In an emergency situation EMASUK is invaluable

Benefits of the talking tools in A and E.  As A and E’s begin to use this system the following statement is becoming a very familiar statement .

In an emergency situation the talking tools are invaluable.

The reasons being given by doctors and nurses for this include the;

  • ease of access
  • availability without extra cost at weekends and through the nights
  • availability of phrasebook for those sentences frequently used which also sped up the process of triage, general form filling in and information gathering.
  • waiting for a translator/interpreter can be too long but this is when the online tool comes into its own.

There are many challenges ahead of all healthcare providers including the new CCG’s,  if you would like us to be part of your solution contact John via email   or  phone  07525 323219.


Using Bilingual books can support children with one English spekaing parent.

September seems a long way away and teachers have not even started their holidays yet.  Many will be planning vigorously for their September classes just before going for a well earned break. One thing that should be on their minds especially if they know of new arrivals to their classes the language of learning their children have experienced prior to arriving in their classroom.

For myself this story struck  chord with me

On a sunny day in London, when the streets are crowded with people enjoying the rare warmth, you can hear an abundance of different languages from the majority migrant groups in the city: families discussing the school day in Somali; teenagers gossiping in Turkish; imams greeting each other in Urdu.   But passing by the shop fronts boasting posters in languages from Polish and Bengali, you won’t hear German or Cape Verdean creole – not unless you go to Andrea and Xaxa’s for tea and cake.

The reason being that  few years ago, I was not only planning for my new classes but also my daughters when moving from Wales to London.  What disappointed me the most was that although I thought about my new classes language of prior learning, the teachers at my daughters school did not reciprocate. Up until this time she has been taught her academic learning in Welsh so although verbally adept in English her academic language did not match. What did make me cross was that I worked very hard at the end of my first year creating and supporting the creation of resources via the Local Authority for my classes in Greek, Turkish, Bengali and Urdu but nothing was ever created to support her.  In parent discussions when asked about how they are helping they could tell you how to help others similar to the stories above but as this was readily available and to hand they never went the extra mile to support those other pupils with English as their second or third language.

In an effort to support as many languages as possible and because of the sheer wrench it can be to move house within a village, without from Wales to England or indeed from any other country in the world we asked Shoofly to support us in creating  book about feelings and loss.  The book is called Pip and can be used with parents particularly if only one parent speaks English as it will have the text in English plus e.g. German.  To support teachers and the pupils further in a PSHE role with it is a great software programme that allows you to put Pip into a story, recreate a story or create your own story. using your own words and pictures or from the dedicated library of images and words.

If you would like to support these children each book is £20.00 but via this blog on offer until 1st September for only  £15.00 per book (excluding p and p)  and is currently available in the following:

picture format only, English, Polish, Albanian, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Dutch, Russian, French, German, Nepali, Kurdish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Hebrew, Latvian, Cantonese, Romanian, Somali and Lithuanian.

Pip Story Creator – £100. for bulk orders.


Quote Blog to receive your discount to either or in person to 0845 0094939.

Give all of your children a chance.





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.

Kind words of thanks – supporting Lithuanian, Portuguese, Polish and Korean on a daily basis

What  a lovely email that arrived in my inbox.

Thank you for the improvements to the Resources section on EMASUK – it is easy to access, and very useful. We had two Lithuanians, and two Portuguese arrive yesterday and a Polish and Korean girl today, so there is still a great need!

With the borders being opened in Europe schools, companies and hospitals could soon be asking for resources and support in Bulgarian and Romanian languages. Luckily with both languages we can offer this via text tutor our bespoke solution for creating your own flyers, leaflets, newsletters, letters etc to get the individualised message that you need to get across in your organisation.

As this article suggests there will not be a huge demand but nonetheless there will be a demand.

If you are the budget holder think about how your staff and yourself will feel when trying to communicate. Our customers and experiences tell us it is all to easy to experience frustration, self doubt and feeling of being out of control as well as not doing your best for the person. As the budget holder you can allay their fears by giving them a chance. Using Text tutor allows them 24/7 access to way of communicating with the customer, patient or parent and is especially convenient to start off the conversation whilst waiting for interpreters/translators to arrive.

This is the list of the current languages of England and Wales from the current census January 2013 it will be interesting to see how this will change in the next ten years.

