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Five ways to support EAL students in your lessons - Erin Miller, TES, 24 May 2017

An English teacher in an international school offers the benefit of her experience when it comes to teaching English as an Additional Language

I am in awe of anyone who is bilingual: I am waving goodbye to my 20s with just enough knowledge of French to order a bottle of red.

This missing skill is all the more shameful for me as I am in my fourth year of teaching in an international school where most students speak two or three languages fluently. I am reminded of my deficit in language skills daily.

Teaching English as an Additional Language (EAL) is still a challenge, however, and I’ve found that the expectation to support EAL students often falls heavily on English departments. Initially, this is another area where I lacked skill – my support for EAL learners was nearly as bad as my French. I got no specific training in EAL, so I have had to learn on the job.

This is not good enough. I believe that schools should not be without dedicated EAL departments and specialists. These are the amazing teams who look at the bigger picture and whole-school policies: the induction processes, buddies, teaching assistants, ongoing intervention, explicit language instruction and so on.

However, are there things that we can do in day-to-day lessons, alongside whole-school approaches, that can be adopted in order to support the development of EAL students?

I’m no expert, but I have picked up some things that I believe work and will hopefully complement the wealth of information out there, such as the great advice you can get on Twitter (check out @DiLeed, for example). This list summarises my teeny snapshot of a wealth of strategies available to us.

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The Brief: English is here to stay, even if UK isn’t - Sam Morgan, Euractiv.com, 19 May 2017

Jean-Claude Juncker thinks the English language is losing importance in Europe. Maybe the Commission president wanted to annoy Theresa May or maybe he really believes it. But he’s wrong either way.

In an ideal world, there is no hierarchy of languages. It doesn’t matter if one language is spoken by ten people and the other by a billion. The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights goes some way towards protecting that notion.

But for all the EU talk about diversity, we don’t live in an ideal world so we need something to unite us, just so we can talk to each other.

Languages and multilingualism are all-important. But the day-to-day working of the European Union, a framework that covers 500 million people, over 60 languages and hundreds more dialects, needs a common relay language. English fits the bill.

And French is no longer the lingua franca of the Union. It’s no slight on French or its speakers to say that, it’s just the reality.

The recent enlargements of the EU have brought in countries that generally work more in English as a second language, so it’s just a matter of changing circumstances.

Once you factor in our addiction to American TV and cinema, it’s not hard to see why Europeans generally revert to English now.

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Not Polish. Not British. Middle-ground. - Kamil Trzebiatowski, 15 May 2017

Who am I? Well, as you would expect, I am a teacher. I am an EAL Coordinator. I was born in Poland and moved to England 10 years ago. Am I Polish? I don't think so. Am I British? I never will be.

One reason I moved to live in the UK was my undying love of the English language. The other was the resentment of antisemitism, racism and homophobia that seemed to surround me in Poland. I did not fit in, did not feel "Polish" at all. Being an occasional drinker and an atheist added to it. My hope that children would be given more of a voice in schools would often give me a "he's young and naive" reputation with many of my fellow teachers.

I've been teaching and coordinating EAL across Britain for 10 years now. I moved from knowing very little about EAL and confusing it with EFL to being a consultant, adviser and voice that many teachers and educationalists seem to want to listen.

Will I ever be British? Certainly, I don't expect to be seen as one despite the fact that in many respects I fully agree with the fundamental British values, which are more respected here (though there are, clearly, problems) than in my country of birth. Does the fact that I am never going to be British worry me since I do consider Britain to be my home? Not at all: I'm not Polish. I'm not British. I'm diverse. My identity is composed of many aspects, not just any one of them. I am a beautiful mixture of cultures, languages (Polish, English, Kashubian [Polish dialect], Londonish, Fife-ish and Hull - with a lot of French and Latin thrown in). That's what makes me unique and distinct.

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Brexit: English is losing its importance in Europe, says Juncker - The Guardian, 5 May 2017

European commission chief’s remark follows Theresa May’s broadside against EU ‘meddling’ in UK elections

The English language is losing importance in Europe, the president of the European commission has said amid simmering tensions over the Brexit negotiations.

Speaking to an audience of European diplomats and experts in Florence, Jean-Claude Juncker also described the UK’s decision to leave the EU as a tragedy.

“Slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe,” Juncker said, to applause from his audience. “The French will have elections on Sunday and I would like them to understand what I am saying.” After these opening remarks in English, he switched to French for the rest of the speech.

Making a stout defence of the EU, Juncker said the UK had voted to leave the project despite historic successes and a recent uptick in economic growth. “Our British friends decided to leave the EU, which is a tragedy,” he said.

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Task pupils with creating personal English dictionaries to improve language learning - Ann Dieckmann , TES, 19 April 2017

The best ideas are often the simplest. I teach English as a foreign language to primary school aged children in Zanzibar. The students don’t have text books and the books their teachers have are full of inaccuracies.

But recently we received creative, accurate text books, full of activities that are feasible in a resource-poor setting. One of the ideas which sprung from this was to give students small books so that they can create their own personal dictionaries.

As they learn new words, they add it in the appropriate place in the book along with a translation into Swahili.

The students in my class, aged around 11 to 12 are obsessed with “looking it up in the dictionary”. They’ve only just learnt dictionary skills and they absolutely love the autonomy that they have in looking up the words they don’t understand.

It's particularly useful when they are reading a book that stretches their vocabulary and it gives them a sporting chance to understand me!

Each week we compile a list of their favourite new words and the Swahili equivalent. We then practice pronunciation and they have great fun correcting me.

They learn the English and I learn the Swahili and the following week we test each other. It feels like we’re on a learning journey together.

We started with groups of five or six students using one dictionary per group, but thanks to a generous benefactor we now have enough for every child in one class to have a dictionary each. But they have to go back in the cupboard at the end of the lesson.

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Bilingual children outperform native speakers by age 7 - Richard Vaughan, iNews, 10 April 2017

Children who speak English as a second language outperform their native speaking classmates in a range of academic tests by the age of seven, despite lagging behind when they start school, research has shown.

A study looking at the educational development of children of migrants reveals that while they are behind their monolingual peers at age five, they scored higher in maths and writing tests after just two years later.

Academics from the University of Sydney tracked the development of 19,000 UK infants up to the age of 11, which showed that those who spoke more than one language had higher cognitive development scores.

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Fury over Scots university insisting people speak English at all times - Greenock Telegraph, 30 March 2017

One of Scotland's top universities has come under fire for an "insensitive" sign demanding that people speak English at all times.

Airthrey Castle campus at the University of Stirling is an 18th century building primarily used as a study centre for international students.

But a sign welcoming students to the building says "Please speak English at all times, when in the castle" with a line highlighting "speak English".

The sign has been condemned as being "insensitive" and "unwelcoming" by some.

However, the university insists it is there to encourage language students to practice their English.

But Peter Russell, 68, an art tutor at the Cowane Centre in Stirling, does not think the sign leaves a good impression to visitors at the castle.

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Do we really need a guide to English pronunciation? - Ian Cook, Schoolsweek, 22 March 2017

The English Pronouncing Dictionary is the classic British guide to pronunciation of the English language.

Written by Daniel Jones, it was first published by JM Dent & Sons in 1917 and is now in its 18th edition, published by Cambridge University Press.

But 100 years on, does anyone really need a guide to “standard” English pronunciation, and whose standard are we talking about anyway?

The original dictionary used PSP (public school pronunciation) as a model, defined by Jones as that which is “most usually heard in everyday speech in the families of Southern English persons whose menfolk have been educated at the great public boarding schools.” Later editions refer to the model as RP (received pronunciation).

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Small schools could become 'unsustainable' under funding plans, union warns - Charlotte Santry, TES, 17 March 2017

NAHT calls for more money to support the introduction of the new national school funding formula

Some small schools could become "unsustainable" because of the government's proposed funding overhaul, headteachers have warned.

The NAHT headteachers' union has voiced concerns that the "reduction" in the lump sum part of the formula to £110,000 would hit small schools particularly hard.

The government plans to continue to provide every school with a lump sum, but at a lower level than the current national average "so that we can direct more funding to the pupil-led factors", according to the consultation on the formula.

It also plans to provide small and remote schools with additional funding, over and above the lump sum, "to recognise that they can face greater challenges in finding efficiencies and partnering with other schools".

But the NAHT said today: "The reduction in the lump sum to £110,000 could make some small schools unsustainable."

