Saturday, 26 February 2011

Bilinguality and Literacy by Manjula Datta

I read this book when I was doing my research for the assignment I had to write in my course. I liked how the writer referred to her own language learning experience as a foreigner in the UK.

In the foreword, Colin Baker stated that 'the beauty in the cultural diversity of our world is well encapsulated in varied local literacy practices. To our global advantage, we reproduce and maintain such diversity. We do this not for the sake of literacy or language, but for the sake of children. It is in the richest interests of child development that minority language literacy and biliteracy is supported by parents, teachers, communities and advocates. There are many advantages for children who become bilingual and especially biliterate.'

The writer started teaching English, Hindi and Bengali in Calcutta. In India, she says, children have to learn at least three languages in school; including English, Hindi as the national language and one regional language. If there are other regional languages such as Gujarati and Tamil, the normal practice is to include these languages into the curriculum as well. She writes that in India all the languages have different functions and are used for different social purposes. For example, at home she spoke Bengali that her mother taught her. Hindi is the language spoken in Bollywood films, so to be able to understand these films she had to learn Hindi at school along with English.

She states that when she came to England in 1976, she had a big culture shock; she did not understand why they treated her as multilingual because there was a purpose and meaning to all languages she spoke, it was normal for her.

In countries like Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Finland, Sweden and Norway, multilingual education is also a common norm. Children in Switzerland learn at least three languages at school because in Switzerland there are cantons with different languages and people move between these cantons for education as well as jobs. Therefore, children are taught these languages at very early ages.

After marrying my husband who is Swiss but from the French canton, we lived in Zurich for three years. He worked in Zurich and travelled to Lausanne every weekend to see his family. He speaks 5 languages but he learned French, German and English at school. The other languages came from the necessity and interest. It was easier for him to learn Swiss German which is a kind of German dialect but has got nothing to do with the German reading and writing. Afterwards, he learned Spanish because he liked the language. He even learned some Turkish from my mother to make himself understood in Turkey where we travel regularly to visit family & friends.

Growing up in a very monolingual environment as well as the English that I learned at school, learning German in Zurich was quite tough for me. I went to a language school but I did not understand a word of what the locals were saying. In the language school, they taught normal German but people in Zurich did not like to use it. They preferred speaking their own dialect naturally. I decided to work in a shop temporarily to understand the language better. Only after a couple of months, I was able to comprehend what exactly the customers wanted. I am still impressed that the boss didn’t fire me after a week :)

The experience taught me one very valuable lesson; you need to be thrown in deep water to be able to learn and speak a language. None of the designed role-plays or scenarios will prepare you for real life. You can learn a language in a school but you can’t maintain it if you don’t speak it. As Manjula Datta pointed out in her book, languages should have a function and purpose in our lives because they are alive and dynamic..

Please write to me about your journey in learning another language...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Mr. Tickle...

For evolving English: one language many voices, I read Mr. Tickle to a microphone...little embarrassing but a fun experience...Here are the links;

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Promoting Community Languages in Schools...

In the UK, secondary school students can be entered for Community Languages GCSE's in most languages through different exam boards. These languages include Turkish, Urdu, Arabic, Dutch, Russian, Portuguese, Bengali, Gujarati, Polish, Chinese (Mandarin), Irish, Modern Hebrew, Japanese, Persian, Modern Greek, Panjabi. Although we have many Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Afghani students, it is sad that we are not able to enter them in these languages yet.  

There are many advantages for both students and schools to have the opportunity of these exams. The number of students taking the community languages exams is an indicator for the school's effective knowledge of the students' background and how much it values the first languages of its students. Obviously high grades also boost the school's results. 

However, the school's job does not end just with entering the students. They could also provide language clubs whenever possible. There are Saturday or sometimes Sunday schools where students learn their own languages as well as their culture but many students complain that they are extremely tired and want to rest at the weekends. 

