Traditional v 21st Century language translation methods. Which are you?

This is an interesting story that really makes you think about language acquisition.

A power couple in neuroscience, professors Patricia Kuhl and Andrew Meltzoff were in Hong Kong recently to give a talk on their respective areas of expertise – emotional quotient and intelligence quotient – and the role of each in language acquisition.

For me I am left with the feeling that traditional methods are wholly useless, and no matter how long a person tries to learn a language or how much money they spend then they are already setting themselves up for a fall. However people still tell us if we are to communicate across language then we must speak another language. For me I think we just need to simply communicate.

It is difficult to acquire language later in life because the brain loses its elasticity. In terms of learning new languages past the age of seven, Kuhl posits that the “window of learning” stays open longer for children who were exposed to different languages as babies.

I believe that if this research is true then those who have had no exposure to other languages as a child, will struggle as adults and depending on when this influence stopped their wired connections in the brain are already being depleted.

Kuhl found early language skills predict future reading abilities, and skills not developed early are difficult to remediate later on.

This is where I believe EMASUK comes into its own.

  • We don’t want people to fail.
  • We understand that not everyone is a linguist, not everyone can learn many languages yet the way people are moving globally this is in some cities and expectation.
  • What we do all want to do is communicate whether with colleagues, customers or other adults, no matter what field you are in. For the vast majority of us that means recognising where we are and then looking for a way to bridge the gap.

Our award winning Talking Tool called Two can Talk or ClaireTalk (in health settings) does this easily and relatively cheaply. Using two key boards and 26 languages it is possible to communicate across these languages simply and effectively at low cost 24 hours a day.

So which will you be?

  1. traditional continuing to do what you have always done and wondering why it isn’t having an effect? or
  2. use the toosl and knowledge available to me today to develop my communication skills?

If you chose number 2 the contact us for more details, 07824612965 for more details.

Bruce Moss

Tel: 07500 008092



Resources and tools to support you to talk to new arrivals or those whose first language is not English.

In recent Ofsted reports a number of schools that use EMAS UK have achieved ‘outstanding’ judgements and our revolutionary tools and resources have been highlighted as helping pupils achieve higher results than their peers nationally. They could all show how the pupil premium raised standards and achieved outstanding value for money.

If you have a number of EAL pupils and want resources and tools that will enable you to:

  • Communicate with them in their home language
  • Have them answer in English
  • Interview parents and carers
  • Have more effective targeting of pupils
  • Reduce disaffection through engagement
  • Have language specific work already prepared
  • Send letters home in the parent’s home language
  • Answer emails with the ease of a home language speaker
  • Use the same system as used      by Doctors and nurses in hospitals

Then talk to EMAS UK about how using their tools can make a positive difference.

Created by:

  • Teachers for teacher.
  • Classroom practitioners with years of EAL experience.
  • Utilising best practice and disseminating it.

For less than £500 a primary school can have award winning cover 24/7.

Now launching the newest tool in your pocket. The Talking App similar to Siri. It can be used by any iPad or tablet and works wherever you have 3G or Wi-Fi.

Practical Ideas for using Talking Tutor

In the mailbag I found this today from a school in Newcastle.  I thought I would share it as they are reflecting on how they have used Talking Tutor in the past year.

Thank you for organising access to Talking Tutor.  We have found this facility to be extremely useful since we subscribed to your website lastyear.

We have a small number of students from a number of different European and Asian countries at our secondary school, some of whom are at the very early stage of English acquisition.  We have used your program to provide information leaflets about our school in a range of languages.  We have found this particularly useful for our constantly changing population of Roma students who need to understand our student support system.

Talking Tutor is used by our students in Sixth Form, especially our Polish students who are studying for a variety of A Level subjects including Polish.  One student,  who is studying A Level maths but has some difficulty with English, has found it especially useful.

My colleague, has been using the website to prepare ‘Welcome’programs and booklets for students who have just arrived at the school.

We have just started to upload welcome booklets to save you time. It just needs you to choose and use the pages which are most useful to you.  It includes school information (lots of different colours), uniform, lunch arrangements and payment. Find then under subject and then PSHE.

If you have similar solutions that you would like to share about ClaireTalk, Two Can Talk or the new app please contact me at

“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.





Improve sales by understanding your clients socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

Knowledge Share - Albanian

Knowledge Share – Albanian

Our unique knowledge shares saves time on individuals researching for themselves to be able to use for clients, learners or patients.

Everything you need to start on one page.

For Businesses

It supports you by advising how to address your clients, the language spoken and religions. Together with this it gives information re. Climate and natural terrains.  This is useful if you are visiting the country and also for market research pre-business meeting so that you are aware of how your product may be marketed in the country as well as the sorts of things that would affect the people e.g. it no good marketing skiing products if there are no slopes to ski on, or no good selling a earthquake devices if there are no earthquakes. On the other hand you could find the next country or those around it have similar terrain etc. thus opening up that market to you.

For Health service Providers

Understanding where a patient comes from gives the health care professional the opportunity to tailor conversations, treatments and access to their individual needs.  For example understanding the religions of the country means that they are aware if the patient arrives there may be a major Muslim population which helps in finding the appropriate foods and time for prayer. In other cases understanding climates can often result in understanding the foods and types of foods that the patients is used to eating.

