OFQUAL UPDATE – ESOL regulations and New language accessibility guidance

New language accessibility guidance

We want to make sure that the exams and assessments we regulate give all pupils the fairest opportunity to show what they know, understand and can do. Some pupils may not understand some of the words or phrases used in an exam or assessment. This could be because English is not their first language or they have a learning disability. However, they may be able to carry out a task and show their skills if a question is asked in another way.

We did some research on exams and assessments with subject experts and we produced reports and some guidance, which can be downloaded below.

Language Accessibility Research Reports:
Research Background: Monitoring Access to National Curriculum Assessments (2012)
Research Background: Guidance on the Principles of Language Accessibility in National Curriculum Assessments (2012)

These reports explain what we found when we looked at the design and wording of exams and assessments.

Language Accessibility Guidance:
Guidance on Monitoring Access to National Curriculum Assessments (2012)
Guidance on the Principles of Language Accessibility in National Curriculum Assessments (2012)

This guidance is aimed at test designers, teachers, teaching agencies, and others involved in educating pupils with special and additional support needs.

 

Consultation on ESOL regulations

Our consultation on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualifications and the regulations that govern them continues until 3rd December.

It is our responsibility to ensure that qualifications are secure, fit for purpose and suitably meet the needs of a range of learners. We are looking at ESOL qualifications because their role has changed significantly in recent years to include factors such as immigration and the right to reside in the UK.

Use the Pupil Premium to support your vulnerable groups

Use the Pupil Premium to support your vulnerable groups

OFSTED report last week clearly states that“In some schools it was clear to inspectors that the spending was not all focused on the needs of the specific groups for whom it was intended.”

Based on multiple answers provided by 119 school leaders responding to the telephone survey and 142 school leaders responding to additional questions at inspection. The single most commonly given use of Pupil Premium funding was to employ teaching assistants

This is such a shame as schools have an opportunity here to provide more than additional staff with the average school receiving around £39,000. Schools could use the £600 per pupil to improve literacy and maths in the most vulnerable groups, and in most cases support language development of new arrivals and those learners whose English is not their first language at the same time.

John Foxwell Director at EMASUK  has said for months that, ‘for two pupils premium you can support your EAL learners and teachers with our ready-made resources, the ability to create your own personalised worksheets, letters, PowerPoint’s or posters from any of the 61 languages and also speak directly to the children in their home language.  To support the safeguarding policy it is also possible to communicate directly with the learner or parent and keep a copy in your file. Being easy to use by both specialists and non-specialists alike it is not surprising that more schools are beginning to see its benefits.’

John further says that ‘as an addition innovative schools are using the same tools and resources to support their MFL curriculum with both teachers and learners using them to develop their own personalised learning kits suitable for their pupils, in their school.

By using the same resources to listen to pronunciation, and create literacy aids both literacy and mathematical academic language can be learnt in situ. Teachers know from practice and research that a child learns more when the learning is in context.’  And this with the added pressure of literacy and Mathematics being  the focus of the new OFSTED inspections it can only help both the learners and teachers.

In conclusion OFSTED recommends that School leaders, including governing bodies, should ensure that Pupil Premium funding is not simply absorbed into mainstream budgets, but instead is carefully targeted at the designated children. Which I think all teacher and parents alike would have no problem in agreeing with.

To find out more you can contact John at j.foxwell@emasuk.com or on 07525 323219

To see more of the report go to http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/pupil-premium

How Often Are English-Learners Suspended?

This is on the one hand really good to know that in other countries they have the same problems but on the other hand sad that children are being penalised over communication problems that adults have with children, but children do not have with adults.

“It is possible with todays technologies to be able to practice a language to either keep it  or learn it using our online software,” said Director John Foxwell of EMASUK, “but still teachers are reluctant to do this.” It is an indictment of our society that although with this communication breakthrough it is possible to talk to the child/parent in your language and get it spoken out in English/ or other languages at half the price of the use of interpreters/translators and telephone services, which creates a more trusted discussion where when used well allows both teacher and parent/learner to feel secure the more costly option, which means waiting hours for the translator/interpreter to turn up is still preferred.

http://www.emasuk.com/page/eal/208/i-can-talk-to – for EMASUK’s new communication tool

This latest news from America asks that there are more records of how often communication/language problems lead to students being excluded.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning-the-language/2012/08/how_often_are_english-learners.html