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Formula creates 'double funding' for deprived pupils, councils warn Theresa May - Charlotte Santry, TES, 13 March 2017

The f40 group of education authorities writes to the prime minister with concerns about the proposed schools national funding formula

The national funding formula for schools would give too much money to disadvantaged pupils and risks "replacing one unfairness with another", according to the lowest-funded education authorities.

The f40 group – which campaigns for a better deal on behalf of such authorities – has written to Prime Minister Theresa May to warn her that the government's proposed formula "seems to be weighted more towards maintaining stability than achieving fairness".

In particular, the group is concerned that the formula is too heavily weighted towards "additional needs factors" such as the number of pupils from deprived backgrounds, their level of prior attainment and the number who speak English as an additional language.

This does not leave enough money for schools' "core responsibilities", the group says. It says the funding formula allocates 72.5 per cent of funding for the core budget, which is "simply too low", and argues this should be be raised to 75 per cent.

Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/one-in-four-scottish-pupils-need-extra-support-1-4379483

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One in four Scottish pupils need extra support - Tom Peterkin, The Scotsman, 28 February 2017

The number of school pupils in Scotland requiring additional support has more than doubled in six years, a report to Holyrood’s education committee today reveals.

According to the report, 248.7 pupils out of 1,000 – almost one in four – required addition support compared with 102.2 pupils per 1,000 in 2010. Children can need additional support for a range of reasons, including if they have learning difficulties or physical impairments, those whose English needs help, those with behavioural difficulties and very able children.

The single most common category was those with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, which showed an increase from 21.9 per 1,000 in 2010 increasing to 52.6 per 1,000 in 2016.

Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/one-in-four-scottish-pupils-need-extra-support-1-4379483

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Areas of Excellence; Delivering Outstanding EAL Outcomes at Lipson Co-operative Academy - Lipson Co-operative Academy, 7 February 2017

Lipson Co-operative Academy is composed of a wide and diverse range of ethnicities with over thirty different languages spoken; making us unique within a predominantly white, working class, coastal city in the South-West.

As a school we pride ourselves on our response to individual need and ensure all students are in a position to progress and thus fulfil their potential. A real area of strength in this regard is our provision for students with English as an Additional Language and this is clearly demonstrated in the outcomes we achieve.

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Silence is golden: Why listening needs to be valued as much as speaking with new EAL students - Ciaran Gallagher (TES), 3 February 2017

"I'm worried that she doesn't seem to be talking?"

"He just sits there."

I have heard these comments made about EAL students all the time and even said them a few times.

It's natural to feel worried when children do not speak, especially when they have been in your classroom for weeks ... even months. Nevertheless, it is completely normal and we shouldn't pressurise the children to talk as they are developing their listening skills.

I can testify that as a teacher who works in China and does not speak the language that I have often remained silent.

It is not that I'm being rude, but instead I am trying to recognise patterns, individual words and understand the meaning of the words from body language, visual stimuli and other contextual clues.

Now after a few months, I am able to use simple phrases to order and direct a taxi. If I didn't engage in silence and listen more, I wouldn't have learnt how to speak these basic structures.

Currently, I have a student in my early years class who would often sit in my lessons and not utter a word. Nothing! I would direct some questions however there would never be a reply.

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Almost half of pupils who take the phonics check for a third time fail, DfE trial shows - Helen Ward (TES), 2 February 2017

Children with English as an additional language are more likely to pass on second resit than English speakers, research reveals

Almost half of seven and eight-year-olds who had twice failed the phonics check did not meet the standard on a third retake, according to the results of a Department for Education pilot project published today.

And more than a third of teachers (37 per cent) said that repeating the test again at the end of Year 3 – two years after it was first taken – had no positive impact on their teaching of phonics.

The phonics check is taken by all children at the end of Year 1 and can be retaken at the end of Year 2. Children must read 40 words, including 20 non-words, and get 32 correct to pass the test.

This year, 81 per cent of pupils met the expected standard at the end of Year 1 (aged 6) and by the end of Year 2, this proportion had increased to 91 per cent.

In the pilot project, 51 per cent of 1,635 pupils who had not met the standard by the end of Year 2 passed the check in Year 3.

