We decided to move from SEN learners to EAL as we felt that we didn’t have enough expertise to teach our SEN learners to improve our non-verbal SEN children’s spoken language and that EAL learners need support to verbalise their thinking.

We discussed different types of talk – cumulative, exploratory and disputational talk. We also looked at dialogical talk which involves the teacher scaffolding the type of talk we want the children to be using. We all agreed that a selection of our EAL children lack the confidence and English language skills to be able to talk during learning. We narrowed this down to maths as we decided this was an area that our EAL children are more confident in however they can not explain their answers or provide reasoning. We watched a video of two children solving a maths problem. The teacher was scaffolding exploratory talk at the beginning phase. We noticed that the children needed a lot support, therefore this must be at the beginning stages of exploratory talk.

We want to scaffold exploratory talk and equip children with the skills and confidence to do it independently with a partner. We also want our children to listen actively and respond with a relevant contribution to the conversation. This will increase their spoken language fluency and positively impact all areas of the curriculum.

Before next session, we will research maths reasoning and exploratory talk and feedback to the group.

New question:
How can exploratory talk best support EAL learners to provide reasoning in mathematics?