English as an Additional Language resources

Do you have a student in your class whose native language is not English and you are looking for resources, ideas, classroom support strategies?  I thought it was worth reminding people of Janet Storey’s excellent resources and weblinks on the EAL Google site.

https://sites.google.com/a/edubuzz.org/english-as-an-additional-language/

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.

New website for young learners of English as an Additional Language

Have a look at this fun website Anglomaniacy. It has word games, quizzes, songs, printable worksheets and other resources for parents/carers and teachers.

This is a website produced in Poland with a great variety of resources for vocabulary and grammar for all pupils learning English. There are interactive grammar games to reinforce patterns and these are accompanied by a Polish translation.  There are good worksheets and games to help teach Christmas language.

A Polish version of the text is also available at the click of a button so it supports bilingualism and would be useful for parents to use at home.

For lots more resources to support young learners of English as an Additional Language, check out Janet Storey’s excellent website here.

ICT and Inclusion

I attended the ICT and Inclusion Day at the CALL Centre last week. It was an ideal opportunity to  see the latest hardware and software and hear practical, information-packed, short presentations on a wide range of topics all geared towards learners with additional support for learning needs. I was able to  meet and network with colleagues, make some interesting new contacts and chat with presenters and suppliers.

Workshop 1BOOKS FOR ALL

School and authorites are obliged under Disability and Equality legislation to consider how they can provide learning resources in accessible formats for pupils with disabilities. CALL Scotland have created a database of books currently available and provide training on how to adapt books.   Hodder Gibson are offering free digital copies of their resources subject to a print copy having been bought and also subject to very strict copyright terms and conditions.  Action:   I am keen to establish how we take this forward in East Lothian and ensure pupils can be provided with  books in an alternative formats when required.  Do we have a Print Disability Copyright Licence?

Workshop 2Age Appropriate ICT resources for older students with complex needs

Fil McIntyre from BRITE Centre reviewed some resources (keyboards, mice, switches) that are not highly coloured or involve gimmicky animals and therefore would suit older students.  The exception was for visually impaired students who often prefer bright colours and colour contrasts.  Action: Identifying software and reading material that is age and ability appropriate.

Workshop 3: Read and Write Gold 10 demo

This assistive software is designed to help those with dyslexia, literacy difficulties and English as a second language.  The PDF Aloud feature converts text to speech and the writing support tools allows users to study independently in an inclusive environment. We have a site licence for  high schools in East Lothian so it’s  installed on all computers but may be an underused resource.   Action:  Cost the upgrade to R & W Gold 10; arrange training sessions for SfL staff

Workshop 4:  Optelec – visually impaired hardware

We were shown a range of powerful hand held magnifiers and braille notetakers.  They were very similar to the Humanware products that have been bought for visually impaired and blind pupils in East Lothian.  Action: Share this information with Visually impaired service.

Workshop 5: iPods and iPads for Communication

A variety of communication apps have been created to enable pupils to communicate using voice output.  There are a number of downsides to consider… even top of the range AAC app Proloquo2go has no alternate access options (key guards, scanning) and the UK voice choices are not great. It would be ideal if you could install Heather and the Scottish male voice that is currently being developed.

 Photo Story and Communication passport apps allow photos, videos, audio and text into a book format. The iPad having a larger screen makes this more visually appealing and easier to read but the iPod touch for portability is ideal for other users.  Action: Continue to pursue issue of obtaining access to iTunes store on school network so I can get some devices out to pupils to try out these apps. The idea being these popular mainstream devices are cost effective communication aids and almost as importantly, are very cool!!

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.