Thursday, August 4, 2011

So you think the English Language is easy...

You think English is easy?? Challenge your EAL students to make sense of these.

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to
present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

OFSTED launches good practice website - EAL Case Study

Ofsted has developed a good practice website for schools and the first EAL case study has been published following a visit to Feltham Community College. Inspectors visiting the school found students learning EAL making outstanding progress through a combination of good teaching, rigorous assessment and monitoring procedures, and a tailored curriculum.

Click here to download the pdf full report.


“Students who speak English as an additional language are dragging our results down.” Comonally held view 2 years ago at the college.

Two years on, "students learning English as an additional language make outstanding progress from Key Stages 2 to 4 and the percentage achieving five good grades at GCSE is above the national average."

Expectations for their performance had to be raised and not based on Key Stage 2 data or the level of English when the pupil first arrived.

Targets are reviewed at least termly and usually raised so that students continually live with challenging targets

A rigorous system of assessment and monitoring is in place; every individual and group is tracked in each subject.

A comprehensive training programme uses the expertise in the department and the local authority specialist language service. As well as whole school training about how bilingual learners achieve and learn, the school tailors training to particular departments.

Leaders are ensuring that every department sees literacy and EAL as their responsibility.

The department also works with others in the school to build expertise through training and collaborative planning. According to one teacher, “Before there was no collaboration, now we share the curriculum.”

In lessons, EAL learners self-assess their own work and that of their peers so that they can identify points for development and be more involved in setting targets.

“... would be to raise expectations, and personalise target-setting, monitoring and tracking with a sharp focus on EAL groups. Provide EAL alongside English teaching, to create powerful learning opportunities that benefit all students.”

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Crossing Borders

This looks like a great video for a Secondary PSHE programme on Interculturalism. I am hooked from the trailer and can't wait to get hold of the DVD.

Click here for the trailer.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beautifully put...

Have a look at this link for some thoughtful quotes Jenny collected at the recent  ECIS ESL and MT Conference,Dusseldorf, March 3-5 2011.

Interculturalism - Who Cares?

Bangkok Patana School has a new blog and a new venture looking at Interculutralism within the school.

A group are working to find out what Interculturalism is, what is already happening at the school and how to do more.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Welcoming Linguisitc Diversity in Early Childhood Classrooms

 Edited by Edna Murphy

In schools where young English language learners speak a variety of home languages, welcoming them into the classroom can be very challenging for the teacher and her English-speaking pupils. This long awaited book, written by teachers well experienced in addressing the needs of this young and vulnerable group, will come as a boon to new teachers presented with a multilingual classroom for the first time.

Admittedly I am a little biased in promoting this book as I have written a short chapter in it, but the other chapters include some very practical and useful advice from a whole range of teachers across the globe.
Teachers in multilingual classrooms have been working for some years to improve their repertoire of ways to address the needs of very young children who enter school not speaking the language of instruction. The work of 22 seasoned teachers and administrators in international schools all over the world, this book contains a wealth of information for classroom teachers, enabling them to face a new school year with confidence, and for administrators to understand more clearly what is involved in the teaching of young children who do not yet understand the school's language. Written by teachers well experienced in addressing the needs of this young and vulnerable group, this book will come as a boon to new teachers presented with a multilingual classroom for the first time.
Packed with practical and powerful strategies for educators serving diverse schools, this book makes a strong case for greatly varied, original, creative, and instructionally effective uses of students’ mother tongues as an integral component of the curriculum of English-medium international schools. While presenting the research rationale, the authors from around the world have enlivened their chapters with rich, delightful, and humorous descriptions of real life in early childhood classrooms full of diverse learners from multiple language backgrounds. The book includes compelling messages and should be required reading for all teachers, administrators, and parents of this globally interconnected world of the 21st century.
Virginia P. Collier, Ph.D. Professor Emerita of Bilingual/Multicultural/ESL Education, George Mason University
Author Biography:
Edna Murphy, after a short career as a teacher, became head of primary schools first in London and then Brussels. She founded and edited for 22 years the International Schools Journal, a semi- annual publication now in its 30th year. She later conceived of, edited and contributed to a book entitled ESL: A Handbook for Teachers and Administrators in International Schools. She also served for many years on the Board of the European Council of International Schools. In this capacity and well into her retirement she headed accreditation teams to schools in Europe, Asia and Africa, the primary school being her particular interest. Readership Level:
Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate

Sunday, January 30, 2011

World Language Day in Ambrit, Rome International School

'International Mother Language Day is underway at Ambrit. They are celebrating the day a week early due to the holidays and EAL teachers are going to be leading their grade level teams in an activity. Additionally there will be a board about the day and the Ambrit multi-lingual community.
With Chinese New Year approaching they are also hosting a Chinese New Year Workshop.'

