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Guidance on assessing children in the Foundation Stage who are learning English as an additional language. 2008 Provider: EMASS. Aims to:. Provide an overview of assessment requirements for EAL children in the Early years Give an opportunity for staff to become familiar with FSEAL.

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Guidance on assessing children in the Foundation Stage who are learning English as an additional language


Provider: EMASS

aims to
Aims to:
  • Provide an overview of assessment requirements for EAL children in the Early years
  • Give an opportunity for staff to become familiar with FSEAL
guiding principles
Guiding principles
  • Language is central to our sense of identity and belonging in a community
  • Linguistic diversity is a strength that is recognised and valued
  • Provision is planned with respect for each child's cultural background
  • Good practice observing EAL children is good practice for all
  • Assessment must distinguish between a child’s English language acquisition and their development of knowledge and concepts
  • Knowledge must be developed of a child’s home language experiences and knowledge so that planning is appropriate
  • Children should have opportunities to develop and use their home language in play and learning
conditions for learning and assessment
Conditions for learning and assessment
  • Knowing what children can do , what come next and knowing when it is timely to intervene and when to hold back
  • Self-initiated activities
  • Note child's typical, consistent and independent learning behaviours over time
making accurate truthful and reliable judgements
Making accurate, truthful and reliable judgements

Many assessments can be made in home language:

  • All scales in personal, social and emotional development
  • All scales in mathematical development
  • All the scales in knowledge and understanding of the world, physical and creative development
  • First 3 scale points for communication, language and literacy
  • Points 4 – 9 of communication, language and literacy must be assessed in English
foundation stage profile
Foundation Stage Profile
  • Although the practitioner needs to know little or nothing in the child’s home language, it is important to consult parents when making judgements about the child’s interests and learning progress
  • Settings need to pair children with peers or adults who share their language and with those who can give good models of English
  • Observers can note what may be different rates of English language acquisition with respect to expressive and receptive understanding and competence
  • It is crucial to evaluate the impact of the setting’s education provision and teaching methods
when knowledge of the child s home language is required
When knowledge of the child’s home language is required

There are two exceptions to assessment in first language being easily carried out by a non-first language speaker:

  • When looking to see if a child communicates freely, it could be a that a child is wary of talking about home and family. The setting needs to ensure that there are strong links with home and community.
  • Where a child needs to have a developing respect for his r her own culture and beliefs, it is important that the assessor has some knowledge of this in order to measure.
  • A child who cannot speak English fluently may still show an awareness of difference in first language.
  • Developed by Tower Hamlets and Islington
  • 4 strands
    • Interacting and being a communicator
    • Listening and questioning
    • Using words and understanding their meaning
    • Using conventions of talk and speaking with confidence
  • 4 steps for each strand

Foundation Stage English as an Additional Language Assessment (FSEAL)

Understanding words and their meaning

Interacting and being a communicator



Listening, understanding and questioning

Using conventions of talk and speaking with confidence




Key comments:

what support do you need now
What support do you need now?
  • What support do you need now?
  • How can EMASS help you?