Bilingual School application for Spalding 2014 – UK

Another bilingual school for the UK hopefully, perhaps they can get support from the Brighton one.

The Phoenix Federation today announced that they are submitting an application to the Department for Education to open a Primary Bilingual Free School in September 2014.  This follows a successful application to the DfE to open a primary school in Boston in September 2013.

Denzil Shepheard, Chair of the Steering Group and also Phoenix Chair of Governors said:  “We know that there is a shortage of primary school places in the Spalding area.  However, we don’t want to open just another primary school, we will use the freedoms afforded by the Free School Movement to innovate.

“Parents will be able to choose a bilingual education for their children, Spanish and English, and in doing so give their children this gift to carry into their future lives, especially employment opportunities.”

The aim is that children starting at the school in the infants will be speaking Spanish fluently by the time they leave at age 11.  The Phoenix Federation have researched this type of education in-depth and found that the results are astounding.

Carol Clare, Principal of the federation commented:   “Speaking more than one language really helps with acquisition of knowledge generally, with research indicating that bilingual children out perform their non-bilingual peers in many other areas of the curriculum.”

Bilingual Case officer – Bristol

Bilingual Case Manager (Welsh) Bilingual Case Officer (Welsh)

You will work with senior inspectors as part of a team handling applications for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) such as nuclear power stations and large wind farms.

As a bilingual case manager you will take a lead role in managing and supporting the process for a number of projects. You will be highly organised and able to project manage a team. You will also be involved in representing PINS in the Welsh media so will be a confident communicator. You will be expected to uphold the highest standards of impartiality.

As a bilingual case officer you will support case managers and will have responsibility for handling queries and cases in the Welsh language. For both roles you must be fluent in the Welsh language with excellent oral and written communication in both English and Welsh.

Closing date: 28th September 2012.

parent academies – will these be GOVE’s next UK Education innovation?

I read with interest that in America Illinois is to be the next state to introduce parent academies.  These support parents with information relating to educational expectations including what standardised testing is.  Sadly my first thought was will this be Mr Gove’s next radical idea, not that it is necessarily a bad one, but if it is not well thought out and delivered well then it will be a waste of money and energy and those who it is supposed to support will be its biggest criticisers.

The Advisory Council will discuss the possibility of parent academies to teach parents about standardized testing, homework strategies, and student-teacher relationships.


A new law signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Thursday hopes to strengthen bilingual education in the state through study and parent academies.

House Bill 3819 will require the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education to review the success rate of bilingual programs, examine initiatives like parent academies and cultural competency programs, and give a report on their findings to the State Superintendent of Education, Governor, and General Assembly by the first of the year.

In 2010 there were 183,000 students (almost ten percent of the student population) in Illinois for whom English was not a first language. Eighty percent of students enrolled in English language programs spoke Spanish, with Polish, Urdu, Arabic, Tagalog, Korean, Cantonese/Mandarin, Gujarati, Vietnamese, and Russian rounding out the top ten.

The Advisory Council will discuss the possibility of parent academies to teach parents about standardized testing, homework strategies, and student-teacher relationships. Similar programs have been successful in other states.

“Parents of non-English speaking students want—and need—to feel a greater stake in navigating their child’s education,” Representative Chapa LaVia, Chairperson for the Illinois House Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations Committee, said. “This new law opens the door to such innovations as ‘parent academies’ to accomplish that.”

The bill passed both chambers unanimously and will take effect on January 1

” renewed focus on language skills at school is needed” John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce

Sometimes when engaged purely in Education it is easier to forget the wider world and the wider implications of why were are teaching a particular subject.  I was always aware being a secondary teacher that my students would possibly be working in Design, Programming,Engineering or Architectural type areas, not least because as well as teaching GCSE, A Level there was always NVQ teaching of skills that was part of my teaching role.  However for some they never think beyond the next exam and in primary often thought only about primary tests and not about the whole child and their future prospects.

With that in mind I thought that this information may be of use for those looking outside the box for reasons that languages should be taught and bilingualism and multilingualism should be embraced.

This is current from the Norfolk Chamber of Trade and shares the benefits to businesses about the importance of communicating with exporters in their language. Here is the link to the article:

I am pleased that the Primary Languages Classroom Awards supports language developement to enable or children to be able to function on the world’s stage. Below is the article in full.

