English as an additional language (EAL)

Photograph of a young girl being read to by a woman

Bilingual learners are those who function in more than one language in daily life. The term 'bilingual' emphasises that learners already have one language and that English is a second or additional language.

It's necessary to provide support beyond the learner's acquisition of social fluency to ensure meaningful access to the whole curriculum, to enable learning, achievement and social and personal development.

About supporting EAL

Find out how schools and pre-school centres are supporting their bilingual learners.

EAL in the early years

Creating a setting which is rich in play, active learning and opportunities for collaborative working and language development.

Support materials

  • Resources

    Discover and download useful advice, research and other resources.

  • Sharing practice

    See examples of support for English as an additional language.

EAL in primary schools

Promoting children’s English language development across a wide range of contexts within the primary setting.

EAL with secondary learners

Ensuring that all young people with English as an additional language will realise their full potential by achieving and attaining through qualifications and wider learning opportunities.


  • Glow - Inclusion Hub

    This professional learning hub supports practitioners to discuss, explore and share practice relating to Inclusion.

More from Education Scotland

Learning and teaching resources created and selected by Education Scotland.

Related information within this section.

Scottish Government report

  • Language Learning in Scotland: A 1 + 2 Approach

    This report brings forward far reaching recommendations by the Languages Working Group, with the purpose of establishing a new model for the learning and teaching of languages in Scottish schools for years to come.