EAL EXAM support

Did you see the BBC TV programme about lambing recently?

The first thing I noticed was when they showed the entrance to Scotland the sign behind was in two languages, similar to the entry into Wales at Bristol.
At the last count there was over 1 million children in UK who are  bilingual and this is increasing daily so for teachers and school managers it is an issue that needs to be addressed in line with current legislation and practice. These children (including many in Welsh, Cornish, Scottish and Irish schools) speak two languages as part of their everyday lives.
Daily they may use their languages for different purposes e.g. speaking to grandparents is probably in a different language to their school friends. There is also then for schools the question of literacy as they may be literate in one language but not in another. In Wales where Welsh is also developed daily alongside English the pupils maybe trilingual. Some will start school knowing more than one language  and some parents may be encouraging children to become literate in their heritage language through teaching them at home, attendance at community schools or parental choice to a designated Welsh  or other language speaking school. This is the route we took with our daughter choosing a Welsh school to allow her to develop her heritage language and gain essential language skills.
Throughout the last 30 years more and more teachers and others involved in EAL and bilingualism have come to recognise the importance of first language development for children learning EAL. Many parents and children now are asking to retain their bilingualism and not lose it due to lack of opportunities to develop and use the language . This is known as subtractive bilingualism.
We need to recognise the important role of first language development in second language development, as we have shown in training courses that Jean and I have done around the UK, and which has successfully led many educators to promote the development and maintenance of first languages and to actively support bilingualism and in turn in some cases  also received either outstanding or good OFSTED results particularly in schools with high levels of EAL students.
Many teachers use bilingual resources successfully to support the teaching and learning of EAL and bilingual pupils. You can to by using our bilingual exam book it supports the student taking the exam and the teacher teaching towards the students understanding aiming it genuine collaborative learning.

I have always done this by changing written material into the home language or introduced the new words in relation to the next project so that my students can access it. Due to many rules and regulations all of my students had to be able to take their exams in English so an explanation of and seeing of exam papers beforehand is crucial

Exam Success - English/Lithuanian Learn all the words needed to sit exams and tests in English.

Exam Success – English/Lithuanian
Learn all the words needed to sit exams and tests in English.

English Exam book cover












General exam Questions

Glossary of Exam Terminology

For other langauges and to buy follow this link http://shop.emasuk.com/category/2617/exam_success_books


January EMASUK Resource Library – Update

In January we uploaded:

Design Technology and Art resources render the shapes in Albanian, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Romanian, Russian, Slovak and Spanish.

Bee and bee hive poster for Science teachers in Albanian, French, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese Cantonese and mandarin, Czech, Dutch, English, German, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Kurdish, Nepali, Romanian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu and Welsh.

A Slovak maths book which is available to all new members.

A guide for teachers on how to use snap cards to pre-teach vocabulary and the e-zine Toucan Jan 2014.

Continuing the life cycle of a frog resources for science teachers, a tadpole poster in Albanian, Bengali, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu.

http://youtu.be/frQVKGaMQSM Frog Video

Heart and circulation posters for PE and Science in Albanian, Arabic, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Dutch

Poster – instructions – with a sign for cutting out – Arabic, Bengali, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish and English.

For safeguarding, ICT and PSHE web safety posters in Albanian, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, German, Latvian, Gujarati, Hungarian, Italian, Kurdish, Russian, Slovak, Polish, Romanian, Somali, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu.

Safer Internet Day 2014 will be celebrated on 11 February 2014 – http://www.saferinternet.org/safer-internet-day


OFSTED UPDATED Guidance for School inspections Jan 2014

OFSTED have issued new guidance re. inspections from January 1st. Here are the highlights including information for EAL. Interestingly in the part about teaching it informs inspectors to be careful when judging lesson styles and if the Pupil premium usage is of concern they can ask for either;

a) an internal review

b) an external review

c) both 

What are your views on this?

OFSTED Subsidiary Guidance Jan 2014

Inspectors should use this guidance during section 5 inspections in conjunction with the School inspection handbook[1] and The framework for school inspection[2]. It is designed to provide guidance on particular aspects of the section 5 inspections

[1] School inspection handbook (120101), Ofsted, 2014; www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/120101.