A survey of over 8,000 businesses released by the British Chambers of Commerce, shows that exporting activity continues to increase. However, the findings also suggest that providing firms with more training in foreign languages, and increasing their exposure to international companies would encourage more business owners to export. Economic growth relies upon British businesses being able to export more, so the British Chambers of Commerce is calling for more support for firms to help them trade internationally.

Language skills are vital to exporting

Knowledge of other languages is an important skill for exporters. 61% of non-exporters that are likely to consider trading internationally consider a lack of language skills as a barrier to doing so.

However, of those business owners that claim some language knowledge, very few can speak well enough to conduct deals in international markets. French is the most commonly spoken language, with 73% of business owners claiming some knowledge. However, only four percent are able to converse fluently enough in French to conduct business deals. This number drops significantly for those languages spoken in the fastest growing markets. In 2012, the IMF projects that the Chinese economy will grow by 9.5%, but just four percent of business owners claim any knowledge of the language, with less than one percent confident they could converse fluently.

Re-establishing foreign languages as core subjects within the UK national curriculum and in workplace training would mean that the next generation of business owners are ‘born global’ with language skills. The BCC is calling for the National Curriculum to be revised so that studying a foreign language is compulsory until AS level. Businesses could also be helped in training staff in new languages, if the government offered additional financial incentives such as tax credits for small and medium-sized businesses that make a significant investment in language training.

Businesses with stronger international connections are more likely to export

Businesses that do export are more likely to have stronger social connections with overseas markets. When asked what led them to export, the top three reasons cited by current exporters were:  collaboration with overseas partners (71%); a chance enquiry from outside the UK (57%); and previous work experience abroad (52%). Those business owners that have lived abroad are more likely to export. 11% of current exporters have lived aboard for five years or more.

The BCC believes that creating opportunities for employees to work in overseas companies could help expose firms to more international opportunities. For example, an international business exchange programme, perhaps modeled on the well-known academic Erasmus scheme would allow employees to complete placements in companies abroad, and bring back their experience to their employer. A scheme that covered BRIC economies, as well as Europe, would mean that businesses could take advantage of fast growing markets as well as the eurozone.

Commenting on the findings of the report, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Exporting is good for Britain, so it is right that we should encourage current and future business owners to develop the necessary skills to trade overseas. We’re encouraged to see the percentage of firms exporting in our survey has increased from 22% in January 2011 to 32% in January 2012. Exports are equivalent to nearly 30% of UK GDP[1], but more can be done to help businesses take the first step to exporting. Encouraging companies to boost foreign language skills with incentives like tax credits is just one way of making sure we continue to export best of British products and services around the world. A renewed focus on language skills at school, as well as helping companies forge new connections overseas, could help ensure that current and future business owners are pre-disposed to thinking internationally.

“We are already the sixth largest trading nation on earth, and the third largest service exporter, but to really secure our future as a leading exporter we need to help companies take advantage of new markets. Giving businesses the opportunity to forge links with international firms, develop employees’ language skills, and providing compulsory education in languages for young people will transform many of the great businesses we have in the UK into success stories overseas.”


Conference – UK

Just for information as they are supporters of the Primary Language Awards

Language World 2013 will be at the Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham Trent University, 22 – 23 March 2013.

Ukraine v England Euro 2012

Well tonight is  a great time to write this blog.  I couldn’t believe it when I opened the door and the mail carrier had brought me a parcel from the Ukraine.  You may remember I wrote on my blog about my friend  Yuri during the Eurovision song contest, well he surprised me by sending me a present to commemorate Euro 2012.

He sent me a fridge magnet which sits proudly on my fridge, and two plates one blue and the other purple.  Can you see them in the picture below now sitting proudly on my mantlepiece over the fire. I cannot thank him enough. It leaves me with a  bit of a problem though …. I don’t know who to support tonight now so Good Luck to both teams.


I’m Deaf – Why cann’t I be bilingual?

At this years Education Show I met an inspirational person called Deborah Reynolds  who was telling me all about sign langauge and the need in schools all over the UK as well as asking me whether the Primary Language Awards in 2013 would include sign language in the other category.  I can confirm that this will be happening this year. to find out more about the UK Sign language school

I remembered this because of this story which looks at bilingualism and deafness. It is interesting that many think that if  a child is deaf then literacy and linguistic ability is positively ignored. This article argues the case for bilingualism and the added dimensions it gives to these learners.  What do you think?