Understanding the climate opens up an investigative channel that can result in tropical disease being more readily easily to accept than perhaps for a native UK resident. This is important for the doctor as understanding that TB is limited in the UK but prevalent in certain countries allows the health care professional to make the relevant investigations and help early diagnosis.


Understanding where the migrant population has come from in any country is important, for example, in Germany there is a large Turkish population that needs to be supported, the knowledge shares give educators in any country a brief background on the people that they have attending their schools and the option of providing more tailored support because of it.

For educators we also have a free help sheet in the resource vault to support you use of the Knowledge shares.

For more information contact us today +44 845 009 4939

This may seem impossible but in the EMAS UK resource library there is a 60 second synopsis on every country in the world. There’s also 200 languages of curriculum, PSHE and teacher resources. All of this for £129, £49 until the end of March.

To be able to access all this printable data call Debbie Mills on 0845 009 49 39 and purchase today. Don’t forget to ask for your free helpsheet.

A thought provoking insight.

Immigration Talk

Imagine yourself in a room where everyone is conversing but you. It’s not that you don’t want to, but you just can’t seem to communicate with others. You’re dumbfounded and shocked that everything that you have ever learned fails you at this very moment. My first classroom experience is similar to this and I’m not the only one. I began kindergarten nervous, flustered and anxious, as it would be the first time I communicated with anyone in English. With Spanish as my native tongue, I was frustrated when I interacted with my classmates. I was repeatedly taunted and even told by my kindergarten teacher that I would never amount to anything.

Interestingly, I am not a first generation immigrant nor a 1.5 immigrant but a second generation immigrant, illustrating a wider spectrum of non native speakers in our nation’s schools. Additionally, this also demonstrates a departure from the traditional notion…

View original post 256 more words

Safeguarding vulnerable children – focussing on EAL and new arrivals

Safeguarding is a huge issue that needs to be tackled with care but how can you do this when you cannot speak directly to the child or parents? Members of EMASUK  have access to the tools to deliver this efficiently and securely, so this post discusses the commissioners finding and shows where the tools you have available supports the initiative.

In relation to safeguarding one tool allows you not only to have a conversation but also record the conversation via PDF. Two Can Talk allows the conversationalists to type in their information and have it spoken aloud in another language. The intimacy of the programme which allows two people of different language bases to speak and discuss together means the child feels supported and listened to. In addition the teacher/nurse/officer can read all the body language that accompanies the conversation to make a real judgment on the case.The addition of the ability to put in who the conversationalists were makes it possible for the first time to keep a record for further use which is a real must for safeguarding discussions. In practice this was brought home last year when one school was able to use Two Can Talk to find out that the child had a nut alergy so were able to divert a possible life threatening situation.

The same tool can be used in hospitals and in police stations where children also have difficult conversations, but again they can be reassured that they are being listened to and understood, as is the recording of the information, the child may only have the courage to say it once, so we must do our best to make this simple and easy for everyone concerned.

The Childrens Commissioner Dr Maggie Atkinson has this week detailed some good examples of how to support safeguarding in schools via her top ten tips.  Below are some highlighted areas that relate exactly to the group of children and parents that we are supporting in the UK schools and the community i.e. those whose first language is not English and new arrivals.

How will good practice help safeguarding in everyday school life. p5 of the report.

One of the areas highlighted is the ability for the child to be listened to, and also good relationships with parents, again this is really difficult if you yourself do not speak Arabic, Russian, Bengali etc, but you can start that process if you are using Text Tutor effectively.  Text Tutor has all these and more languages and by using the simple cut and paste method you can create what ever letter, news information, safeguarding leaflet that you need personalised for your institution.

The commissioner targets ten areas with one of these being  ‘How do you engage with parents and carers’. The commissioner states that parents should be aware of the safeguarding policies and how schools plan to fulfil their responsibilities. She suggests that good schools  have approachable staff and good communication. One school which I have seen in action is Tennyson Road School in Luton, they really have the child at the centre of their processes including one person with the role as a parent support worker. The use of this type of support is recognised by the childrens commissioner as really good practice because of their knowledge of the school but also the wider community. To support this further by using the hand held translator I Can Talk To it allows officers, teachers and support workers a more portable device where there is no computer access, but still allows parental engagement. See it working here

The value of Parent support workers for the school, the child and the local community.

Disclosure is often something that people are unprepared for, but again the use of two can talk can help the conversation take place and record it. I have experienced this once and with a child who spoke my language and this was really difficult for both of us, but imagine if the child did not speak the same language, it makes it even more difficult but as the commissioners says these children have a right to be heard, so at EMASUK we believe it is our job to make that as painless and easy as possible.

EAL and disclosure examples of good practice.

In conclusion using the variety of communication tools available it is possible to support these children and also be ragarded as a good school in realtion to safeguarding whether at school, hospital, police station or the local council office, but more importantly be regarded by the child as soem one they can put their trust in to have their most difficult conversation with.

You can download or read the tips by the Commissioner here

For further information email