I use the first language data to make a list of potential entries every Autumn term. I then contact those students to ask if they are able to read and write in the language because all exams require reading and writing skills. If they are literate, I give them the school letter to take home and have it signed by their parent or guardian to request exam entry. The language clubs, we run at present, are Turkish, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and French. All these clubs are advertised  at different locations of our school but we also make sure that they are published in the school's newsletter. Distributing past papers to the students works wonders because they can practice at home on their own, too.   

I also communicate with the borough's community languages consultant to find out about the other languages entries. Speaking exams need to take place with a teacher who can speak that particular language. Therefore, we collaborate with other schools for conducting the speaking exams. It is also a great opportunity for schools to communicate with each other. 

Community Languages are one of the ways for Community Cohesion where an awareness can be shown of its students' multilingualism and students can be praised  for their ability to speak first language. It has many positive effects in students' lives; in or outside the school. They feel more confident and grounded because their school accepts them as a whole. They participate in other activities more and their competency in first language helps them to learn English better. Students also learn to trust their schools for valuing other cultures. They become more tolerant and helpful to each other. 

Community Languages recognition leads the schools towards a more pleasant environment for students...

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


The most important issue in education nowadays is to be able to motivate the students for topics which they have very little interest for.  Students would like to see the relevance of these topics to life. They constantly ask themselves ‘What’s in it for me?’ as Ian Gilbert expressed in the book called ‘Essential Motivation in the classroom’.  It is well known that humans learn through two things; experience or experiment and interest.
The children, at present, are bombarded with information by internet and media. They are playing games that many adults are not able to play. Their brain is developing rapidly, asking questions and reviewing the topics they learn in schools.  
In the past, children had to accept what has been offered to them but maybe still questioned in their minds quietly.
In 1866 twenty-six-year-old Thomas Hardy wrote;
A Young Man’s Epigram on Existence
A senseless school, where we must give
Our lives that we may learn to live!
A dolt is he who memorizes
Lessons that leave no time for prizes

I am sure many children thought the same way at the time. Mark Twain (1835-1910) quoted “I never let the education interfere with my learning.”
 In the schools, teachers teach planned Schemes of Work in curriculum time which is made years ago before the Internet revolution. Although, there are efforts to make lessons more interesting by separating into parts such as; starter, main lesson and plenary as well as differentiation by outcome and extension, to cover the needs of 30 students is the hardest issue for teachers.  Teachers should also consider the learning styles of the students according to visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners and make sure that all learning styles are covered.
I find it a little bit unfair on teachers to expect all these with the same curriculum which does not answer the needs of students anymore. However, teachers really try hard to provide the best education possible in schools under the circumstances.
To motivate the students, one of the most significant ways is to get to know them.  Teaching and learning are personal, it is not about business. It is about the goals, expectations, self esteem and family life. It is about the relationship between student-parent and school.
When I ask some of my students about what they would like to do when they finish school, the answers can be quite daunting. Although, they are high achievers in school, their parents may expect them to start working a.s.a.p.
 For teachers overcoming these barriers and developing the parents’ ambitions are tough tasks, but it needs to be done.  Parents’ attitude to learning affects their children’s attitude to learning. 
I believe motivation should start from home and continue through relevant teaching resources at school.  However, in the meantime, teachers need to be motivated as well! They need appreciation and courage to deliver excellent lessons.  Let’s not forget about that!!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

RE (Religious Education) KS3 induction lesson for EAL students: Meditation session

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath in, and deep breathe out.

Inhale and exhale! When you exhale, imagine yourself on a beach. You can hear the sound of waves; you can smell the fish and you can touch the water. You are walking on the beach. The water is cool and refreshing.

Inhale and exhale! This time you are climbing up a mountain. No one stands in your way. Everyone wants you to achieve. All you need is your courage and determination. Finally you reach the peak. Now you can touch the sky. You are proud of yourself.  

Inhale and exhale! This time you are at your favourite place. It is your country, your city…. You see yourself at home. It’s peaceful. It’s calming. Look around you…You see your family, relatives and friends. They are all smiling at you. They are so happy and proud to see you. Give them hugs and kisses one by one.  Look at their smiling and welcoming faces. Tell them how much you miss them and tell them you will always love them.

