English as a foreign language abroad for over 2 years, at primary, secondary and adult levels. I suspect I'd have to do a PGCE or equivalent to start off...
    Or has anyone come to EAL through a different route?
    I'd be really grateful for any information!
  2. Hi, I got into EAL by accident. I used to do 50% SEN support and 50% in-class support but once the school had to 'buy-in' outside services they decided to do it in-house. I was asked to do it with a bit of 'training'. Support depends on the needs - they are assessed on admission then support is decided from there. Some children need additional/intense language support but others just need adapted in-class support. It's not as scary as it might seem. Many resources are already in school anyway to help support their language. I generally use lots of stories for experience, picture cues/cards etc. I've not had specialist training though I have been on a couple of conferences. Hope this helps.
  3. Hi

    Glad it was some use.

    When I support EMA/EAL children I am officially called 'EMA support' which translates to teaching assistant, lol. The pay depends on the scale agreed with your head - I am grade 4 but I also do SEN support for learning/behaviour. The majority of my EMA support takes place in the classroom - I am give the teacher plans and I adapt if necessary (usually dilution of the language). There are some children who have no English and, therefore, cannot access the curriculum. With these children we have a programme in place together with assessment and monitoring to ensure they are making some progress - even if it is just understanding. I have access to specific programmes to enable these children to access/understand English first, curriculum is not the priority. As for space, I am extremely fortunate to have my own working area which I have displayed many resources for learning but I am still developing for language. Hope this helps again :)

  4. snowstorm

    snowstorm New commenter

    I increasingly hear of TAs being used as EMA support and being paid pittance compared to a UPS3 EMA teacher who is earning £43k in inner London eg.
    Why do TAs allow themselves to be taken for a ride like this?
    EMA teaching is a specialist job. I know; I have been doing it for more than half of my career, as have a number of my colleagues.
    TAs need to wise up as far as salaries for such work is concerned.
    ps EMA support does not translate to teaching assistant where I am.
    Someone's having a laugh at your expense.
    daniellepet likes this.
  5. Snowstorm I am NOT a teacher I am a TA. My support is just that, not specialist 'teaching' but hopefully enabling our EMA children to access the curriculum effectively. If I wasn't supporting these children, then a 'teacher' would have to employed to do so, but, because of costs, these children may benefit but with less time. Nobody is 'laughing' at my expense - regardless of what role I have done it has been with 100% commitment. I am treated with respect in my school too. Yes, I agree perhaps my role would warrant an increased salary but headteachers have to make budget decisions as I'm sure you are well aware. I certainly wouldn't want to take away additional support from children who need it.

    I think it's the government who are taking the whole of support staff for a ride - assimilation and restructuring of grades/levels has been the biggest laugh at our expense - making us do more hours for less pay!!! How did that work then? Until our pay/job structure is sorted properly based on professional qualifications (i.e. those who have relevant qualifications and experience being paid appropriately rather than being paid pittanc) then sadly, we will be in a position where children will be supported by underpaid/quality staff.
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  6. II totally agree... I have a BA degree and also qualified as a Level 3 TA but work in a small rural school as a paid level 1 TA. They struggle to find the money to pay for TA's and I blame the powers to be for taking advantage !!!
  7. Does anyone know of EAL teacher training courses?
  8. daniellepet

    daniellepet New commenter

    Very low lay for such qualifies staff.
  9. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    We have two EMA TAs who, like @kaz71, both got into the role by accident. One has since completed a CELTA teaching certificate and supplements her TA pay by combining part-time TA work with teaching some adult EFL classes for the local authority. English is a second language for both of them, but they are bi-lingual. As well as regular TA tasks, they support EMA pupils in the classroom to enable them to access the curriculum and also plan and deliver targeted sessions for pupils who need a great deal of extra support, especially those recently arrived in the country. They also frequently assist teachers with translation at parents' evenings and other meetings.
    There are very few EMA jobs advertised - schools do not have the budget for the specific role any more. If you applied for a regular TA role, I think your skills would be very desirable and you would quickly find that you were able to use them in the classroom. Good luck.

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