SME’s do you need value for money tools that support you to communicate with your clients?

Most small businesses struggle to find interpreters and translators not because they don’t want to but because they are not aware of what is available, or do not have the flexibility in their cash flow to allow them to secure the right person at the right time.  Unless the business revolves around languages then buying in expertise or a member of staff is not within their grasp. In reality we cannot all be linguists but we do need to be able to bridge the gap to communicate.

With our tools and resources you can easily communicate, with a set yearly charge (no hidden extras), available all day every day, day or night, at your fingertips.

Communicate across languages with EMASUK SMT's

Communicate across languages

Available as an app or on a tablet there are versions available for platforms including Apple, androids, Kindle fire and tablets.

To find out more contact us on 0845 009 4939 or Ask for your free phone walk through of how we can support you to communicate with your customers.


New resources added last month include…

UK Flag Colouring mat for Geography or Art – Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Catalan, Chinese, Corsican, Chechen, Cornish, Czech, English still more to come.


Colour me in UK flag.

Colour me in UK flag.

Thank You cards – Latvian, Lithuanian, Lojban, Luganda, Luxembourgish, Macedonian, Malay, Malayalam, Manx, Mauritian Creole, Navajo, Ndbele, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Occitan, Pashto, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Quechua, Romanian, Rapanui, Russsian, Samoan, Sardinian, Scottish Gaelic, Serbian, Sesotho, Shona, Sindarin, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Sorbian, Spanish, Sranan, Stellingwharfs, Tagalog, Tahitian, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrynia, Tok Pisin, Tongan, Tswana, Turkish, Ukranian, Urdu, Valencian, Venetian, Vietnamese, Voro, Walloon, Welsh, Xhosa, Xitsonga, Yappese, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zazaki and Zulu that’s 137 different languages in total.
Mothers Day Card – colour in yourself for either Art, PSHE or Early Years in Albanian, Arabic, Czech, Dutch, Filipino, German Italian, Kurdish, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Welsh, Polish.
Parts of a plant 5 page Assessment and worksheets for Science in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hebrew, Italian and more to come. Good for differentiation.
Easter Card and Teacher Information to support Art and RE in Arabic, Armenian, Aromanian, Bengali, Basque, Belarusian, Bikol with more to come.

Just to mention a few.  P.S. when in the library – Don’t forget to go to the bottom and scroll along to see more pages or double click on blue outside box to expand. Also it is sorted alphabetically starting with capital A , and then again further along with lower case a.

In the fractions of seconds it took my English-starved brain to process words like “Césarienne,” Dr. Martin had already spewed 15 more. This was a conversation I desperately needed to understand.

The new article really sets the scene from the patients point of view when dealing with medical issues. It also bears out our research at a Coventry hospital gynecological and maternity unit where patients found Clairetalk to be invaluable.

Using an interpreter can be an issue when the interpreter is male, when we are doing intimate examinations or discussing sensitive issues. The women can be less forth coming with information. NHS staff feedback re Clairetalk

The patient in this article clearly cites incidences where she feels the experience could have been improved but also where Education embracing bilingualism could also support more children in schools.

Six years ago this week I was sitting naked in a doctor’s examining chair, nine months pregnant and attempting to understand what my French-speaking OB-GYN was talking about.

It was an unsettling experience indeed, the naked and enormously nine-month-pregnant part, since it was a rude awakening to learn that the French don’t seem to care that those flimsy paper coverups exist. After spending half of my pregnancy and giving birth to my first child in France, and thus spending an exorbitant amount of time naked on examining tables, I vowed I would never take disposable exam gowns for granted again.

My modesty aside, the experience was most disquieting due to the fact that French words were rattling like pinballs inside my head. In the fractions of seconds it took my English-starved brain to process words like “Césarienne,” Dr. Martin had already spewed 15 more that I didn’t have the time or mental fortitude to translate. And this was a conversation I desperately needed to understand.