Inhale and exhale…  Now take that happy place with you to your classroom. Smile… Inhale and when you exhale, relax, and open your eyes.    

Teacher’s comment

I read it with a calm and slow music in the background.

Generally first reaction of the students is to laugh. They have lots of problems to keep their eyes closed. Everyone tries to look at each other to make sure that the others also close their eyes, so they don’t look silly.

In the first part, they still have problems to focus. By the second paragraph, they start to listen but still with some giggles.

When I start to read the third paragraph, everybody is quiet. There is no one talking and giggling also stops! Complete silence...     

Created by T. Bauhofer


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Part 4-What is Partnership Teaching and does it really work?

What are the factors in successful partnerships?

Role of Senior Leaders in schools to participate the Partnership Teaching; in my opinion, it is crucial that the senior leaders back up the Partnership Teaching in schools. They need to recognize the aims and objectives of the project and the role of teachers within the project to ensure the values and principles are embedded across the school, check on the progress of individuals and groups within the target class, make sure protected planning time is available, ensure all teachers are released for network meetings, incorporate the Partnership Teaching objectives into faculty reviews and observations, undertake active leading role in completing action plans and progress reviews and monitor the use and effectiveness of the Partnership Teaching funding.

At whole school level; there should be a tradition of staff working in collaboration. This is a very important factor. If the teachers are not used to working in partnerships, it will be very difficult without any training or school policy to expect them share the teaching. It is likely to work much better if Partnership Teaching is tied into staff development plans and curriculum review. If a policy about partnership teaching is created in schools, it should be a joint decision by all staff. Structures should be developed to support Partnerships and strategies should be placed in schools with different abilities. Flexible groupings and modes of assessment should be provided in order to lift the pressure of league tables. Finally, explicit policy in the allocation and deployment of support staff should involve the whole staff negotiation. All staff should be aware of the nature of support if they have an EAL/EMA teacher in class. 

At classroom level; the short term goals should be clearly defined linking to school and department priorities. Identifying the correct target group and their target levels termly is one of the main starting points to the partnership teaching. An action research approach should take place giving the opportunity for all teachers to become learners, roles should be defined but open to change and development. Teachers should be given time for planning. There should be regular and honest evaluation, feedback to the school and department should be given and the most of all there should be willingness to share and to change.

What are the barriers of successful partnership teaching?

According to a recent report commissioned by a government agency, there are very few qualified EAL/EMA staff working in schools today. Many of the EAL/EMA jobs are done by teaching assistants rather than qualified teachers. This had an effect of lowering the status of EAL knowledge, skills and support within schools. In addition, EAL/EMA is often embedded with SEN (special educational needs) and learning support in many schools, therefore it causes to a lack of visibility and status for EAL and conflates the distinctions between EAL and SEN.       
Although the current EAL policy and practice seem to be student-oriented but the mainstream curriculum itself is not EAL oriented.

In addition, school management may have reservations about partnership teaching due to the high cost of having two teachers in one classroom. It is quite difficult to measure the success of the partnership teaching. It needs to be very well planned and organized as well as structured and timed for a certain period. The teachers who are undertaking partnership teaching should evaluate the impact honestly and change the strategies which are not found to be effective immediately.

What I also realised during my experience that the ‘language centres’ may still exist in some teachers’ minds. There may be a very strong tradition of teaching and learning privacy in classes and some teachers may not be ready to open their doors to ‘strangers’. The Partnership Teaching approach is likely to take time to establish in some schools. Furthermore, EAL/EMA teachers’ self confidence plays a crucial role to establish the successful partnership teaching. If they are not feeling confident in teaching Science and Maths, it may be a good idea for them to observe lessons for a while or go for training sessions. 
If schools’ senior managements lead and direct the teachers, team teaching should be successful. Otherwise, it is likely to be a struggle for EMA/EAL departments that they have to overcome because they should convince the teachers who are not ready for collaboration.


