Supporting Children with EAL

Supporting Children with EAL

Phonics can be hard to teach to EAL (English as an Additional Language) children for several reasons:

  1. Lack of familiarity with the English language: EAL children may not be familiar with the sounds and letters of the English language, which can make it difficult to learn phonics.
  2. Differences in language structure: The structure of the English language may be different from the structure of the child’s first language. For example, some languages may not have the same sounds or letter combinations as English.
  3. Limited exposure to English: EAL children may have limited exposure to English outside of the classroom, which can make it harder to develop their phonics skills.

To overcome these challenges, it’s important to use a range of teaching strategies that are tailored to the child’s individual needs and abilities. This may include visual aids, songs and rhymes, hands-on activities, and plenty of practice opportunities. Patience, consistency, and a supportive learning environment can also go a long way in helping EAL children develop their phonics skills.

How to support children with EAL when teaching phonics

Teaching phonics to EAL (English as an Additional Language) children can be challenging, but also extremely rewarding.

Here are some tips for teaching phonics to EAL children:

  1. Start with the basics: Begin by teaching the sounds of the letters of the alphabet and simple CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words.
  2. Use visuals: Use pictures or objects to help children associate sounds with words. You can use flashcards, posters, or other visual aids to help children understand the sounds and letters.
  3. Teach through songs and rhymes: Songs and rhymes can help children learn phonics in a fun and engaging way. Try singing songs that use the sounds of the letters or creating rhymes with the words you are teaching.
  4. Use real-life examples: Use everyday objects and situations to teach phonics. For example, you can teach the “b” sound by pointing to a book and saying the word “book.”
  5. Emphasise listening skills: EAL children may struggle with hearing and distinguishing sounds in the English language. Activities that focus on listening and repeating sounds can help build phonemic awareness.
  6. Practise, practise, practise: Phonics is a skill that requires practice. Encourage children to read and write regularly, and provide opportunities for them to practise phonics through games, puzzles, and other fun activities.
  7. Be patient and supportive: Learning a new language can be challenging, and it may take time for EAL children to grasp phonics concepts. Be patient, supportive, and encouraging, and celebrate their progress along the way.

By using these strategies, you can help EAL children develop their phonics skills and improve their overall English language proficiency.

Resources to support EAL children

Vocabulary Flashcards

The Learning Resources Basic Vocabulary Photo Cards are an educational tool designed to help children learn new words and improve their vocabulary. The set includes 156 photo cards featuring common objects, actions, and descriptive words.

The cards are divided into 6 categories: actions, animals, foods, things at school, things at home, and words to describe. Each card features a photograph on one side and a word or phrase on the other side.

The Learning Resources Basic Vocabulary Photo Cards are a great way to improve language skills and vocabulary in children. The photographs and clear text make it easy for children to learn and understand new words, and the variety of categories ensures that children are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary.

Boom Boom Bingo!

The Skillmatics Bingo Preschool Board Game is a fun and educational game designed for children between the ages of 4 and 7. The game helps children develop their vocabulary and language skills through a fun and fast-paced matching bingo game.

The Skillmatics Bingo Preschool Board Game is a great way to help children develop their vocabulary and language skills in a fun and engaging way. The colourful illustrations and fast-paced gameplay help to keep children interested and motivated, while also improving their memory and concentration skills.

Talking Flashcards

The Talking Flash Cards is an educational toy designed to help children improve their speech and language skills. The set includes a set of flashcards featuring colourful and engaging images, as well as a talking pen that provides audio feedback when the flashcards are touched.

The flashcards cover a range of topics, including numbers, colours, shapes, animals, and everyday objects. The audio feedback provided by the talking pen helps children to learn and reinforce the correct pronunciation of words and phrases, making it a great tool for children who are learning English.

Sight Word Flashcards

The Coogam Sight Words Flashcards is a literacy learning toy designed to help children improve their reading skills. The set includes 220 sight words, which are commonly used words that children need to recognise in order to become successful readers.

Each sight word card features a word, a picture, and a sentence using the word in context. The cards are colour-coded by level of difficulty, and the set also includes several blank cards for personalised learning.

The Coogam Sight Words Flashcards are a great way to help children develop their reading skills and build their vocabulary. The pictures and sentences help to provide context for each word, making it easier for children to understand and remember them.