Two weeks before my due date, I sat in that chair as my already frazzled language-learning synapses grasped frantically at every four or fifth word I could comprehend. Painstakingly, after many sheepish requests that he “Parlez plus lentement, s’il vous plait” (speak slower, please), I was able to stack together enough of the puzzle to understand what he was telling me.

(Dr. Martin spoke one word of English: naked. So the beginning of the appointment had gone well. He pointed at me and commanded, “Naked!” so that’s what I did. It went downhill from there. Dr. Martin made it clear that he found it utterly annoying that an American woman would come to France and need her doctor to speak English. Some things, I discovered during our winter in France, need no translation.)

My “accouchement” (birth) would be “anormal” (abnormal) because the baby soon to be  known as Elodie was “au siege” (breech), and I would need to plan for a “Césarienne,” (C-section.) It would be next week, on Fevrier 22, merci et au revoir!

It was certainly my choice to put myself in the uncomfortable position of being giant-bellied and stark naked in a country where I spoke the language as well as a native 2-year-old. So I took the mental battering as well as I could, considering our circumstances, and now that I look back, I’m more grateful than ever that Craig and I were naïve enough to think that having a baby in France would be “pas de problem.”

I have a beautiful daughter with a French name and birth certificate, and, in addition, a much more acute appreciation of the need for learning a second language.

Last month, the Telluride School District’s Global Fluency Committee gave a presentation on incorporating bilingual education into the elementary school curriculum. More than half of the world’s population (65 percent) are bilingual or multilingual. Young children learn languages easily, and learning another language has been shown to enhance a child’s proficiency in his or her native tongue, we learned.

While in France, I noticed that nearly everyone in Tignes, the ski resort where we lived for a season, on Ski Patrol exchange, spoke at least enough English to get by. Nearly half of that resort’s visitors come from English-speaking countries, so speaking English is just a part of doing business. I also observed, with much awe, that the children in the Tignes preschool were already being given lessons in English.

As it turns out, France isn’t the only place where non-native languages are quickly gaining traction.

School-age children who speak a language other than English at home are one of the fastest-growing populations in the United States, studies suggest. Their numbers doubled between 1980 and 2009, and now comprise 21 percent of school-age kids.

There were 4.7 million students classified as “English language learners” – those who have not yet achieved proficiency in English – in the 2009-10 school year, or about 10 percent of children enrolled, according to the most recent figures available from the U.S. Department of Education.

Bilingual education has long been a hot-button issue in America, raising issues like immigration and civil rights. California, Massachusetts and Arizona have actually banned bilingual education, claiming that it hinders, rather than helps, students who lack proficiency in English.

Thus far, much of the bilingual-education debate has centered around whether or not bringing  non-English speakers to English proficiency is the duty of the public school system, and if so, how can it best be done. Statistics show that many schools’ non-English speakers actually fare worse in standardized tests when educated under a bilingual system.

Yet proponents of bilingual education counter that the schools boasting the highest percentages of non-English speakers, which offer some form of bilingual education, are usually located in the lowest-income school districts and thus face an array of roadblocks to offering quality education overall, including large class size and insufficiently trained teachers.

The bilingual education debate isn’t new. In response to a growing outcry that non-English-speaking students weren’t getting an equal education due to a dearth of teachers and programs promoting multilingual studies, Congress passed the Bilingual Education Act in 1968. Later, the National Advisory Council on Bilingual Education was formed to articulate a plan for a national policy in bilingual education.

In the language of the federal law: “Where inability to speak and understand the English language excludes national origin minority group children from effective participation in the educational program offered by a school district, the district must take affirmative steps to rectify the language deficiency in order to open its instructional program to these students.”

Yet a part of the debate that seems to be emerging more recently centers around the idea that bilingual education can benefit students other than those who don’t speak English. English-speaking students, when educated early under a truly bilingual program (in which 50 percent of class time is spent speaking English and 50 percent speaking another language, like the system TSD’s Global Fluency Committee has proposed,) have been shown to excel in their native language as well as a second language. As bilingual graduates, they enter a growingly diverse world job market better prepared. And though studies can’t prove it, I’m willing to bet that on average, citizens who speak another language would have a healthier respect and understanding of other cultures.

