Research in English as an Additional Language (R.E.A.L.)


We are delighted to welcome you to the REAL website. REAL consists of a group of researchers united by a common interest in understanding specific linguistic and educational challenges faced by children who are being educated in a language (i.e., English) that is not their home language. There is a real urgency to better understand the specific issues faced by EAL children in the UK since the number of EAL children in English primary schools is growing each year.  For example, in 2012 nearly 18% of primary school children had a home language that was not English.  Not only is this a significant proportion of children, but it is also growing each year.  Surprisingly, despite the fact that there is a relatively large proportion of EAL children within English schools, not much systematic research has been focused on trying to better understand their language and cognitive/educational development. To that end, our group is currently working on projects investigating different factors believed to influence their language and literacy skills.

This website primarily aims to give you more detailed information about who we are and the kind of projects that we are involved with. We are keen to establish a more collaborative relationship with other researchers (including students) and teachers and practitioners with an interest in the linguistic and literacy development of children with EAL. We do not want to carry out our research in an  ‘ivory tower’ that is of little relevance and use to the teachers and practitioners actually working with children with EAL. Rather, we want to work towards establishing and developing a research agenda that ensures that the research we do together will have a real impact and value to both those professionals who work with children with EAL and also importantly, to the children themselves. We hope you find this website both informative and interesting.  Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any comments or queries..

Victoria A. Murphy, PhD
Convenor of the REAL group