As a Design Technology -Resistant Material specialist many teachers I have worked with see it as a subject that is easily accessed by EAL pupils. This is mainly through misconception as they believe that as it is a largely practical subject then they can access it. What colleagues often forget is that, like Science, the practical aspect of a design challenge is only one small part of a process. Also included are the complex tasks of time management, development of an idea from concept to delivery, evaluation of the process which requires the development and use of investigative and planning skills throughout. There is also a high level of academic language required to understand the individual process involved.
Using Talking Tutor to give information to support their language development is really easy and also allows you or a teaching assistant to use previous experience to support and develop their learning quicker. It works very simply just put yourselves in their shoes.
Imagine you don’t speak a language e.g. GREEK. You can speak English as this is your first language and at this point only language, you have been to school for a few years so know basic mathematical concepts, tools and their names. You go to a school where everything is in GREEK what do you do? You are still the same person but suddenly language is a barrier. The school has two options;
Option A – Take you to the side, in small groups and teach you Greek from scratch like you would teach a toddler but expect recollection to be quicker due to age – this is a much practiced was that I see in many schools that are not challenging or innovative enough
Option B – recognise they know what we mean by the academic word adding up, drawing, cut etc. but in Greek so share the word for this concept in English. In this way it speeds up the academic words learning process. It also improves the level of understanding.
In my school I always choose option B mainly as I have always had a time constraint called exams where everyone is tasked to achieve. By using Text Tutor which is currently on offer you can easily support academic language development in DT or any subject with a little extra thought about where the best use will be. NB Depending on the age of the child, those schools where access is always available and learning is paramount in their room, the students learn to just log on and find out the equivalent word and then get on with what they are doing. Interested?