As an EAL (English as an Additional Language) Teacher, I worked in many different ways of collaboration with subject teachers. However, I realized that one of the most effective methods that the EAL/EMA students would progress is to plan and deliver the lessons in partnership with the subject teachers. There is nothing worse for a qualified teacher to get into a classroom and sharpen the pencils. This is a waste of teachers’ skills! In my reflective journal, I explained how our collaboration with Science faculty raised the students’ achievement and attainment level.

Gibbons says; ‘No one teacher can answer all the language needs of bilingual children alone. There is no such thing as a magic language ‘fix’ which will suddenly turn a child into a fluent English speaker’.   I entirely agree with Gibbons about taking a whole school approach to identify the EAL/EMA students’ language needs and plan the curriculum accordingly.

Many factors play a role in successful collaboration but I believe the main factor is readiness and open mindedness. Flexible goals and frequent evaluations are definitely very helpful but the work should be consistent and for an appropriate length of time. The success may not be instant, although I saw the progress immediately. Through differentiated resources and planned activities in multiple learning styles, all students were able to participate and raise their level of achievement.

Part 3-What is Partnership Teaching and does it really work?

Benefits of Partnership Planning and Teaching

According to Vygotsky, children need to be able to talk about a new problem or a new concept in order to understand it and use it. The instructional technique in which the teacher models the desired learning strategy or task and then gradually shifts responsibility to the students is called scaffolding. Vygotsky stated that a child follows an adult's example and gradually develops the ability to do certain tasks without help or assistance. He named this as ZPD (Zone Proximal Development). It shows the difference between what a child can do without and with support. Actual developmental level is determined by independent problem solving skills and the level of potential problem solving under the adult guidance or in collaboration with the other more able children.
Experience showed that a child with a larger zone of proximal development will do much better at school”

Vygotsky also stated that the child’s strong points in a foreign language are his weak points in his native language and vice versa. In first language, the child conjugates and declines correctly but without realising it. In a foreign language s/he needs to learn all the elements of the language in order to speak correctly. Second language success depends on the level in first language so that the child can transfer his/her knowledge into the second language.     

I think this focus point may be valid for subject teachers. Many of them, while studying their subjects, may not have been necessarily studying English grammar. However, recently all teachers are expected to teach English through their subjects. This requires a lot of knowledge on students’ language needs. This is where an EMA/EAL teacher’s skills may be necessary to collaborate. 

The subject teacher and the EAL teacher support students in different ways. The EAL teacher helps the students to decode the language to reinforce the comprehension of the context. It is very important that the subject teacher recognizes the importance of collaborative support to meet all the students’ different needs in class.
The EAL teachers are good at eliciting answers but are not able to respond to these answers using the full range of confirmations, rejections, repetitions, elaborations and reformulations for subject teaching which described as part of the complete range of teachers’ responding moves.   
A. Creese

When supporting in the classroom, EAL teachers are able to focus on smaller target groups and ask open questions which leads to a better understanding about the topics.  Without this element, EAL students may not have access to the topic. In many cases, the subject teachers give answers straight away, due to the pressure of external exams and league tables but EAL teachers use the questioning to guide the students through the task. Therefore, it is very important to plan and share the tasks before hand to ensure that all students benefit from having two teachers inside the classroom.
On the other hand, Pauline Gibbons also emphasises the importance of talk by saying; ‘Through talk that much learning occurs. Talk allows children to think aloud, to formulate ideas, to set up and evaluate hypotheses and reach tentative decision in a context that is not restricted by the more formal demand of written language’. 

All teachers should be aware of these factors. If they collaborate with EMA/EAL teachers, they should have the best use of their specialist skills reflected in the planning. I believe that partnership teaching may be a great way for where there is identified need for extra language support.     
By shared planning, subject teachers should be able to reduce the planning time and all the students are specifically targeted and produced and trialled by the team. In addition, the input of knowledge, sharing resources and unity of faculty should lead to more peer visits, build and share good practice and work with wider range of strategies in classroom. When teachers model ‘talk’ which according to Vygotsky and Gibbons is the most important part of learning, the confidence of the EAL and other students in speech should increase. The teachers and students should be able to take more risks and teachers should be able to spot the challenging students and support them as well as care for more individuals. Partnership Teaching also helps with social relations between teachers. It provides a positive learning and teaching atmosphere in schools.