Let’s end the debate and start seeing the world, and our children’s place in it, for what it really is: Culturally and linguistically diverse. Let’s raise our children with not just a healthy respect for other cultures and languages, but with a solid comprehension of those cultures and languages. And that means educating them early in the languages of other cultures.

I heartily applaud the Telluride School District’s Global Fluency Committee’s forward-thinking approach to closing the multilingualism gap that currently exists between American students and the rest of the world. Let’s raise up all of our community’s students, by offering them the chance to speak the all-inclusive language of cultural acceptance.

What do you think? I am sure our doctors dont have the same attitude as the patients doctor all I have met want to support their patients the best way possible.

For Health providers if you want more information about Clairetalk go to the website and choose Healthcare

For education if you want more information about Talking Tutor, Text Tutor and our award winning two can Talk again choose and choose Education.

or email us at or call

NHS pricing guidelines

NHS pricing guidelines

*NEW *November Uploads to EAL Resource Library

For those of you wondering what was new last month I have uploaded;

Using the Talking Tools and A4 sheet giving a quick overview now in the Teachers Section of the Resource Vault.

Cell Poster for Science in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Dutch, Gujarati, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Italian, Malay, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish and Urdu.

Food Chains wolf, deer, grass posters for science in Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Dutch, English, Gujarati, Hebrew, Latvian, Lithuanian, Italian, Malay, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu.

Food chains producers to consumers poster for science in Bengali, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hungarians, Italian, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu.

Herbivores poster for science in Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu.

Human Body workbook for PE or Science in Farsi and Turkish.

Learning Mat Lines for Maths in Albanian, Bengali, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Nepali, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu.

Maths Resource sheets in Portuguese.

Signage – Please walk carefully in Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, Danish, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hungarian, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Thai, Turkish and Welsh.


The first language is the language of ‘love’

Teachers often ask advice as to what to say to parents who say to them that they want their children only to speak English. My advice is always that the first language is a great bridge to learning the second language quicker, but also the key to their roots so I was immediately drawn to this recent article

The first language is the foundation for the second language. In addition, it is the language of “love;” the language in which, parents, grandparents, cousins and aunts communicate. If a young child is separated from that circle of communication, a valuable developmental tool is taken away. The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association says, parents should support and build the first language as children learn the second language. Parents should continue to use the first language with their child and feel comfortable doing so.

They further go on to say

First, it is critical for your child to use language often, no matter the language. Some parents have been told that their child should stop using the home language (for example, Spanish), if they are having difficulty learning English. This advice has been given to parents for many years, but it is not correct.

Finally the article gives advice on the type of things that you should look out for incase there is a problem with speech development using Spanish as the second language to give examples.

There are some additional things to be aware of as your child is developing language. Your 1-year-old should be alert to her surroundings, follow simple commands, such as “come to mama or ven a mama,” and try to make babbling sounds like “mama and dada.” Two-year-old children should be putting two words together, such as “no quiero or up now;” however, the sounds in the words may not all be clear. By 3 years of age, your child should be using short phrases and sentences to communicate.

The language of many 3-year-olds is so mature that they sound like miniature adults. If your child is in school and is having difficulty, the first thing to do is to find out if the first language is developing normally. As schoolwork in English becomes more demanding, your child may face more challenges in school and sometimes be discouraged. Good language use is important to all subjects in school. Talk to your child’s teacher or  request a speech and language evaluation in both languages.

I hope this helps as often we are unsure of what to say and why. If there are any other benefits please share them with the other readers of the blog via the comments box.

For the full story

Supporting EAL learners – Literacy activity for small groups

Choose a book to read. Pip is a great one to start with.

Work out which words the children will need to understand the story.