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Nick Gibb insists school funding changes are all about 'fairness' - Charlotte Santry (TES), 31 January 2017

Minister's claim contrasts with views of expert witnesses at today's Education Select Committee meeting

Schools minister Nick Gibb has insisted that the proposed national school funding formula is "about fairness" – after experts claimed this was "in the eye of the beholder".

Mr Gibb was speaking before the House of Commons Education Select Committee this morning about the formula, set to be introduced in 2018.

He told MPs: "It’s about fairness. We want to make sure we’re promoting social mobility...so the principles behind the details of the formula are to ensure we address sufficient funding to things such as disadvantage, to low prior attainment, to children with English as an additional language.

"And that’s all about closing the attainment gap between pupils from poorer and more wealthy backgrounds and ensuring that every child can achieve their full potential."

But during the previous committee session, experts had voiced doubts that the formula would achieve these aims.

The minister made his comments as governors threatened to "strike" amid concerns about the funding formula and cost pressures being faced by schools.

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Politicians should welcome immigrants, not attack them - Ian Wang, Varsity (Cambridge University), 27 January 2017

Politicians never ask native Britons to understand the cultures, traditions and values of immigrant communities.

In December 2016, Dame Louise Casey’s year-long review of social integration in the UK was published. It argued that many immigrant communities have failed to integrate and that the government should make a push to improve English-language education and teach “British values” in schools. It’s just the latest example of a long tradition in British politics of casting immigrants as the 'Other', a homogeneous mass insistent on turning parts of Britain into virtual colonies for their home countries, refusing to speak English and belligerently rejecting British identity. Muslim immigrants come under particular fire; the Casey Review mentions Muslims 249 times – the comparative figure for Polish immigrants is 14.

Yet this portrayal is a flagrant misrepresentation. The reality is that immigrants to the UK have been remarkably quick to adapt to their new circumstances. Contrary to the idea that immigrants need to be forced to learn English, for example, the 2011 census suggests that only 0.3 per cent of the population don’t speak any English at all – that’s just 134,000 people, a tiny minority of the overall 4.2 million people whose first language is not English. There is even evidence that students who speak English as a second language do better academically than native English speakers.

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Britons 'should learn Polish, Punjabi and Urdu to boost social cohesion' - Sally Weale, The Guardian, 18 January 2017

The government is being urged to create more opportunities for British people to learn languages such as Polish, Urdu and Punjabi as a means of improving social cohesion in local communities.

Recent inquiries looking into obstacles to social integration in the UK have highlighted the importance of immigrants learning English to enable them to integrate and engage fully in society.

Now Cambridge professor Wendy Ayres-Bennett is calling for British people to be encouraged to learn community languages, particularly in areas where there are high numbers of residents who speak these languages, to build on social cohesion.

Ayres-Bennett, who is a professor of French philology and linguistics and is a lead investigator in a major project looking at multilingualism, said rather than putting the onus solely on newcomers, social integration should be seen as a two-way street.

“Considering the issue from the point of view of language learning, we rightly expect immigrants to learn English but, as a nation, we often don’t see the need ourselves to learn another language, and consider it to be something difficult and only for the intellectual elite.

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Why making languages non-compulsory at GCSE is a step backwards - Ellie Osborne, The Telegraph, 17 January 2017

I am nervous as I take my seat in front of the Head of Languages; it is GCSE choices evening and the school gym has been transformed, criss-crossed by rows of tables and chairs with eager parents and their offspring gathered around harried-looking teachers.

“I'd like to do Triple Language,” I say, “French, Spanish and Italian.”

She regards me over the top of her sheet full of names, in front of her.

“Oh no, I don't think so. You could do Spanish, maybe, but you'll find three too difficult.”

Seven years later and I am on the brink of successfully completing my undergraduate degree in, you guessed it, languages. And whilst I look back on that exchange now with a certain degree of victorious pride, I still can't help but wonder what prompted her to turn a perfectly capable student away from her course.

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UK area where 60% of primary school children DON’T speak English as their first language - Newschicken.com, 11 January 2017

The report, by Bradford Council showed 59 per cent of the children in Bradford East only spoke English as an additional language to their native tongue.This is compared to the national figure which is 20 per cent.

Bradford council will meet to discuss the findings on January 12 and seek ways to improve the amount of English spoken in new immigrant’s homes.

