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2008, over 10 percent of the UK school population were found to speak English
as an additional language,
therefore almost all teachers will at some point in their career, be confronted with teaching a
student with English as an additional language (EAL) (Waugh & Jolliffe,
2008). Currently, 20.6% of the primary student population have English as
additional language (DfE, 2017). Although each subject area
makes dissimilar demands on all pupils as language manipulators, EAL pupils frequently come across
supplementary verbal,
cultural and written challenges during
their learning of the curriculum requirements in English. Despite this, these
children are subjected to
the same assessment in English as
native speakers (NALDIC, 2012). Additionally, EAL students’ overall writing ability is considered
weaker in comparison to their English peers (Murphy, Kyriacou, & Menon,
2015). This essay will critically
reflect on the increasing EAL
student population, focusing on the
role of spelling and handwriting in the National Curriculum (2013) as both are
said to be crucial to becoming an effective writer. To do this, it is however, imperative to first
discuss the importance of spoken language for EAL
pupils and how it is reflected in the programme of study.

task of writing can be very challenging for pupils who have not yet reached the stage of
automaticity. Frequently, at the beginning of the writing process, pupils can
orally articulate their ideas effectively but may struggle to communicate them
in their written work. This is because
when writing, pupils
have to actively think about
transcriptional skills
such as spelling, handwriting and punctuation,
as well as communicating their ideas. Once students master these transcriptional skills they
can focus on communicating thoughts more fluently
hence, becoming
effective writers (Glazzard & Palmer, 2015). However, it is key to
highlight that oral language is imperative
to developing writing skills. As a matter of fact, a strong foundation in oral
language will aid children grow into outstanding readers, writers and
communicators as they gain confidence in themselves (Reeder & Baxa, 2017).
It has been established that children who
struggle with oral language may have difficulties with learning to read and hence have a lower academic
achievement compared to their peers (Dockrell & Connelly, 2009).

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