Pre teach these words. Use two can Talk, talking tutor or the hand held to engage and ensure greater understanding.

Read the book

After reading ensure understanding and embedding of relevant words to do this.

Organise the group into smaller groups of three to five learners.

Give each child a discussion type question to ask the group that they are in.

Encourage reading out aloud of the question.

Number each group member i.e. groups of three number 1-3. Ask Number 1 to read the question and No2 to make a comment about the question and invite discussion via all 3. when that finished no 2 to read out their question, No 3 to comment etc. until all group members have had their say.

Make necessary adjustments depending on the groups needs e.g. for those whose language is limited.

“Given the appropriate environment, two languages are as normal as two lungs” (Cook 2002:23).

“Given the appropriate environment, two languages are as normal as two lungs” (Cook 2002:23).

As schools reopen in September it is a time to rebuild, rebadge (in some cases e.g. academies) and rethink.  In many cases I believe it is the ethos of the school led from the head through the senior managers that makes a place succeed. I challenge you all to rethink using the quote above as your guide.  Question whether your environment does encourage your children’s development and learning as well as bridging the gap effectively between the first and second language in the case of new arrivals and EAL learners,  Many I guess will say yes in an instant, but review and reflect as to whether it is.  Does your environment and ethos allow for mistakes to be made in a safe, no blame classroom , school and playground?

Everyone when learning makes mistakes what happens next is what makes the difference.

As a teacher do you blame and chastise until the learner feels unable to try again (we all hope we don’t but what does happen when we are having a bad day?).

For the learners do we encourage them to try and try again supporting them to move forward? Do we look for different way to teach the concept or topic or just shout louder or worse still tell everyone that they are not capable and don’t try ?

Do you use a wide variety of tools including technology and resources to suit the situation or do you simply say I have a dictionary in my classroom and a TA that speaks e.g. Polish and that is all they need.

Do you ask and suggest training that ensures all you or staff in the teams that you work in support and develop the learning environment that you want to create?

Do you ask for help when you need it? Do you ask the pupils and staff whether it is being achieved or do you sit there in blinkers convinced all is well until OFSTED/ESTYN comes in and lets you know otherwise?

If you are one of the lucky ones who has it right in your classroom then share it with others so that everyone at the school achieves.





September 2013 – OFSTED subsidary guidance EMASUK Keeping you up-to-date

In September a few things are changing for schools and OFSTED guidance for inspectors change accordingly.  To find the information or see a summary of some of the points below. The biggest challenge will be the disapplication of the National Curriculum in the UK and the use of Pupil Premium.

Disapplication of the National Curriculum

  1. The majority of the national curriculum is being ‘disapplied’ (ie suspended) from September 2013 for one year for most subjects to give all schools the freedom to change what they teach in order to prepare for the new national curriculum. Disapplication is a suspension of the content of the national curriculum, not the subjects themselves. New statutory programmes of study will be introduced for all subjects from 2014 (2015 for Key Stage 4 English, maths and science) – with the addition of foreign languages at Key Stage 2. ICT will be renamed computing.
  2. Whilst schools will still have to teach all national curriculum subjects, what they cover will be up to them. The intention is to help teachers to manage the transition from the old national curriculum to the new one.  For example, teachers can stick broadly to the current national curriculum but will be able to vary when they teach topics and what topics they teach. They can use this freedom to cover any gaps in pupils’ knowledge and understanding to make sure they are prepared to learn the new curriculum from 2014.
  3. Disapplication is a permissive measure – no school will be required to change its curriculum in 2013/14. At Key Stage 4 for English, mathematics and science the freedom will last for two academic years because the new national curriculum will be taught from 2015/16 for those pupils. Teachers will still have to teach the national curriculum for English, maths and science to pupils in years 1, 2, 5 and 6 in 2013/14.  This is to ensure that pupils are properly prepared for national curriculum tests at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in summer 2014.