Partnership Teaching was promoted as a way for teachers to engage in their own classroom 'action research' by experimenting with different strategies to support pupils with EAL. (Bourne, J. and McPake, J. )

Part 2-What is Partnership Teaching and does it really work?

What is Partnership Teaching for EAL (English as an Additional Language)/EMA (Ethnic Minority Achievement)?

Bourne and McPake said  in 1991 that The Partnership Teaching is when subject teacher and EAL/EMA specialist or groups of teachers working together to plan and to develop the lessons to all students’ language needs and abilities irrespective of whether they are bilingual or not. This definition goes parallel with DCSF’s, (2009) ‘Personalized learning and teaching is being taking a highly structured and responsive approach to each child’s and young person’s learning, in order that all are able to progress, achieve and participate.’  

Subject teachers are expected to teach an inclusive curriculum in order to raise the achievement of bilingual students in their subjects. If they have EAL specialists in class, they are likely to have reduced planning time and more input of knowledge. Through the partnership teaching, there should be an established and successful learning and teaching cycle. In addition, teachers’ knowledge, expertise and skills should be shared.

According to Bourne (1989), a good teacher is an effective mainstream teacher who works towards promoting the language development of all pupils in the classroom.

The difference of Partnership teaching

The student orientated approach aims of a particular kind of EAL student pedagogy. Levine saw mixed ability teaching in mainstream classrooms as a potentially effective response to meeting the language learning needs of EAL pupils. He emphasised the importance of ‘letting children have their own voice’. The language teaching agenda for the teacher in this conceptualising is essentially pupil-led in that the kind of teacher intervention made is dependent on the needs or problems shown in the active work of the EAL student. Classroom pedagogy is conceptualised in terms of learner active engagement. This perspective has been given further elaboration in the officially promoted Partnership Teaching model in Britain.
I agree with Bourne when she says ‘Learning is best achieved through enquiry based activities involving discussion; and pair/ small group work would be one of the best activities for creating such opportunities.

In Partnership Teaching, teachers’ high expectations, a suitable range of learning and teaching strategies, appropriate resources which are ‘sensitive to students’ cultural heritage and good assessment and recording procedures help raising the achievement and attainment level of students. In addition, I believe that it is one of the best methods for EMA/EAL teachers to reach to ‘a good teacher’ status‘ as it is described earlier in Bourne’s (1989) different models of collaboration.

Bourne and McPake in A. Creese, make a distinction between support teaching and partnership teaching.
Support teaching involves the language-support teacher working with a targeted child or children in a lesson in which the curriculum is planned and delivered by the subject teacher. The intermediary position of co-operative teaching in contrast, involves the two teachers planning the curriculum and teaching strategies together, taking account of the needs of all children in the class. The teachers have equal status and shared responsibilities, taking it in turns to lead the class.   

Part 1- What is Partnership Teaching and does it really work?


My critical analysis will be about the value of the Partnership Teaching. In the first part of my analysis, I will look into the history of mainstreaming and what the main objective was behind the mainstreaming. I will find out how mainstreaming led to partnership teaching and why it is different than other ways of collaboration between the EAL teachers and the subject teachers. In addition, I will look into how schools can establish successful partnerships between EMA/EAL and the subject teachers.

Teaching partnerships are a common response to meeting the needs of children in diverse classrooms in many countries. Such partnerships carry the main responsibility for delivering an educational policy that has the explicit aim of including and serving the needs of children who speak English as an additional language in mainstream classrooms and society.  