The report said there are 24,758 pupils taught in the constituency’s 51 schools.Twenty one per cent of pupils are on free school meals, compared to 15 per cent nationally.

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Integration - A Language Problem? - Micahel Abberton, Huffington Post, 9 January 2017

The Integration Report published by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration isn’t just about compulsory English lessons or requiring that immigrants learn English before they come - after all, our tier-based visa system already requires that for immigrants outside the EU. It is critical of successive governments in their failure to address a perceived lack of social cohesion and that migration levels in different parts of the country need localized solutions and a properly funded integration strategy. It targets particularly recent Tory policy in its emphasis and then subsequent failure to limit immigration numbers, something that it blames for a perception that immigration is out of control - a perception that has been exploited by populists and the far right.

Where it does talk about English language it is in the context of a Belgian integration system - something it says would provide proper access to all levels of British society, including access to the job market where required, and contact with local community groups. It talks about how these programmes should be properly designed and funded, and how the present conflation of integration and ‘anti-radicalisation’ needs to be stopped. These are all laudable ideals and the fact is that many local English as a Second language (ESL) and integration programmes have collapsed since the government deliberately stopped the funding, and with the pressures of enforced austerity councils haven’t had the money to continue them on their own. Changes to the way higher education is funded also ended a lot of outreach programmes that were being run by universities and community colleges.

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The challenge of teaching over 4,000 pupils who speak English as a second language - Matt Stott, Ipswich Star, 9 January 2017

The number of primary school children whose first language is not English has more than doubled to over 4,000 since the start of the decade in Suffolk.

The figure rose at its fastest rate last year and could mean that one in 10 primary school students will not be fluent in the language by January 2018. It was one in 20 in January 2010.

Education chiefs in Suffolk insist children who speak English as an additional language (EAL) perform as well as native speakers and are valued for creating linguistic and cultural diversity.

Critics have warned that schools with large numbers of EAL pupils may find it difficult to address their particular needs, with other children receive less attention.

Nationally, teachers say they stay up until midnight writing individual lesson plans. Up to 50 languages are now spoken at school. Some teachers are learning Urdu and Arabic, but receive help from older students.

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'Obey the LAW, pay TAX and learn ENGLISH' – Remainer demands tougher migration criteria - Joe Barnes, Sunday Express, 7 January 2017

ALAN JOHNSON, the man who lead Labour’s hapless Remain campaign, has called for tougher criteria for incoming migrants.

The former home secretary claimed that while migrants are “welcome” demands should be placed on them, such as compulsory English lessons, in order to improve levels of integration.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions, the Labour MP said: “Various home secretaries have been saying for years – compulsion is the difficult bit in this – we had English as a second language.

“It must be right that if you want to encourage integration that people need to learn the language.”

Mr Johnson added that “large swathes” of the country finds itself in a situation where younger generations are “thriving” because they have learnt English, but this has left the older generation who haven’t lagging behind.

“In the West Midlands, where the younger generations have learnt English,” he continued, “[they] are thriving – the older generation because they don’t speak the language and because they don’t relate to their neighbours who are not from their community are completely isolated.

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Secret Teacher: cutting staff numbers to save money is a dangerous game - The Guardian, 7 January 2017

Management has decided that teachers won’t be replaced when they leave. We’re losing valuable skills and risking our most vulnerable pupils

Our latest inset was one we were dreading, and not just for the rubbish refreshments. We knew the news wouldn’t be good. The status quo – one of discontent and rock-bottom morale – was about to get even worse. And then came the announcement: as a means of saving money, the school would not be replacing staff who leave.

Instead, their duties are to be “absorbed” by other staff members, presenting several immediate problems. Firstly, these remaining staff members may not have the expertise and experience to perform these duties effectively. Secondly, they almost certainly don’t have time to give to these responsibilities.

Mind the gap
The gaps in knowledge, experience and relationships cannot simply be papered over with something that looks vaguely similar. The departure or redundancy of school staff – some of whom are indispensable and have made an immeasurable impact – will have lasting and harmful repercussions far outweighing potential monetary gains. And the departure of someone from a job means more when it is children who will miss them.