Friday, January 21, 2011

World Language Day 21st February 2011

How is your school celebrating World Language Day?


A day celebrated by schools across the world in recognition of International Mother Language Day.  This was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999 and has been observed every year since February 2000. Its observance was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 


To promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism


Everyone ideally.
We would like all classes from K1 to Year 6 to take part in a language quiz. This will be in the form of age appropriate PowerPoints comprising 10 multiple choice questions.
Additionally we have attached a list of possible activities based on a language theme. Class teachers/year groups and specialists can use as appropriate to the curriculum being taught that day.

Key Stage assemblies for w/b 21st Feb. will be language themed

World Language Day Suggested Activities
Primary Language Group

·      Ask a child to teach the class to count in a different language – use throughout the day.
·      Story telling – invite children or parents from different classes/year groups etc to come in and share a book/story
·      Art – large canvases available – 1 per year group for a collaborative painting with a language theme e.g. one word/phrase in different languages.
·      Sign Language activities – learn and use number of signs for the day.
·      KS2/KS1  – use Y1/2 meeting room – for cartoons in different languages – Thai?
·      Prepare a chain of flags within a class, within a year group with different phrases on each flag in different languages 
·      Greetings– orally and in writing in different languages – find out as many as you can – make a display- laminate and use as a permanent display
·      Singing songs:  The children could  learn a tune and lyrics, especially if they can combine them with actions. You can also speak with the children about where the songs are from, research the country, listen to and discuss how the words are spoken, look at similarities (and differences!) to English. If you have a native speaker in the year group they can be invited to speak about the songs and to help the children with pronunciation.
           Useful website:
·      Creating cards with multilingual sayings
·      Tongue twisters in different languages - International collection of Tongue twisters – will need to choose those that someone in the class can read but selection for most languages including 13 Thai tongue twisters with translations
·      Chinese language characters (calligraphy) – ask parent in for help
Greek alphabet for example or other, depending on languages in class to create name tags for the day
·      Adopt a language where there are just a few speakers left. Start to learn the language and support it
·      Class Language themed book – poems or phrases/words in different languages of the children in the class
·      Dual language spelling test
·      Learn how to say a phrase in the different languages of the class e.g. Have you finished? Can I go to the toilet? Use for the day/week.
·      Over break or for a set period in the day – no verbal communication allowed – reflect and discuss. Or remove a word every five minutes that no one in class can use – reflect and discuss
·      Make up a new language in groups/as a class
·      Data handling – language surveys to generate graphs
·      One World, One Village DVD on Link and Learn – useful to note data and generate discussion. Discussion and facts around the idea of the world’s population being represented in a village of 100 people
·      Give the children different scripts to identify
·      I went to the market and I heard someone say…Halo, Guten Tag etc
·      Looking at different dialects of Thai in Thai lessons
·      MFL teachers could swap groups – children become the teachers
·      PE – different game from a different culture and/or key instructions in a different language
·      Music – from around the world
·      Lunchtimes in KS1 and KS2 – cartoons in a language other than English

Music Department Plans
Year1 have already learnt a Japanese traditional singing game, as well as a greeting song in Chinese and a goodbye song in Arabic. Other languages we are looking at include Caribbean (pidgin English), French, Spanish, Korean, and African.
We have also discussed the idea of inviting parents/MFL teachers to teach us new singing games in different languages.
Most music lessons in the Primary include a listening focus. We will be playing world music for movement activities, leading into discussions of that particular country's musical culture/ instruments etc. Also planning to use singing stories from different cultures/languages.
Thai Department Plans
For the activities in Thai lessons, the Thai team will add names of fruits or food in different languages comparing with Central Thai and Thai dialects .
This list is a range of ideas big and small for class based activities to celebrate and recognize World Language Day.

Larry Ferlazzo

Listen to Episode 2: Using Visuals to Teach Text with Larry Ferlazzo.

Try this 5 minute podcast on using visuals to teach text. If you haven't heard of Larry Ferlazzo his website is full of starteiges and teaching tools:


Hall of Fame