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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.



To be a learner of EAL (English as an Additional Language) in the class or a speaker of a language that is not represented elsewhere in the school can mean ‘an isolated learner’. It is also very challenging for the learners to catch up with their peers in social and academic aspects of the language. There is a variety of cognitive demands that might be required and incorporated in classroom tasks in order to enable them to develop the English language.

*Ensure that an EAL induction is organised for new arrivals.

*If possible, learn a few words in their first language and introduce words of greeting to the whole class.

*Display a ‘welcome’ board in both English and pupils’s first language.

*Prepare collaborative learning activities with visual aids. Collaborative Learning creates an EAL friendly classroom.

*Be aware that a pupil may be distressed. Seek for EAL support if necessary.



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;




The Power of Native Language – Mother Tongue

Research has shown that children learn better in their native language (Unesco, 2008a). Many educational systems in the world insist on adopting languages that are believed to have more privilege. As a consequence children  are finding difficult to engage successfully with learning  and the teachers are feeling overwhelmed by children’s poor achievement.


Unesco (2008b) attests growing interests in mother tongue-based education through a wide variety of models, tools and resources that have being developed  and piloted to promote learning in children’s native language.

Unesco (2008a). Mother Tongue Matters: Local Language as a Key to Effective Learning. Paris: Unesco.

Unesco (2008b).  Mother tongue instruction in early childhood education: A selected biography. Paris: Unesco.


Translated Letters for Schools

Letters for Schools to give to parents translated into multiple languages can be found on line.
The English version of the letters are listed on Education Support for Northen Ireland Website and the appropriate language can be selected from the side menu.
DGT EAZ in association with Liverpool LEA also offer letters translated on either in MS Word or PDF formats.


Follow all instructions given by all staff and prefects

Proszę przestrzegać wszystkich instrukcji podanych przez pracowników i prefektów

Sekojiet visam personala un vaditaju instrukcijam

Выполняйте указания всех сотрудников школы и префектов

Lean na h-òrdaich air a thoirt le luchd-obrach agus sgoilearan sna àrd-ìrean

تمام ملازمین اور سینئر طلباء کی طرف سے دی گئی ہدایات پر عمل کریں

This blog aims to encourage inclusive education support for learners with English as an Additional Language.

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