History of mainstreaming and partnership teaching

Partnership teaching came into practice through ‘mainstreaming’ of the EAL students. The history of this included; educating them separately with the same method of English teaching for foreign students outside the UK in 1950’s, withdrawing to teach them four skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) in part-time or full-time language centres in 1960’s until the early 1980’s. However, this system had many disadvantages for EAL students such as; causing difficulties to integrate Britain and some racist incidents between EAL and the native speakers.

1986 Calderdale Report, which was produced after the racially motivated murder of Ahmed Iqbal Ullah, ended excluded language centres in the UK; it was in favour of access to the whole curriculum, defining the language as an entitlement for all students. This approach required EAL teachers to work alongside the subject teachers. However, for a long while EAL teachers’ knowledge and skills have become positioned as having a lower status than the subject teachers’ and showed how students come to view working with EAL teachers in the mainstream classroom as less important than other class activities.

Mainstreaming was intended to challenge the monolingual status quo while ensuring that the policy and approach remained solidly anti assimilationist.
The Government first provided funding for specialist staff to meet the needs of EAL pupils through section 11 of the Local Government Act of 1966. The aim was to help pupils from "New Commonwealth" backgrounds, and LEAs received funding based on the number of these pupils on roll. Inevitably, schools with pupils from countries that were not former colonies lost out, but it wasn't until 1993 that funding was extended to cover all EAL pupils.
In 1998, section 11 was replaced by the ethnic minorities achievement grant (EMAG), which provides funds to support both EAL pupils and those from minority ethnic groups who have English as a mother tongue but are recognised as underachieving nationally. Allocation is based on the number of EAL learners plus those from underachieving ethnic groups.
The National Curriculum provides an entitlement to a balanced and broad curriculum which is also relevant to all students’ particular needs. (DES, 1989). An OfSTED report stresses the increasing need of the specialist teacher support, also the importance of well planned and clearly structured work for motivating the students. 

Monday, 7 February 2011

Improving writing across the curriculum...

Steps into good writing;

1. Use data to decide on the objectives-content and language  
2. Talk first to generate content and to practice ‘academic’ language                                                                              
3. Use good models and analyse the features                           
4. Taught not caught: teacher models the thought processes in writing                                                                            
5. Paired writing                                                         
6. Individual writing            

Starter activity- As a kinesthetic activity students can sort out the words from informal to formal...
Give them the flash cards which have words like;
Sling yer'ook.
Get lost!
Leave now.
Go away!
Take a long walk off a short pier.
Sod off!
Naff off.
Exit, pursued by a bear.
Members of the public are kindly requested to leave the building forthwith.
In case of fire exit the building via the rear staircase.
Please vacate the premises.
Please leave the building.
Get out of here.
Get thee hence!

And ask them to form a line which shows the transition of the most informal phrase to the most formal phrase.

The aim is to bring the students writing from 'spoken like' to the more 'written like' or to more formal writing.

Step 1-The graph is going down. The hotter the water, the faster the salt dissolves.

Step 2- The graph line shows a gradual decrease as the temperature increases; the higher the temperature, the faster the salt dissolves.  

Step 3-   The cooler the temperature, the longer it takes for the salt to dissolve as revealed by the steadily declining pattern of the graph line from my results. The higher the temperature the shorter amount of time taken.
Step 4-   The graph shows a proportional increase in the rate of dissolving with each of the different solutes investigated. Particles of solute move around faster as the temperature of the solvent increases. The temperature of the solvent affects the rate of dissolving.
In the first one, the pair is talking in between and they can understand each other because they are both in the same place. They can point to the graph and say things like "the graph is going down".

Talking like a scientist takes time and appropriate vocabulary. Teachers should model in their speaking and give the suitable vocabulary to the students to use in their writing. 

Another good exercise would be to give the students an image like this and in groups they share the roles of being a scientist, an artist, a historian, a mathematician and a writer to discuss about the image.       
It will activate their previous knowledge about the vocabulary to talk like a historian, a scientist etc. Teachers can give them extra support by providing them keywords in these jobs.        