Evaluating the school’s use of the pupil premium

  1. It is for schools to decide how the pupil premium is spent. However, they are accountable for their use of this funding. Since September 2012, schools have been required to publish online information about their pupil premium allocation and how they plan to spend it this year. They must also publish a statement of how they spent the money for the previous year and its impact on the attainment of pupils eligible for support through the pupil premium. This is intended to ensure that parents and others are made fully aware of the impact on the attainment of pupils covered by the pupil premium.
  2. Local authorities decide how to allocate the pupil premium for pupils from low-income families in non-mainstream settings. The local authority must consult non-mainstream settings about how the premium for these pupils should be used.
  3. When evaluating the effectiveness of leaders, managers and governors, inspectors should gather evidence about the use of the pupil premium in relation to the following key issues:

1. the level of pupil premium funding received by the school in the current academic year and levels of funding received in previous academic years

2. how the school has spent the pupil premium and why it has decided to spend it in the way it has

3. any differences made to the learning and progress of pupils eligible for the pupil premium as shown by performance data and inspection evidence.

[1]The pupil premium is specific, additional funding provided to support the education of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years (known as the Ever6 free school meal measure), children who have been looked after continuously for a period of 6 months and children whose parents are currently serving in the armed forces. See for further information.

Impact of pupil premium and Year 7 catch-up

  1. Inspectors must consider the difference between the average points scores in each of English and mathematics in national assessments at the end of Key Stage 2, and at GCSE at the end of Key Stage 4, for the following groups:

those pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and all other pupils (FSM and non-FSM pupils)

children who are looked after and all other pupils (CLA and non-CLA)

children of service families and all other pupils. (This information is not contained in RAISEonline but inspectors will expect schools to provide it during the inspection.)

  1. Inspectors must evaluate the performance in English and in mathematics of groups of pupils who are supported through the pupil premium. Where a gap is identified between the performance of pupils supported through the pupil premium and all others in the school, inspectors must report this and whether it is narrowing. They should express gaps in terms of National Curriculum levels or a period of time (such as ‘two terms’) at the end of Key Stage 2, or GCSE grades at the end of Key Stage 4.
  2. The following table shows suitable ways of expressing gaps in average points scores using plain language and simple fractions, which should be reported in words. Inspectors should take into account the way in which the school divides up the school year, such as into terms, in selecting wording that readers will understand.









Key Stage 2
NC levels







terms (3 per year)




























Key Stage 4






GCSE grades







  1. Inspectors must also evaluate and report on the progress being made by pupils targeted for the Year 7 catch-up programme, including through analysis of summary data kept by the school.[1]

[1] This programme is for pupils who did not achieve the expected Level 4 in either reading or mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2.

Pupils’ cultural development is shown by their:

understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage

willingness to participate in, and respond to, for example, artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities

interest in exploring, understanding of, and respect for cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

UK National Curriculum – EAL special

This is an Overview of the  UK National Curriculum 2014 from document:

showing the relation to EAL learners and  how EMASUK resources can support some of these areas.

The New National Curriculum 2014 will look like this:

National Curriculum structure

In relation to EAL pupils it states in sections 4.5 and 4.6 that:

Teachers must also take account of the needs of pupils whose first language is not English. Monitoring of progress should take account of the pupil’s age, length of time in this country, previous educational experience and ability in other languages.

The ability of pupils for whom English is an additional language to take part in the national curriculum skills in English. Teachers should plan teaching opportunities to help pupils develop their English and should aim to provide the support pupils need to take part in all subjects.

From these statements clearly  the government are expecting every ordinary teacher (i.e. not  a linguist)  to work with both English speaking and non-English speaking children in their classrooms at the same time.  If ordinary teachers are able to do this job, in this way, then they need to  communicate effectively with all students regardless of language and it is the schools job to provide them with the tools and services needed to do their job effectively. As schools who have been using this system in classrooms are now getting more confident we are seeing the results that the children, teachers and school see real differences including improved self-esteem, improved academic language retention and ultimately improved performance. So rest assured it can be done.

