The DfES commissioned this research project to investigate the writing of pupils who use English as an Additional Language (EAL) and who are ‘advanced learners’, in that they are not recently arrived in the country but have spent at least five years in UK schools. Until recently, it has been assumed that advanced bilingual learners will have developed their language skills to a sufficiently high level to achieve to their potential in school education.

This research project is part of a wider effort to ensure that this is the case, and that these pupils are not disadvantaged by continuing difficulties with English.

The report aims to analyse the key features of language according to level of ability in English (as measured by national tests, and to strengthen existing evidence provided by Ofsted research into older pupils’ writing by adding to our understanding of writing development.

It also aims to inform the EAL strand of the Ethnic Minority Achievement Strategy by providing information and guidance on the teaching of bilingual primary and secondary students (by pulling together both pieces of work).


  • Introduction
  • Writing at key stage 2
  • Project details
  • Writing a story
  • Use of language in writing a story
  • The use of vocabulary
  • Using language resources to construct time in a story
  • Writing a radio advertisement
  • Implications for the teaching of writing
  • References
  • Appendices