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Effective Strategies for Supporting EAL Learners New to English - Julie Tallant, Barnsley TSA, 5 January 2017

Course Title: Effective strategies for supporting EAL learners new to English

Date: Tuesday 31st January 2017

Time: 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Venue: Darton College, Ballfield Lane, Darton, Barnsley, S75 5EF

Facilitator: Ramona Chapman

Audience: Primary and secondary RQTs, NQTs, ITT Trainees, HLTAs, LSAs

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It is immoral to demonise foreign children - Catriona Stewart, The Herald, 31 December 2016

A BOATER hat and a chequered dress had been swapped for a thick navy skirt and a tie. Previously, there had been an ocean just over the way, now bars guarded the windows from vandals.

I remember my first day at my Scottish primary, the sick pit of nerves and the detached curiosity. I’d moved school quite a few times before but never to a new country so this was a wholly unique experience.

What marked me out, to them, was my weird accent and my inability to comprehend my classmates’ questions.

I didn’t know what a Proddie or a Catholic was, never mind which I was. I didn’t know what Rangers or Celtic were. Why did I have to give the correct answer before anyone would chum me in the playground? There was a playtime scrum, with me in the middle, as I was heckled by these weird words.

“Tell them you’re Jewish,” Ma Stewart said. “Tell them you like rugby.” When I didn’t understand the accent, “Say, ‘I’m terribly sorry, I can’t quite understand you, could you please repeat yourself?’”

These were not the right things to say to Coatbridge classmates when you already stood out like a sore thumb. Worse was to puzzle out loud why Christian factions mattered when I’d come from a classroom full of Aborigines, Pacific Islanders, Greeks, Lebanese and etc.

So there we were, divided by a common language, with me in an invisible sandwich board that read, “Bully me”.

I can only imagine how much worse it would have been if English was not my native tongue. How alienating, how lonely, how outwith my control.

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Children who speak English as a second language more likely to overachieve in primary school, figures show -
Camilla Turner, Patrick Scott and Jack Kempster, The Telegraph, 15 December 2016

Children who speak English as a second language are more likely to excel at primary school, official figures show, as they reveal that white pupils are falling behind.

Figures released today by the Department for Education (DfE) reveal that non-native speaking children perform better than their English speaking counterparts at grammar, punctuation and spelling as well as mathematics.

For the first time, the DfE have measured how much progress primary school children have made, as well as how many have met the national standard for the three R’s.

Children who speak English as a first language have regressed in reading, writing and arithmetic while non-native speakers have shown vast improvement in all three.

Professor Alan Smithers, head of the centre for education and employment research at Buckingham University, said that “new arrivals” become the “focus of attention” for teachers, leading to faster improvement.

“Some very bright children come to this country or are born to immigrants. At first they are not familiar with the language but as they move through the primary school their fluency increases,” he said.

“In the case of the white children, they will have had every opportunity to learn the language already, so they may well be working closer to the top of their potential than the children who have come from abroad.

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Migrants face language barrier when accessing health services, report finds - Siobhan Ryan , The Argos (Sussex), 5 December 2016

MIGRANTS who have moved to Sussex from the EU are facing a language barrier when it comes to using some health services, a report has found.

The study by Healthwatch West Sussex found people who speak English as a second language have struggled to handle complicated telephone booking systems and emergency services such as 999 or 111.

The report, called West Sussex – A Home for All, got the views of 60 migrant families living in the coastal West Sussex area. Including Littlehampton, Bognor and Arundel.

The project was carried out as part of the watchdog’s remit in engaging with local people, particularly those whose voices are seldom heard, and offers a snapshot of the feelings families have towards healthcare in the county.

The group partnered with Accord, an organisation which runs native language Saturday schools and hosted an end of term party which took place at a children’s play centre in Arundel in July, shortly after the UK voted in favour of Brexit.

More than 80 per cent of people questioned had positive comments about GP services primary care, although, like the wider community, had problems with getting appointments to see a doctor.

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Government officials spent more on Cornish language lessons than on English ones for struggling Brits, reveals damning report
Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun, 5 December 2016

Poor English is a major cause of segregation, which is now at 'worrying levels,' claims landmark report by Dame Louise Casey.

GOVERNMENT integration officials spent more on Cornish language lessons than on English ones for struggling UK residents.

