Translated comments for Home School Communication (Polish)

This extremely useful collection of bilingual comments was originally produced by the EAL service in Moray and was added to the resources provided on the East Lothian EAL website. 

It attempts to cover all situations when teachers need to communicate with parents and provides an easy to use format. Short comments in English and Polish and can be printed off as required , glued into the homework diary or even posted or e-mailed home.

 It has now been updated by the St Andrew’s Learning Community who have edited the Polish and presented each comment in its own box ready for printing.

 Even if you are acquainted with this resource please look at the updated version. .There are also comments in Chinese and Russian.

 Just follow this link:

https://sites.google.com/a/www.edubuzz.org/english-as-an-additional-language/information-for-parents-in-polish

Many thanks to Janet Storey for providing this valuable information.

Bilingual story telling

This is a reprint of an article from 2008.  Musselburgh Burgh Primary still organises bilingual story time for P1 pupils.

Unfortunately this  example of best practice should be happening more often in our schools as there are so many benefits for pupils, schools and parents.

Story time at The Burgh

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

Last year when her daughter was in Primary 5 the EAL teacher helped to arrange for a Polish mum to support our Art Specialist on a weekly basis. This was a great help to both the teacher and the pupils and the mum really enjoyed the experience. She is a qualified teacher and although she speaks very little English was able to communicate with the children through their artwork.

This year the same lady asked if she could help out again. She is now attending college so does not have as much time as previously.

I asked if she could come into my Primary 1 class to read stories in Polish once a fortnight. I have a Polish pupil in my class who often finds it difficult to focus during story time. We purchased bilingual story books and the mum read the Polish version and I was able to echo in English. When she heard the story in Polish, my P1 pupil was really excited and the rest of the class were fascinated. Now that they are a regular event the other children also enjoy these sessions and are beginning to predict what I am going to say based on what has been read and they are able to pick out some Polish words if they are repeated a lot within the story.

The bilingual books also go home with my pupil and she reads them with her parents who can both speak English.

We are working on Personal Account writing at the moment and I asked the pupils to draw a day out they had enjoyed. I asked the P6 Polish pupil to pop down to explain this task to her mum and my pupil. The mum then sat and supported her with her drawing and discussed the details of her picture encouraging her to add more detail when appropriate.

This collaboration has been of mutual benefit to everyone involved.

Alison Elgin. Musselburgh Burgh Primary School

EAL News

Please go to the website http://www.edubuzz.org/eal to see recent postings relevant to support for pupils acquiring English as an Additional Language.

Recent topics:

Using dictionaries in secondary school

Teachers support bilingualism in the classroom

Great resource for children in the early stages of learning English

How to assess EAL pupils in Science

 

Resource for supporting EAL students

I frequently find super tools at the blog of a teacher in Edinburgh who maintains a very interesting blog full of links to great online resources.

Here is a resource she has found invaluable for helping a family whose first language is not English.

Check it out – and if you like it make a comment on her blog to say so. It’s so encouraging to those of us who blog to see that others are interested in what we have to say.

How does it feel for teenagers newly arrived in Scotland?

A friend told me about an interesting television programme which they had watched recently. I was able to find and view it thanks to the marvel of the Channel 4 replay service.

 

The short film “Parliamo Glasgow” which is part of the “Coming Up” series for young film makers,  deals with the difficulties faced by a Polish teenager, after moving into a high rise flat in Glasgow. I feel that in 23 minutes it clearly presents the pressures which young people experience and how they are forced to rely “on the kindness of strangers” – often assuming responsibilty beyond what would have been expected in their home country. 

 

Some of you may find it rather “naff” but I would thoroughly recommend it everyone.

 

Click on this link to view the programme on line.

 

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/coming-up/episode-guide/series-3

 

Count Us In: young people newly arrived in Scotland

HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) has published a report entitled, ‘Count Us In: A sense of belonging: Meeting the needs of children and young people newly arrived in Scotland’.

This study into the educational experiences of ‘New Scots’ looked at the impact of numbers of newly-arrived children and young people from migrant families on education services.