Personal help and effective use of a versatile computer programme which supports pupils –and parents –who are at the early stages of learning English enables them to make excellent progress in English. These pupils make better progress than similar pupils, nationally.


Schools are able to do this by ensuring that teachers are able confident in their ability to use the resources and tools and use them when and where necessary. In some schools it may mean that a new arrival arrives in the classroom on day 1 and the resource vault is used and two can talk to assess their ability in their home language. Schools are using the same assessment as they would do with any child that moves from another town or county as Two can Talk allows them the flexibility to do this. It may be necessary a few weeks down the line not to sue these but instead use Terry (talking tutor) to give instruction or biligualise spoken text using the whiteboard as a medium.  At parent interview time again Two Can Talk  could come into its own as it is great to record and keep a record of the parents views and understanding. Its knowing what is available and then working out what suits you best in each situation.

The National Curriculum supports all this by telling everyone to follow the teachers who having been teaching the EMASUK way  by ensuring the children develop their academic vocabulary, and those who have been on our training courses will be au fait with how to develop this in normal classrooms no matter how many languages are within it. For many schools that have been resistive to these ideas the NC clearly informs them that they must get on board with our way of teaching and learning and shares with them what we all know in 6.4 that:

Pupils’ acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum. Teachers should therefore develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on pupils’ current knowledge. (What John and I have been saying for five years now). They should increase pupils’ store of words in general; simultaneously.

In year 3 as teachers and pupils developed it became clear to us that exams and SATS were a really huge problem not only for learners but for their teachers. Often there wasn’t enough time for them to teach the academic language needed but also no resources to save them preparation time. Today teachers use of our GCSE books (available in many languages) support their further statement in 6.4 that;

Older pupils should be taught the meaning of instruction verbs that they may meet in examination questions. It is important to induct pupils into the language which defines each subject in its won right, such as accurate mathematical and scientific language.

All of this is easily done providing the ethos of the schools is not that of  ‘One size fits all’, but each individual has learnt before, so lets move from there and bridge the language gap to support their English language acquisition. Using Two Can Talk allows you to find out where they are and what they know in their first language. From there conversion of concept to the introduction of the English word as opposed to using time to go over the whole concept again means the speed at which they pick up English increases. Used with the library of resources that supports specific academic language development, teachers have a base from which to start and then use Text Tutor and/or two can talk to create their own personalised resources. If it is done systematically in a planned and targeted way, it will ensure that the learners in less time will  have a greater understanding of meaning and improved range of vocabulary. Also by using their previous learning it not only values what they have previously achieved  but also helps them to extend their language skills and broaden their vocabulary quicker.

Just by way of example the resource vault has pre made resources. These are a starting point until teachers know what they want to create for themselves. It means that where the NC 2104 Maths states;

  • consolidate their numerical and mathematical capability
  • extend their understanding of the number system
  • use language and properties precisely, such as with 2D and 3D shapes,

there will be a resource in the vault.  To find it is easy just login in then go to the resource vault, choose, by subject and the resources will be there in a variety of languages.  Using the maths sheets available in the resource vault and the maths book teachers can support EAL including bilingual children to learn quicker and express themselves using mathematical terminology. To further support this the Maths books found here

In the resource vault the Time book in various languages supports the children to use their previous knowledge to develop both their English language linguistic development and their mathematical academic language side by side. This books further supports the year 4  NC expectation

  • read, write and convert time between analogue and digital 12 and 24 hour clocks.

All these resources can be tailored to your pupils by your creation of the document, worksheet, newsletter that you want and then using the cut and paste option to take the words or diagrams needed.

The NC2014 Science curriculum stipulates a spoken language requirement, so further to my question the other day about TA’s, maybe we should be ensuring that they also have the academic language taught via INSET and mentoring programmes so that they don’t feel isolated.