[2] The framework for school inspection (120100), Ofsted, 2014; www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/120100.

Judging progress across the Early Years Foundation Stage and into Key Stage 1 


Identifying starting points

  1. Schools should have clear systems to:
  •  make an assessment of children’s starting points (baseline)
  •  plan next steps that challenge children sufficiently
  • track the progress of individuals, groups of children and cohorts across the Early Years Foundation Stage and into Key Stage 1
  •  identify how much progress is made by individuals as well as groups of children and the cohort.


Children who speak English as an additional language: as indicated in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook (2013)[1] , learning to speak English as an additional language is not a special educational need. Practitioners should assess the development of children who speak English as an additional language in their home language as well as in English, where possible. While the children’s skills in communication, language and literacy must be assessed in relation to their competency in English, the remaining areas of learning may be assessed in any language.

‘Children must have opportunities to engage in activities and first hand experiences that do not depend solely on English for success, and where they can participate in ways that reveal what they know and can do in the security of their home language. For children to grow in confidence, and hence demonstrate their embedded learning, their environment must reflect their cultural and linguistic heritage and their learning be supported by a wide range of stimuli and experiences.’  (Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook, page 15).



Inspectors must not give the impression that Ofsted favours a particular teaching style. Moreover, they must not inspect or report in a way that is not stipulated in the framework, handbook or guidance. For example, they should not criticise teacher talk for being overlong or bemoan a lack of opportunity for different activities in lessons unless there is unequivocal evidence that this is slowing learning over time. It is unrealistic, too, for inspectors to necessarily expect that all work in all lessons is always matched to the specific needs of each individual. Do not expect to see ‘independent learning’ in all lessons and do not make the assumption that this is always necessary or desirable. On occasions, too, pupils are rightly passive rather than active recipients of learning. Do not criticise ‘passivity’ as a matter of course and certainly not unless it is evidently stopping pupils from learning new knowledge or gaining skills and understanding.

When in lessons, also remember that we are gathering evidence about a variety of aspects of provision and outcomes. We are not simply observing the features of the lesson but we are gathering evidence about a range of issues through observation in a lesson. Do not focus on the lesson structure at the expense of its content or the wide range of other evidence about how well children are learning in the school.

Behaviour and safety of pupils at the school

During the initial contact with the school, the lead inspector must ensure that the headteacher understands that the inspection evaluates what behaviour is typically like, not just the behaviour of pupils during the inspection. Often, the grade for behaviour and safety is a grade higher than overall effectiveness.  Where this is the case, reports will be given additional scrutiny. Please make sure that sufficient evidence is gathered to warrant the grade awarded.

Inspectors should identify disruptive behaviour of any kind. This may be overt, for example, ‘shouting out’, or pupils ‘talking over the teacher’, or ‘arguing back’, or low level disruption, for example, through continuous chatter, not bringing the right equipment to lessons, not having books or doing homework, pupils arriving late to lessons, pupils chatting when they are supposed to be working together or pupils being slow to settle to their work and so on. It may also be more covert, taking the form, for example, of quiet reluctance from a number of pupils to participate in group work or to cooperate with each other.


Inspectors should take into account any differences between the attendance of different groups of learners, such as those of different genders or ethnicities (for example Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children) when evaluating attendance. Inspectors should evaluate how much the school knows about the attendance patterns of groups of learners and the effectiveness of systems to alert them to changes in pupils’ attendance. A sudden or a gradual alteration can indicate a safeguarding issue.

Evaluating the curriculum

The increasing diversity and autonomy of schools and the decisions they make about the curriculum may present some contradictions. Inspectors will need to make a professional judgement about the appropriateness of the curriculum with respect to the specific circumstances of the school[2]. In instances where there is major curriculum balance, or where the curriculum does not prepare children for life in modern British society, inspectors must say so clearly and explain why.


Schools judged as ‘requires improvement’

  1. Where governance is ineffective in a school judged as ‘requires improvement’ and is graded three for leadership and management, inspectors should include an external review of governance in their recommendations for improvement. The form of words to be used in the report under ‘What the school should do to improve further’ is ‘An external review of governance should be undertaken in order to assess how this aspect of leadership and governance may be improved’. It is for the school to decide how this review will take place, and to commission and pay for it. Such reviews aim to be developmental, and do not represent a further inspection. Full details on what might be the form and nature of such reviews can be found on the following link: http://www.education.gov.uk/nationalcollege/review-of-governance.
  2. Where the report identifies specific issues regarding the provision for pupils eligible for the pupil premium, inspectors should also recommend an external review on the school’s use of the pupil premium. The form of words to be used is ‘An external review of the school’s use of the pupil premium should be undertaken in order to assess how this aspect of leadership and governance may be improved’. In such instances, in addition to any support that the governing body may benefit from, inspectors should advise that the school seeks support from an external system leader with a track record of accelerating disadvantaged pupils’ achievement and closing gaps. Full details on what might be the form and nature of such reviews can be found on the following link:  http://www.education.gov.uk/nationalcollege/index/support-for-schools/pupilpremiumreviews.htm
  3. It is expected that there will be many cases where inspectors will recommend both an external review of governance and an external review of the school’s use of the pupil premium. However, there may be instances where this will not be necessary, for example, where the proportions of pupils eligible for the pupil premium that make and exceed expected progress are above national figures and are similar to those for other pupils in the school, or where the number of eligible pupils is five or fewer.
  4. Even where leadership and management is judged to be good, inspectors should use their professional judgement to determine whether a recommendation for an external review of the school’s use of the pupil premium would benefit the school.

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.
  4. 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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

Evaluating the school’s use of the pupil premium[3]

  • the level of pupil premium funding received by the school in the current academic year and levels of funding received in previous academic years
  • how the school has spent the pupil premium and why it has decided to spend it in the way it has
  • any differences made to the learning and progress of pupils eligible for the pupil premium as shown by performance data and inspection evidence.
  1. In many schools, the number of looked-after children is small and these pupils may not figure in headline performance data. Inspectors should record evidence of the impact of the pupil premium on looked-after children currently on roll in the school on a separate evidence form.
  2. Inspectors should note that they should not report separately on the progress, attainment and/or achievement of pupils eligible for support through the pupil premium, or make comparisons with the progress made by other pupils, where individual pupils eligible for support through the pupil premium might be identified. Generally, this will be the case where there are five or fewer pupils at the school. However, where a small number of eligible pupils represents a sizeable proportion of the overall number of pupils on roll, inspectors should exercise their judgement on reporting on how well these pupils are supported. Inspectors should be mindful that the need to avoid identification of individuals remains a key consideration.
  3. For example, inspectors may write in the report ‘In this school, the pupil premium funding is used/is not used well to support individual pupils’, and in the context section ‘only a very small number of pupils is supported by the pupil premium.’
  4. 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:

Impact of pupil premium and Year 7 catch-up

  •  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.[4]








[2] Studio schools and UTCs, for example, are established with a particular curriculum, based on a different rationale and approach to teaching.

[3]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 http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/premium/a0076063/pp for further information.

[4] 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. http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/year7catchup/a00216777/y7-catch-up-premium-faq

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 l.foxwell@emasuk.com.

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.

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.

Science Resource – Habitat

Just uploaded new resources for Science and EAL/ESOL/TEFL teachers.


To access

  1. go to www.emasuk.com,
  2. choose login
  3. Put in password etc
  4. Go to resource vault
  5. Choose either Science or the language you need.
  6. Find the resource labelled Habitats Pre Learning.
  7. Share with EAL students prior to habitats project

Here are two examples in Latvian and Somali

Pre-Learning words for Habitat Science Projects

Pre-Learning words for Habitat Science Projects


Habitats Pre Learning Words - Somali/English

Habitats Pre Learning Words – Somali/English

Languages uploaded today include: Guajarati, Urdu, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Kurdish, Lithuanian, Malay, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish and Turkish.  Thank you to the translators for their help.

To become  a member for these resources contact us at info@emasuk.com or +44 845 009 4939 or UK 0845 009 4939.