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Responding to Individual Needs or Inclusion for All: Dilemmas of Practice in Provision for Young People with English as an Additional Language

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Joanne Hynie
Publication date22/12/2022
Number of pages201
Awarding Institution
Award date21/12/2022
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The inclusion of young people with English as an additional language (EAL) requires practitioners in schools to both respond to individual needs and provide an inclusive environment. These requirements create a dilemma which is causing teachers to question whether inclusion is possible, as the first seeks to highlight difference, while the second seeks to remove difference. While the dilemma has been studied from the perspective of policy and of young people with EAL, few studies have examined it from the perspective of practitioners themselves as mediators between policy and practice. To examine how practitioners negotiate the dilemma of inclusion, and the claim of inclusive provision to be socially just, this study used the theoretical tool of parity of participation. Practitioners’ beliefs, experiences and attitudes provided data on the norms and values of inclusive practice, and a discourse analysis of the key inclusion documents contributed data regarding the influences on practitioners’ views.
The findings indicate that inclusion for all is a valid underpinning of EAL education. However, the notion is not clearly unpacked, and thus teachers are unsure how to deliver it. Secondly, its current configuration is problematic for EAL pupils as it does not meet all their needs. Thirdly, inclusion policy is determined without the contribution of insights from teachers. It is proposed that, within an overarching system of shared and inclusive values, a framework of parity of participation can ensure that teachers have the tools to recognise the needs of their EAL pupils, to represent them, and to redistribute resources appropriately. In their capacity to cushion the dilemma of EAL inclusive practice, and strengthen the inclusion ideal, the findings contribute to developing EAL inclusive practice in secondary schools, and demonstrate that EAL inclusion can make a positive contribution to the policy of inclusion for all.