Induction for newly arrived pupils

New arrivals

New arrivals from abroad and beginner bilingual learners need lots of focused support to:

  • engage with learning activities in English
  • become confident and secure in their new linguistic, cultural and educational surroundings

EMTAS can provide training for staff and in-class support for new arrivals but pupils are best supported when:

  • class/subject teachers provide appropriate induction and in-class support
  • school admissions procedures and policy take account of early profiling and placement issues.

Most schools already have in place excellent induction programmes for pupils who are new to the school. However it would be good practice to adapt these procedures to meet the specific needs of bilingual learners who are joining the school.

Buddying scheme

A good language role model can be used to accompany the pupil for several weeks. Based in the same tutor group or class, the buddy acts in the role of a mentor and feeds back to the teacher/tutor.


Choosing the most appropriate class and year group for a new pupil requires careful consideration. EMTAS can contribute to this process and support schools to make informed decisions about setting. It is generally recommended that decisions taken should be reviewed regularly in the light of the school's growing understanding of the student's educational background, abilities and ambitions.

Generally bilingual learners should be placed in chronologically appropriate year groups. Inappropriate placement in low ability or special educational needs groupings is not helpful. Bilingual learners need access to strong English language, behaviour and learning role models.

Carefully consider physical placement so that the pupil has clear, direct access to all available classroom cues to meaning, for example whiteboard, teacher and peers. Seating a pupil towards but not at the front of the class minimises distractions and provides a supportive context for learning.

The silent period

Available to download for free, these reference guides comprise key points in relation to provision for newly-arrived pupils who are new to English and their families: