Tag Archives: Good Practice



Our pupils in P5 welcomed the New Year with a lovely visit of a Chinese mum, who kindly introduced us to the Chinese culture.  

“The pupils were amazed at the intricate Chinese characters and had the chance to test their memory in a matching pairs game. It was lovely to see them trying to work out the word for ‘dog’ by seeing the image of a dog in the character. ‘How can you learn such difficult writing?’ – they asked.  And so many more questions and such a joy in the eyes of our new Chinese student in P5 as she shared her culture and her family.” EAL Teacher – Anne Goldie.

Mum left the school with a big smile – “I really enjoyed being in the class, speaking to the children and sharing my Chinese culture with them. Thank you so much!’ Lily Artur.







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We have a mission to include all the students in the world of languages in our schools in Angus.  Language learning experience means to be connected to the world that has become more globalised. It is essential such approach to languages even when English is widely spoken around the globe and on the internet. The children enjoy the engagement with other cultures and countries.

The reality is that “we have an unlimited capacity for learning language” Learning in 2(+)Languages , 2005.



This is a lovely picture of Mahmoona Zahoor who has won the Judy Wilson Memorial Prize which was presented to her at Forfar Academy Prizegiving on Thursday 25th June 2015. This prize was donated by two former pupils of Mrs Wilson who wished the award to reflect the rising to challenges and overcoming of obstacles and barriers in life. Mrs Wilson was an inspiration in the way she dealt with her illness and continued to teach with enthusiasm and dedication. Mahmoona arrived in Scotland from Pakistan 4 years ago with very little English and has sat Highers this year in Chemistry, Maths and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). She has worked very hard, has never given up and is always smiling and a delight to teach. As she leaves school to go to college we wish her all the best. She is on the path to become the doctor she is aiming to be. “Sic itur ad astra” – this is the way to the stars. I am sure she will succeed.

By Anne Goldie – EAL Teacher


Our schools in Scotland are a growing multilingual environment, where each child should have the right to learn a second language or a third one according to the 1+2 approach to modern languages.

As a matter of fact, a school in Angus is piloting a project  with a Parent Group  of EAL ( English as an Additional Language) which one of aims is to ensure and explore parental engagement and support the use of other languages in the school. This project also includes consideration of the role of the students’ home language(s) as part of the process of language acquisition and development.

Our project is based on school integration and social participation of parents whose children have English as an additional language in a variety of activities, such as in the classroom, playground, assemblies or school events. We understand that parents’ participation affect children’s sense of identity, belonging and their ability to make friends and cope within the new culture and ethos of the school.


Overall our schools need to start building capacity for the teaching of other languages in addition to English, as well as to develop staff confidence in teaching a modern language.



Having sampled four different languages, Polish, Russian, Sinhalese and Mandarin over four weeks the children are saying:

‘It is fun.’  ‘I enjoyed it.’ ‘I am looking forward to using the language.’ ‘I might use the words if I travel to Russia or if I meet a person who speaks the language in the school.’ ‘I felt hard how to pronounce the words’ ‘It was pretty cool.’ ‘It was tricky.’ ‘I feel pretty good sharing my language.’ ‘It is a good opportunity to learn Polish.’ ‘It is a good thing to have someone who speaks the language.’ ‘It is helpful to learn three languages.’

What are parents saying?

‘It’s very positive.’ ‘The pupils were smiling and trying to say the words.’ ‘I feel pleased to see that they were interested.’ ‘They were asking questions and they wanted to write their names in Russian.’ ‘It was amazing the questions pupils asked, ‘why do write different?,’ ‘how many letters are in Polish language?,’ ‘how many languages have you learned?’

And the teachers:

‘It was really good to have dual language books and read the same story in different languages. It is achievable and fits within 1+2 languages approach.’ ‘I enjoyed having mums in class. It gives you confidence as they can speak and read in their language and in English.’ ‘It is great to see the children so enthusiastic.’ ‘It made the class busy.’ ‘It was great to have more adults in class.’ ‘We had lots of fun.’ ‘It was exciting.’ ‘I felt relaxed.’ ‘I loved it.’ ‘It was flexible and met the interests of the pupils.’ ‘The text and the repetition of the words worked really well.’ ‘The pupils were able to pick up the language easily.’ ‘Pupils broadened their view of the world.’ ‘It is hands on through experience.’ ‘Now it is less alien to everyone.’


Collaborative Learning and Assessment

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This session has seen a collaboration between secondary schools in Angus in regard to Higher ESOL speaking and listening assessments. We were able to link students from different schools to  take part in a discussion for 8- 10 minutes. The students, one from Poland, the other from Pakistan looked at the assessment question and had time to discuss together what to include and how they would conduct the discussion.

It proved to be a very successful assessment and both students did well.  This was a very good combination as it really drew out both of the candidates as they were able to both support and encourage each other and keep the conversation fluid and easy.

The idea behind this combination of schools was to provide an environment where both students were comfortable and, as was the case here,  these were the only two students from both schools doing Higher.

In the coming academic session we hope to collaborate throughout the year and share our students and experiences.

By Anne Goldie – EAL Teacher




The school management team can organise  an enrolment meeting with the EAL coordinator, an interpreter, and a family member to welcome the new pupil. The aim is to gather vital personal information and identify the pupil’s needs.


Assess and record first and English languages development on arrival and again at the end of the induction programme, when the pupil will have settled in.


It is important to adopt a consistent  and appropriate symbol system  according to the age  and stage of language development of the new arrival,  such as photos, pictures or drawings with words.

imageThe cards above are displayed on the pupil’s desk from left to right, but they can also be displayed on the board from top to bottom.


The pupil will be glad to visit key locations such as the classroom,  the toilets and the lunch area.  A peer who speaks the same language of the new arrival can be very supportive and explain the school routine.


Label a tray or a locker as well as a place to hang their coat with his or her name.


Pupils with EAL need good role models, face the class teacher and the board.


It is a good way to introduce the new pupil and encourage everybody to  try the pupil’s first language.



Encourage the pupil to use their first language.


Plan a variety of group activities that promotes engagement and participation of everybody in the classroom including the new arrival.



Encourage the learner with EAL to write their work in their first language if literacy skills in their first language is developed.






When possible provide dual language books with visual support as well as a dictionary or electronic translator and pair the learner with a fluent peer for reading.


Pupils with EAL can do maths at the same rate as other pupils of their age. Ensure that there is an effective learning environment by:

*giving demonstration;

*using visual displays;

*being aware of language demands;





English as an Additional Language has piloted e-portfolio on Glow as a tool to support the transition from Primary to Secondary School in the context of EAL, and to better evaluate the use of technology as an inclusive practice in the learning process.

In line with the guidance set by The Scottish Government, e-portfolio on Glow is an initiative in our local authority. Building the Curriculum 5 provides advice on developing learners’ profiles at the key transition points of Primary seven (P7) and Secondary third year (S3). The profile format may vary whenever a change is required leading to the next stages of learning.

The use of e-portfolio in the context of EAL will offer different means of communication and expression for pupils to present their own culture and background knowledge. It can reveal the ability to capture, review and manage a large amount of material. In addition, it offers flexibility, dynamic for integration, opportunities to develop and demonstrate technology skills through samples of the pupil’s work such as, photographs, videos, audio clips, projects, research and assessments. Furthermore, the e-portfolio will provide opportunities to develop ownership and show more interest in the culture in which the additional language resides. It is a way to demonstrate learners’ creativity with different emerging skills and reflect about choices to break down the barriers for learning. Teachers can access information about their pupils’ learning development, thereby also offering an opportunity for parents to appreciate the improvement.

EAL Pupils at Forfar Academy

Forfar Academy is committed to promoting inclusion for pupils whose first language is not English.  In school, the EAL Co-ordinator works closely with the Visiting EAL teacher to ensure appropriate assessment and provision for the pupils in mainstream education.

At present we have a number of pupils whose home language is Polish, Latvian, Russian and Urdu. Some of these pupils have come straight into secondary education from their home country with little practice of spoken English.

To help them settle into their new environment they have been making multilingual signs to display around the building. Parents and staff have been working with pupils to ensure the translations are accurate! Basic information and instructions such as “Walk around school in an orderly manner” or naming important rooms such as “Sick Bay” or the “Assembly Hall” are now displayed in six languages: English, Gaelic, Polish, Latvian, Russian, and Urdu each with the appropriate national flag beside it. The EAL pupils say “it helps us feel comfortable in our new school”, “it helps us learn new language” and “it makes us feel happy in school”.  Faculties are now considering ways of using multilingual signs in their departments to help our EAL pupils learn basic information and follow classroom rules.

SQA ESOL qualifications are being delivered for the first time at Forfar Academy which teachers have commented is making a big difference to them accessing the mainstream curriculum. Pupils are learning phrases for Everyday Communication, Transactional Language and language for Work and Study.

A lunchtime club for EAL pupils and their friends as well as creating dual language letters to send home to parents about absence notes, homework and behaviour are all further examples of initiatives taking place in Forfar to make EAL pupils feel more at ease in their new school.