Today, researchers at UCLA’s Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, released an analysis of federal education data on out-of-school suspensions that paints a sobering picture for students who are African-American, Latino, or enrolled in special education programs. Using data collected from more than 6,800 school districts by the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights, the researchers found that one in six African-American students was suspended from school at least once during the 2009-10 school year. The rate for Native American students was one in 12; for Latino students, it was one in 14. For whites, it was one in 20, and for Asian Americans, the rate was one in 50. My colleague Nirvi Shah and I wrote a story about the report that you can read on edweek.org. The Civil Rights Project report also highlights the high rates of suspension for students with disabilities, with African-American students with disabilities most subjected to the out-of-school discipline. One in four black children with disabilities were suspended in 2009-10, the researchers found. Unfortunately, the report does not analyze suspension rates for English-language learners. The researchers said that ELLs are already counted among students by race and ethnicity, but there was no disaggregated data, for example, to show what percentage of Latino ELLs were suspended. They also said that while there are anecdotes of high suspension rates for ELLs in some districts, the majority of school districts reported no suspensions at all for them. The report does include data reported to OCR for ELL suspensions in spreadsheets (labeled as LEP), including numbers for this subgroup from the 100 largest districts in the country. Los Angeles Unified, home to the largest population of English-learners, suspended 5.5 percent of such students. The authors said they would provide an analysis on ELL suspensions once they resolve their questions about the data. Certainly, educators and policymakers need to know what the actual rates are for these kids, who can little afford to be missing out on precious instructional time.

How would you feel if you could not communicate?

I empathise with this totally. I often hear people being disparaging about translations, interpretations and the irony is that whether using human or machine translations/interpretations or not they miss the point that communication is happening at the right level and at the right time. This at the end of the day is the most important thing for children and adults in classroom situations. For frontline officers in council offices, general offices, police, health authorities if you are the person at the desk and do not speak the language you immediately feel small and helpless. At this point help for both parties is required. This reminds me did you hear R2 a few weeks ago when John Foxwell from EMASUK talked about their hand held translator – wouldn’t it be good in these situations?

http://www.emasuk.com/page/eal/207/products–i-can-talk-to–brand-new

GCSE Success – UK

GCSE results for EAL students are doing well in inner London but not as well in the East of England, the North East and North West. In London English as an addional langauge learners are outperforming native English speakers by 4% points last year.

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6241719

To support these pupils EMASUK have a set of GCSE Success books.

Every child that sits their GCSE has the same battle, understanding the questions. This is even more difficult if their first language is not English, research has shown that it takes twice as long to answer questions due to the translation and deciphering of terminology. This book supports non English speaking examinees with a simple to understand booklet showing and explaining the term then giving actual exam questions to develop understanding and clarify the response.

In English, French, German, Gujerati, Somali, Polish, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Hungarian, Russian, Turkish and Slovakian.

http://shop.emasuk.com/category/2617/exam_success_books

Radio 2 Innovation – EMASUK Hand Held Translator – UK

Image

To see Rebeccas tweet go to pic.twitter.com/WLUm6BDg

Yesterday we were on the Queens Jubilee train to London, weather brilliant sunshine and one of the best train journeys by the coast.  Arriving in Paddington the hustle and bustle greet us.

After being sent around the BBC building twice we finally find Great Western House and Rebecca meets us. She is welcoming and nice, we chat about the product and decide that John will speak as it is easier if there is only one of us. After a short wait we are on John talks to Rebecca and Simon about the handheld translator and shows it working. As soon as it began it is all over and we are having photos taken with Simon and Rebecca they were both lovely as was everyone esle we met in the team. Strangely one of them lives near to St Chads School where I was Deputy Head for a short while.  Thank You.

See a demo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DOIckeKwfQ or

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU3AnuwV24E&feature=channel&list=UL

Find out more at www.emasuk.com or use this link

http://shop.emasuk.com/category-2618.wtl

ICT Resource for Migrants – Worldwide

Has anyone seen this resource?

EMASUK – EMASUK.com have a range of resources to support English as an additional language from a resource vault which teachers can download from 24/7, to talking technologies including Talking Tutor, Text Tutor and the award winning Two Can Talk. Their most recent offering is a hand held unit which can be carried around easily and speaks out in a choice of 25 langauges.  See a video here to show their award winning bilingual book called Pip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-ybfuUHbWg&feature=related

They also do bilingual books that support the first days in a new school, Maths and exam preparation. I found it at www.emasuk.com

Welsh Language plans

Currently talks are underway re. the use of Welsh in Wales. They wish to be fully bilingual

Welsh speakers would be able to access fully bilingual public services if new plans outlined for the language are given the go-ahead.

A Welsh Language Measure, which came into force last year, set a duty on public organisations to treat the Welsh language no less favourably than English

See more at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-18103982

Companies would be wise to seek out EMASUK and their text translator for  their flyers, letters and booklets. just cut and paste to make a bilingual document. Email d.eley@emasuk.com for more information and cost effective prices.