The task involved a survey of all 32 local authorities and direct fieldwork with 12 local authorities. The fieldwork involved interviews with education officers, visits to a sample of schools and discussions with staff, children and parents.

More information here.

Some more equal …

The Outreach Team had an interesting day recently looking at the new Curriculum for Excellence outcomes and experiences for Literacy and English and Health and Well Being.

One of the outcomes under the Responsible Citizens heading started a lively debate which raised the whole issue of inclusion and equality:

I can evaluate environmental, scientific and technological issues.

We discussed case studies of students with English as an additional language (including those who use British Sign Language) and wondered if such an evaluation carried out in English would be fair to them. Surely if it is their knowledge and understanding of, say Biology, that is being assessed, then a full answer in their native tongue would be a truer representation than one done in a second language.

If this does not happen, pupils who use English as an additional language are not fully included in Curriculum for Excellence until they are proficient in written English. We decided that their abilities in their own language must be acknowledged; just as learners with dyslexia are entitled to have poor spelling overlooked if the content is understood.

This of course raises enormous issues about availability of translators, apart from the more deep seated issue about a right to be included.

Thanks to Janet Storey for the fascinating lead on this discussion.

Framework for Inclusion

The Scottish Government announced yesterday that a new initiative in teacher training – the National Framework for Inclusion – aims to ensure better classroom support for pupils with additional needs, such as dyslexia.
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Fiona Hyslop launched the Framework which offers advice to encourage student teachers and qualified teachers to be inclusive in their teaching.

The Framework was funded by the Scottish Government and developed by the Scottish Teacher Education Committee (STEC), the body for the seven Scottish universities who provide teacher training.identifies the values and beliefs, professional knowledge and understanding and the skills and abilities, in terms of inclusive education, to be expected of both student teachers and qualified teachers. A further web-based resource will give support by providing relevant, high quality materials and documentation.

The document proposes under each of the headings (Student Teachers, Teachers, Advanced Professionals) what should be regarded as minimum expectations of teachers at each of the levels rather than as a hierarchical approach to anticipated engagement by teachers.

It aims to place a clear emphasis on the essential role played by the values and beliefs (Professional Values and Commitment) of each teacher in their commitment to the development of inclusive practice.

The Framework Document aims to be comprehensive but not prescriptive. It is question-based to encourage teachers to accept a shared responsibility for researching answers – and further questions – with the support of the web-based repository. It would be good to see staff in schools thinking about these questions in relation to all their pupils.

I really welcome the fact that it promotes inclusion as being the responsibility of all teachers in all schools and has tried to identify and to address the needs of teachers at all stages of their careers. It recognises and emphasises the need for career-long and life-long learning

‘Books for All’

CALL Scotland  recently ran this course in East Lothian – we’re all really enthusiastic and I’ll try to summarise here.

‘Books for All is about learning materials in accessible, alternative formats, for people who have difficulty reading ordinary printed books.

Most people think of Braille and Large Print when they think of alternative formats but in fact there are many more types of accessible textbooks, workbooks, worksheets, assessment and examination papers and other learning resources.

Similarly, it is commonly assumed that the pupils who need alternative formats are blind and partially sighted. In fact, there are many other groups of “print-disabled” pupils who can benefit from learning resources in alternative formats. For example:

Students who have a physical difficulty with holding books or turning pages can benefit from audio books or materials in a digital format on the computer.
Students with specific learning difficulties, dyslexia, or reading difficulties can read material if it is printed in a larger or different font, or on coloured paper, or displayed on computer. Many pupils with reading difficulties can also access information by listening to audio books, or by having the text read out by a computer.
Students with learning difficulties may benefit from simplified language, books printed in a simpler font or layout, or from books with symbols, or from audio books.
Students with hearing impairment may need simplified language, audio books or multimedia resources with signed video.’

At the course we learned about the copyright law and how to use a variety of free software to create accessible materials for our students. Many of these facilities are embedded in Microsoft Word.

We found out how to add comments to text, use document maps and headings, add recorded voice to text and loads more. The Scottish Voice (Heather), WordTalk and sources of free texts made this course really valuable. Now all I need to do is work my way through then CD rom and workbook!