To support the NC requirements in Science that pupils must;

  • identify and describe basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers

In the vault there are resources to support this and in schools like Teign School, Devon who have an active farm, pupils can actually be taken to experience this first hand within lesson time. They can further develop their science knowledge easily by allowing learners who maybe have not seen the types of trees and flowers we have in the UK to:

  • use the local environment throughout the year to explore and answer questions about plants growing in their habitat. Where possible they should observe the growth of flowers and vegetables that they have planted.
  • Pupils must work scientifically by working closely, perhaps using magnifying glasses, and comparing and contrasting familiar plants

This not only familiarise pupils with their local environment but supports new arrivals in learning bout their new country but on the same level playing field as their peers. NB Look out as well for all the resources in the vault to support food chains and habitats .

Bilingual Language Mat

Using a standard language mat in Arabic and English to create learning resources

For any teacher to create their own resources to fulfil the new curriculum requirements and extend their current resources basis Text Tutor, Two Can Talk and Terry can all support you to create what you need, when you need it for your own classroom.

For current prices contact or 0845 009 4939 or fro the bookstore.

If you are a member and would like a telephone overview to ensure you are getting the best out of these please contact us and ask for an educationalist to talk you through the resource vault and talking tools.

Do we trust our EAL TAs too much?

Last week I enjoyed returning to Enfield to meet with previous colleagues and present information about our tools and services. This gave me a unique insight into classroom practice that I had not questioned before i.e. do we trust our EAL TAs too much.

Don’t shout at me too much until you consider this.

Twenty years or so ago  mums came to school and supported their local school by listening to pupils reading. Then some schools had teacher recruitment difficulties, others had budgets to cut and these same people were suddenly give the opportunity to have more responsibility. Some mums were brave and admitted they were not up to this level of academic knowledge or did not have a sufficient skill level re. imparting knowledge. Others with insufficient skills, knowledge or performance levels sometimes kept going until they either failed through some measure put in place to ensure that only those with the appropriate skills and knowledge got through or the head teacher promoted them no more.

This was easily done as there was a common language through which assessment, mentoring and guidance was given. There was also not so much criticism from OFSTED, and governors at that time did not have as much influence over the schools performance .

Today everyone from the pupils to the teachers are monitored, performance managed, mentored, guided or just let go.  We even monitor each other!However one group of people are not specifically targeted probably due to the lack of common language once instruction us given. The group are the EAL TAs even if their English language in every day sentence structure is incorrect we use an excuse generally  along the lines of …well it is their second language. How do we know that in their first language they are any better?

This leads me further to question:
1.How can we check this?
2. As school governors how can you be sure they are doing the best for your pupils?
3. Are children taking longer than others in similar circumstances to learn English because your TA s are needing the instruction first or simply do not have the academic language required to support these pupils?
3. When did you last really look at your TAs performance?

This then leads into how do we cross the language barrier to give our TAs the same support as other TAs and teachers? One solution is Two can Talk which allows the teacher/ senior manager or head  teacher to communicate in their respective first language and pick up the sort of information you need. How can we expect this group of  people to teach the variety of curriculum areas they need on a daily basis without finding the support we need to give them.

Also re CRB checking are we sure that although they may not be registered in the UK if they have not been in the UK long they may be registered in their home country.

What school leaders should consider
1. Why am I leaving this child’s education in the hands of someone who has not been checked or taught to the required academic level  needed to support them across many curriculum areas (consider SEN pupils who need more support and their teachers specialist instruction)
2. Why  am I sending a group of children out from the classroom with an adult that I am unsure what their teaching ability and academic knowledge is but just implicitly trust that they are doing as good a job as I would in their circumstances.
3. How can we as a school improve the children’s chances?
4. Just because a parent or TA speaks a language that we as a school community needs access to it doesn’t mean that this person will be competent across all teaching levels. How can I support them?
5. How can I measure competence of academic instruction?
6. How can I measure pupil performance against TA instruction?
7. How do I create performance management policies for EAL TAs

How do others think? How can we support this unchallenged and unsupported group of people who are told here are 10 children and then just left to get on with it.