Letter to me: making sense of student teachers' understanding of newcomer learners' needs in post-primary schools in Northern Ireland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper considers how teacher educators can better understand how to prepare pre-service teachers for teaching pupils who have English as an additional language. Qualitative methods are used to allow student teachers in the middle of their pre-service course in Northern Ireland to present honestly about their experiences of teaching newcomer pupils. Data are analysed using thematic analysis. The results show that student teachers have an underlying pastoral concern for the emotional well-being of newcomer learners. The student teachers actively practise taught strategies in actual classroom situations, but they are critical of the lack of provision for learning newcomers in Initial Teacher Education. Despite various calls from charities and government to improve provision for newcomer pupils, it is obvious that a lot of work remains to be done.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Studies
Early online date19 Mar 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 19 Mar 2020



  • Teacher Education
  • Qualitative Research
  • English as an addtional language

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