Little Word Books

Jolly Phonics Little Word Books is a series of books designed to help young children learn to read using the Jolly Phonics method. The Jolly Phonics method teaches children to recognise sounds and the corresponding letters that makeup words. The Little Word Books are a collection of short stories that are carefully crafted to help children learn to read using this method.


Talking Flashcards

Boggle is a word game that involves finding as many words as possible within a grid of letters. Players have a set amount of time to find as many words as they can by connecting adjacent letters. The words must be at least three letters long and can be formed by connecting letters horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Boggle can be played solo or with multiple players, making it a popular game for families and friends. The game is often used as a fun way to improve spelling and vocabulary skills, as well as cognitive function and memory.

CVC Puzzle

The mierEdu Alphabet Puzzle is an educational toy designed to help children learn the alphabet, phonics, and basic spelling skills. The set includes a 60-piece jigsaw puzzle with 20 three-letter words, phonics flashcards, and a match and spell game.

Ready to Spell

Skillmatics Ready to Spell is an educational toy aimed at improving vocabulary and spelling skills through stage-based learning.

The game includes 2 double-sided mats, 82 letter tiles, and a pen. The mats have different levels of difficulty, which allows children to progress at their own pace.


Listening Lotto

Carson Dellosa Listening Lotto: Sounds at Home is an educational game designed to help young children develop their listening skills and sound recognition abilities.

It is a fun and engaging way to help children learn to identify and distinguish between different sounds, and to develop their auditory discrimination skills.

Electronic Talking Alphabet Poster

The Bambino Tree Learn to Read Electronic Alphabet Poster is an educational toy designed to help young children learn to read and improve their phonics skills. The poster features a double-sided, talking wall mat that teaches children the letters of the alphabet, phonics sounds, and basic reading skills.

Vocabulary Flashcards

Yo-Yee Flash Cards – Family Picture Cards is a set of English vocabulary cards designed to help children and adults learn and practise vocabulary related to family members. The set includes 48 high-quality picture cards, featuring various family members such as father, mother, brother, sister, and grandparents.

The set comes with a guidebook that includes teaching activities and game ideas, making it easy for parents, teachers, and caregivers to incorporate the cards into their daily activities. The activities and games are designed to be fun and interactive, promoting engagement and learning.

Alphabet Spelling Game

The Coogam See Spelling Learning Toy is a wooden alphabet flashcards set designed to help children learn letters, shapes, and spelling. The set includes 26 wooden flashcards, each with a letter of the alphabet on one side and a corresponding picture and word on the other side.

Wooden Reading Blocks

The Coogam Wooden Reading Blocks is a set of short vowel rods designed to help young children learn to read and spell. The set includes 28 wooden blocks with letters and corresponding pictures, as well as a wooden rod with a spinning block that allows children to create different words and practise phonics.

The blocks are colour-coded by a vowel sounds, making it easy for children to identify and group similar sounds. The pictures on each block also help to reinforce the sound and meaning of the word.

Spelling Game

The Let’s Learn to Spell puzzle is a great way to introduce new words and reinforce word recognition.  Children can rehearse their phonics skills and letter recognition by identifying and matching the letter tiles to the word cards.

VTech Laptop

The VTech Challenger Laptop is an educational toy designed for children aged 4 years and above. The laptop features vocabulary, maths, and French learning games. It is a 2 player computer that encourages social play and helps children to develop their language and mathematical skills.

The laptop includes a variety of games and activities that are designed to help children learn new words, improve their mathematical skills, and learn basic French phrases. It also includes a 2 player mode, which allows children to play together and learn from each other.

Vocabulary Magnets

The Foam Magnets is a useful learning tool for young children.  Parents and teachers can use the magnets to create different learning activities, such as sorting and matching games.

The magnets cover a range of English words and pictures that can be used to support language, word recognition and spelling.

Vocabulary Flashcards

The Vocabulary Flashcards for Ages 5-7 is an educational tool designed to help children develop their vocabulary skills. The set includes a collection of flashcards featuring age-appropriate words and definitions, along with colourful illustrations to help children understand and remember the words.

. The series is aligned with the UK National Curriculum and is ideal for children who are learning to read and write, as well as those who are learning English as a second language. The flashcards can be used to introduce new words, reinforce existing vocabulary, and develop comprehension skills.

Tags: EAL, flashcards, Language, Learn English, Letters and Sounds, phonics, reading, spelling, Vocab, Vocabulary

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