:: English (English or Welsh if in Wales) 49,808,000 or 92.3% of the population

:: Polish 546,000 or 1%

:: Punjabi 273,000 or 0.5%

:: Urdu 269,000 or 0.5%

:: Bengali (with Sylheti and Chatgaya) 221,000 or 0.4%

:: Gujarati 213,000 or 0.4%

:: Arabic 159,000 or 0.3%

:: French 147,000 or 0.3%

:: All other Chinese (excludes Mandarin and Cantonese) 141,000 or 0.3%

:: Portuguese 133,000 or 0.2%

:: Spanish 120,000 or 0.2%

:: Tamil 101,000 or 0.2%

:: Turkish 99,000 or 0.2%

:: Italian 92,000 or 0.2%

:: Somali 86,000 or 0.2%

:: Lithuanian 85,000 or 0.2%

:: German 77,000 or 0.1%

:: Persian/Farsi 76,000 or 0.1%

:: Tagalog/Filipino 70,000 or 0.1%

:: Romanian 68,000 or 0.1%

The resources and tools available from EMASUK can support you in supporting your staff to feel supported, confident and in charge in managing these difficult situations where communication is a must.

Languages supported by Text Tutor

Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Haitian Creole

Reduce your translation/interpreting costs whilst increasing service levels

Congratulations to Douglas Paxton – the new Chief Constable of the Suffolk Constabulary.

What a week to start when translation and interpreters costs are once again in the media. Last year they exceeded their budget by £6,000 and over the past four years have spent over £840,000 of public money. Whilst I totally agree with their ethos that

the services are essential to ensure justice for victims of crime and fair treatment of suspects.

I do think its time to think outside the box and look for other alternatives to support the provision already in place which reduce costs but increase service level.

Using the EMASUK machine translation service they can achieve all of this and is similar to what hospitals, schools and businesses are already experiencing.  This service is putting them back in charge of their unique conversations and finances.

In Suffolk the most used languages needed were Polish, not unusual as I blogged a few weeks ago about this being the second language in the country followed by Lithuanian and Russian, again languages that can be provided for all officers in the station to use all day, every day at the touch of a button.

With so much that can be done whilst waiting for the interpreter/translator to arrive, and the ability to making their job easier on arrival and the officers jobs easier in the interim – why wouldn’t you choose this option?


Outdated strategies leaves people unsupported

I continue to read with sadness the recent reports about the courts and translation services. See the latest story at what is sad to me is that there are too many people needing translators in court, yet the people making the decisions still use outdated strategies to fulfil a need that there are not the resources for.  Instead of looking at alternatives to lighten loads e.g. our Text system will alleviate some of the time needed to translate text in over 50 languages they continue to use too few people, to do too large a job.

With clever management and clear process it would be possible for the judicial service to see where our Talking system would help. By giving officials another tool to use in difficult times, for example where a conversation needs to happen but the languages of the two people are not similar, we can help alleviate stress and uncertainty. A classic example is when the person is first brought to custody, rather than waiting hours for an interpreter, use our text or talking system to converse with the person.  Gain valuable information quickly and then move on swiftly to the next level.  At interview before the need of a translator use Two Can Talk or Claire Talk with their unique bespoke system that allows you to keep a copy of the conversation via PDF.  For those on the move I Can Talk to provides the support needed to converse with the client.

As the world changes and people move around from country to country then this will continue to be an issue, so SMART targets and out of the box thinking will support everyone involved in conversations with others.

The same can be said in the Health Service where the hospital needs to gain patient information ClaireTalk is proving invaluable and helping the hospitals using it to save money without loss of service.

It reminds me of years previously when John suggested that it would be a good idea for all teachers to have laptops.  Many disagreed and argued against this, but twenty years on the same teachers, officials and parents would be arguing if you tried to take them away. I think this is probably the same and predict that in time we will all be mixing bespoke statistical Machine Translation Services and people with language skills as tools to get the job done, much the same as we do now with pencils, ICT personnel and laptops or tablets.


Supporting Vulnerable Groups with EMAS UK for less than £10 a week.

The term ‘vulnerable groups’ is often confusing as we also talk about ‘disadvantaged groups’, but who are they, and how are they defined?

In Ofsted terms, vulnerable children are amongst those groups that may need additional support or intervention in order to make the progress expected of them.

whose needs, dispositions, aptitudes or circumstances require particularly perceptive and expert teaching and, in some cases, additional support“.

Which groups these are will depend on the circumstances of the particular school or/and area, but a number are mentioned within the schedule, such as boys, girls, looked after children and minority ethnic groups.

Supporting minority ethnic groups is most difficult due to the languages spoken by many of them. With around 7,000 languages spoken in the world, having the right language or dialect for everyone is virtually impossible. At EMAS UK we created a virtual translator that speaks in 25 languages but translates over 60 languages. This means that you can treat your non English speaking children the same as their peers.

Simple solutions at cost effective prices is exactly what we are about. From £500 you can have access to the latest virtual translator that will speak your words in their language anytime and anywhere it is needed. No additional costs, no extra charges, a simple annual fixed cost that can save you time, effort and money.