Bilingual GCSE pupils need more help

20 Mar 03
Teenagers who speak English as an additional language need greater support to develop their literacy during their examination years, according to Ofsted inspectors. The education watchdog says many schools and colleges concentrate their efforts on st.

21 March 2003

Teenagers who speak English as an additional language need greater support to develop their literacy during their examination years, according to Ofsted inspectors.

The education watchdog says many schools and colleges concentrate their efforts on students in the early stages of learning English, focusing on oral skills, to the detriment of more advanced pupils.

As a result, those studying at GCSE level and beyond often do not receive the specialist teaching they need to develop their reading and writing skills to enable them to cope with the complex learning materials used in such courses.

Ofsted's report, published on March 17, estimates that more than 500,000 children, around 10% of the school population, have English as a second language.

It calls for more resources to tackle this skills gap. 'Local education authorities (have) to recognise the needs of more advanced bilingual learners in their allocation of additional funding for schools.'

The funds should be used to give all staff who teach bilingual pupils training from language specialists.

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