Ensuring everyone can speak the national language is a key finding of Dame Louise Casey’s landmark report on integration and extremism.

Poor English is a major cause of segregation, which is now at 'worrying levels', the senior civil servant found.

But despite language skills being a priority for years, the Casey Review heaped pressure on Tory ministers by revealing the Department for Communities and Local Government spent nothing at all on helping people learn English between 2011 and 2013.

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Best practice for EAL students - Sally Miller, Preston Lodge High School's Professional Learning Programme, 1 December 2016

Course outlines some of the theory of acquiring academic English when it is an additional language. Dates advertised after Xmas.

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School charges £1 for Nativity play tickets so headteacher can fund textbooks for foreign language-speaking pupils - The Telegraph, 28 November 2016

A row has erupted over a primary school’s plans to charge parents to watch their children's Nativity play and spend the proceeds on resources to help foreign language-speaking pupils learn English.

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EAL Teacher accused of asking colleague for 'just one kiss' - STV News, 22 November 2016

Nabil Ramzy allegedly told his fellow teacher he was jealous of her partner, shut her in a room and began to "stroke her hair" and approached her in a cupboard and hugged her.

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Pidgin - West African lingua franca - BBC News, 16 November 2016

The BBC is launching 11 new language services and one of them is English-based Pidgin, which is one of the most widely spoken languages across West Africa, even though it is not officially recognised.

What is Pidgin?

The Oxford English Dictionary definition of Pidgin is: A language containing lexical and other features from two or more languages, characteristically with simplified grammar and a smaller vocabulary than the languages from which it is derived, used for communication between people not having a common language; a lingua franca.

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School offers sanctuary to kids of 32 different nationalities, speaking 25 languages - Mike Brown, Gazette Live, 9 November 2016

A Middlesbrough school which brings together pupils with a diverse mix of languages and nationalities has been named a ‘school of sanctuary’.

Abingdon Primary School, in central Middlesbrough, is the first school among the region’s five authorities - Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton, Darlington and Hartlepool - to be recognised.

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Do language barriers put you off travelling? - Naomi Leach, Mail Online, 8 November 2016

Despite their best efforts, not everyone is a born linguist with the majority of Brits in particular, unable to speak a second language.

Faced with the prospect of a holiday blighted by broken conversation, pointing and blank stares it’s no surprise some travellers would feel more relaxed visiting a country where English is widely-spoken and understood.

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BilinguaSing: Why Parents Are Enrolling Their Babies In Language Classes From Just Four Weeks Old - Amy Packham, Huffington Post,
4 November 2016

Sam Faiers sparked a debate among parents when she enrolled her six-month-old son in Spanish lessons during her reality show ‘The Mummy Diaries’.

Some felt it was a great way to introduce a baby to different languages, but others argued against it saying Faiers son was too young to even speak English yet.

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Breaking down barriers - Charley Walker, daynurseries.co.uk, 28 October 2016

How one nursery makes children with English as an additional language 'feel special'

With an ever-growing multicultural population, UK nurseries are becoming increasingly aware of the need to promote cultural awareness and understanding, and to support children in their care whose first language is not English.

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Individual children's details passed to Home Office for immigration purposes - Alan Travis and Damien Gayle, The Guardian, 12 October 2016

Fears grow over new school census questions for England and Wales after school and home address details passed to Home Office 18 times in four years.

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What schools need to know about collecting census nationality data - Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week, 6 October 2016

Changes to the school census that require the collection of data on pupils’ country of birth and nationality are back on the agenda again after more parents took to twitter to share examples of schools’ responses to the new rules. The debate has also potentially reignited following an announcement at the Conservative Party conference that companies will be forced to list foreign workers.

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Readers' comments:

Perhaps the DfE could issue a gold star to each of the children that are not of British origin which could be stitched to the school uniform in order to help identify their additional educational needs. Yeah, nothing worrying about that at all. Carry on nothing wrong here. (Paul Kynman, 8 October)

This only further gives the xenophobes a context for securing their views. This information if at all needed could have been obtained from existing records. Those who would like to see all of our imigrants gone can only feel venerated in their view that they are some how superior and that our migrant population are some how unworthy. We all now how this turned out in 1930’s Germany. These are people’s children why leave them vunerable and exposed to this assumption. (Ian McCurdy , 17 October)

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