The brain-boosting benefits of bilingualism have been in the news quite a lot of late, and for good reason. The collective results of neurological and psychological studies show that bilingual thinking has a profound effect on the brain’s executive function, and bilingualism produces positive results in areas ranging from greater cognitive flexibility and faster response times to staving off dementia. With the backing of such staunch scientific proof, it seems only reasonable that educators, medical professionals and parents would advocate for bilingual education for children, and often they do; integrating foreign language learning into early education is an oft-cited goal for curriculum developers. But for deaf children, bilingualism as an educational option is ignored and in many cases even actively discouraged. The result is a child at risk of not mastering any languages, and therefore failing to reach his or her linguistic and cognitive potential.

It’s been proven since the 1960s that American Sign Language (ASL) has all the characteristics of a full and natural language, with a syntax and vocabulary independent of English, so the benefits of ASL-English bilingualism are the same as bilingualism between any two spoken languages. (I’m referring here to ASL and English, but the same holds true for signed and spoken language bilingualism in countries around the world.) So why would parents or educators try to stunt a child’s growth?

It isn’t a case of ill-intent, but rather simple misinformation. The media characterizes cochlear implants as miracle cures for deafness, and in the face of such impressive-sounding technology those who advocate for sign language education seem out-of-date or bitter about the potential loss of Deaf culture. In reality, though cochlear implants have provided hundreds of thousands of deaf people with unprecedented access to sound, as yet they cannot restore normal hearing. Success rates as to whether the user will be able to hear or understand sound and speech vary greatly, so deaf children accessing language solely through imperfect technology get fewer chances to acquire language than their hearing peers, and fall behind because of it.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not anti-technology, nor am I advocating for deaf separatism. Learning written and spoken English should be a top priority in deaf education; it’s essential for a successful integration into mainstream society. However, promoting speech shouldn’t mean sacrificing linguistic understanding, and it doesn’t have to. If given the chance, deaf children can acquire language through the natural process of incidental learning via signed language, because the visual modality allows for one-hundred percent access to linguistic information at all times. Having a strong linguistic foundation with which to think about language then allows a child to go on and learn a second language without frustration or the threat of developmental delay. But because of the stigma surrounding signing, children are often denied access to language in favor of promoting access to speech.

The arguments against ASL are many; the use of ASL prevents a child from learning to speak; learning ASL is hard; the distinct syntax and structure of ASL lowers deaf children’s reading levels. But the suggestion that ASL prevents a child from speaking is irrational, and illustrates a double standard in the education of deaf versus hearing children. Parents of a hearing child would never be instructed to stop speaking Spanish, French, Azerbaijani, etc, with their child in the worry that the child would not be able to learn English. In fact, teaching basic signs to hearing babies is trendy of late. It’s thought to decrease frustration, facilitate early communication and actually encourage speech. The idea that knowing two languages could hurt one’s reading ability is also tenuous. While some statistics show lower reading levels for deaf children, this data also includes children educated with oral methods, and research shows that children who have exposure both ASL and spoken English read better than those who know just one or the other. And the suggestion that verbal communication is easier for families should be met with question easier for whom?

With bilingualism, deaf children will not only catch up to their hearing peers, but also have access to the advantages of linguistic and cultural diversity experienced by bilingual thinkers everywhere. That is, if we let them.

Author Bio:

Sara Blazic is an instructor of undergraduate writing at Columbia University, freelance literary translator, and the founder of Redeafined (

with thanks to:

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.

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.

Eurovision Song Contest 2012 – International

Two cultures have crossed inside me. I can write music which can be equally understood by Africans and Ukrainians”

 Gaitana Ukrainian 2012

A few years ago we met our friend  Юра (Yannis, Ukranian) at the Global Educational Technology Summit in Brussels.  Thanks to our new communication tools we were able to converse in Russian. To date we still communicate but it is getting easier and tonight we have been able to communiate via facebook.  Юра speaks only Russian and Ukranian and I dont speak either of these langauges, but thanks to improved technology we are able to keep in contact.  So I will also be cheering on the Ukraine as well as the UK and yes the Irish entry…but be secretly hoping the Russians grannies get somewhere in the top 3.

Good luck Gaitana, Engelbert and Jedward. Those of us in the UK use the red button and become instant bilinguals.

Do you want to win 10 books for your school – UK

Just seen this from TTS.

For years TTS has brought you the highest level of innovation when it comes to hands on teacher resources, now we’re also bringing you the best teacher books!
Our range of practical books covers everything from Teacher Support to D&T. Visit the publishing section of our website to see our full range.
You could win 10 books of your choice from the new range worth £150!  Click on the link below.