Sunday, 6 February 2011

KS3 & 4-Geography-Environment Lesson starter

Ask students what they see in the clip. Make a mind map. Sort the keywords out. They can also write the keywords in first language then with the help of dictionaries they can translate them into English. Make them watch twice to elaborate and to expand the vocabulary...

KS4 EAL School Trip 2008-Transport museum- Covent Garden

Bilingual stories for younger audience written by my year 10 group last year

How the monkey saved all the animals written by Muhammed-English-Somali

Once upon a time, there were many animals in the jungle. They lived together in peace.

Beri hore waxaa jiray duurka Xayawano badan oo nabad kuwada noolaa.

There was also a black panther who wanted to attack and eat all the animals in the jungle. He was very strong and fast.

Waxaa halkaa ku noolaa panther madow waxuu rabay inuu cuno xayawaanada kale oo dhan. Pantherka wuu xoog badnaa iyo wuu orod badnaa.

The Black Panther was very scary and cunning.  He thought of a plan. He invited all the animals for a feast into his cave.

Pantherka madow waa laga cabsanayaa laakiin wuu quruxsanyahay.wuxuu sameestay qorsho. Gurigiisa Wuxuu ku casuumay xayawaanadii oo dhan.

When the other animals arrived, The Panther served the Zebra as dinner. The others saw that the Panther killed the Zebra. They started to get scared of him. When the Panther went into his kitchen, The Little Monkey said; “ I will start singing and running around, and you will run away from the cave. They said “Fine, start!”     

Markay imaadeen baahalihii kale ayey dhexda udhigtay dameerfarowgii kabac ayey fahmeen inay dishay pantherka waxayna bilaabeen inay kacabsadaan pantherka.pantherka markay  gashay kushiinka daanjeerka yaraa ayaa dhahay waxaan bilaabayaa inaan heeso oo aan war wareegsado.
When The Panther returned, The Little Monkey started to make strange sounds. The Panther was very surprised. He did not understand why the Little Monkey was screaming. He asked the Little Monkey; “What’s wrong? Why are you screaming?” The Little Monkey did not answer, he continued to scream and jump even harder. Just when the Panther went next to him, all the other animals ran out of the Panther’s cave. So this how the Little Monkey saved all the animals.  

Markay soo naqatay pantherka ayaa daanjeerka yaraa ayaa bilaabay hees macaan ah  oo soo jiidatay pantherka.pantherka ayaa aad iyo aad  u faraxsanaa pantherka ma ogeyn daanjeerku heeso daanjeerki yaraa ayaa weydiyay maxaa kugu dhacay pantherka ayaa dhahay maxaad u qaylinee daanjeerka ka ma jawaabin su aasha la weydiiyay waana siiwadayay hees tii sii.

 The End!

Bilingual stories for younger audience written by my year 10 group last year

The little Mermaid and the Fisherman written by Jacques-English-French

Émilie était une bien jolie sirène qui vivait dans l’océan. Elle avait pour compagnes Tina, une grande tortue, et Léona, une étoile de mer.
Ce jour-là, les trois amies partirent comme à l’habitude, explorer les fonds marins et découverte  des nouveaux jeux. Tout à coup, Émilie se rendit compte qu'il manquait quelqu'un... C'était Tina !

Emily was a very pretty mermaid who lived in an ocean. Her companion was Tina, a large turtle, and Leona, a starfish.
One day, the three friends went to explore the sea ground and find new games, as usually. 
Suddenly, Emily realized she was missing someone... It was Tina!

La sirène demanda à Léona :
 « Mais où est Tina ? L'as-tu vue ? »
Léona lui répondit :
« Non ! Elle doit être encore en train de nous faire une farce

So, Emily  asked Leona:
“Where is Tina? Have you seen her? "
Leona replied:
She must be hiding from us. "
Mais Émilie avait le pressentiment que quelque chose n'était pas normal... Elle remonta alors vers la surface et sortit sa tête de l'eau, en prenant garde de ne pas être vue. C'est alors qu'elle aperçut un pêcheur, en train d'essayer d'enlever son hameçon de la patte de Tina. Ne pensant plus à elle et voulant sauver son amie, la sirène se précipita vers le pêcheur et lui salure:

« Mais que fais-tu à mon amie ? »

But Emily had the feeling that something was not right... She then ascended to the surface and put its head above water, being careful not to be seen.
 Then she saw a fisherman trying to remove the hook of Tina’s leg. 
She didn’t think for long before she tried  to save her friend, the mermaid rushed to the fisherman and asked him:
" What are you doing to my friend? "

Mais Émilie, qui était très rusée, a une idée.
 « Faisons un marché : tu libères mon amie la tortue et, en échange, tu auras un cadeau. »
Alor le pécheur fut d'accord :
« Très bien, je t'attends ici ! »
Émilie repartit sous l’eau rejoindre l’étoile de mer qui avait tout entendu. Léona lui dit :
« Mais enfin, tu es folle ! Que vas-tu lui donner ? » 

Emily, who was very clever, had an idea.
"Let us make a deal: If you free my friend, the turtle, and in return you'll get a gift. "
So he agreed:
"Very well, I'll wait here! "
Emily joined her friend the starfish under water, who had heard everything. Leona said:
"But you're crazy! What will you give him? "

« Mais que fais-tu à mon amie ? »
et le pécheur  , étonné de voir par ici une si jolie jeune fille lui demanda :et il  lui demanda au ci.

« Et toi, qui es-tu pour me demander cela ? Ici, ce n'est pas un endroit pour une demoiselle. L'eau est trop profonde, et si j'étais toi, je n'y resterais pas ! »

Émilie fit un plongeon afin de lui  montrer sa queue, puis revint à la surface.

« Voilà qui je suis ! Et tu ferais bien de relâcher Tina, si non il t’arrivera un malheur ! »

le pécheur  n'en croyait
pas ses lui  répondit :

« Non seulement je vais garder ton amie, mais en plus je vais répéter à tout le monde que les sirènes existent ! »

The fisherman was surprised by Emily’s beauty
and asked her“ Who are you asking me this? This is not a place for a lady like you. The water is too deep, and if I were you, I would not stay here any longer! "
Emily dived into the ocean to show him her gorgeous tail, then resurfaced.
"This is who I am! And you'd better release Tina, if you don’t want any misfortune to happen to you! "
The fisherman could not believe his eyes. He replied:

" I'll not only keep your friend, but I will tell everyone that mermaids exist!”
Émilie ne répondit pas et montra du doigt l'entrée d'une grotte. Elles s’y précipitèrent toutes les deux. Là, au milieu des algues et des coquillages, trônait un magnifique coffre rempli de bijoux et de pièces d'or. Léona ne comprenait pas comment Émilie avait trouvé un tel trésor. Et pourquoi donc voulait-elle le donner?
« Cet homme ne mérite pas tant de beauté ! Pourquoi lui offrir ce trésor ? »
Émilie expliqua :
« Tina et toi êtes mes seules vraies amies. Et notre amitié vaut tous les trésors du monde. Voilà pourquoi ! »
Emily did not answer and pointed at the entrance to a cave. They both rushed there. There, among the seaweed and shellfish, sat a beautiful box full of jewels and gold coins. Leona did not understand how Emily had found such a treasure. And why did she want to give it away?
"This man does not deserve such beauty! Why give him the treasure?”    
 "Tina and you are my only true friends. And our friendship is worth all the treasures in the world. That is why! " Emily explained.
Touchée par cette réponse, Léona s'accrocha à la queue de son amie sirène et elles remontèrent ensemble, chargées du lourd coffre au tré le pécheur dit,
« Je pensais que tu ne reviendrais pas ! ».
Émilie posa le coffre à ses pieds. Je était si surpris qu’il se mit à pleurer.
« Un si beau cadeau pour moi qui suis méchant... Merci, merci infiniment ! Je vais pouvoir acheter une belle maison et bien nourrir ma femme et mes enfants. Je te promets de ne révéler à personne que les sirènes existent.»

Touched by this response, Leona held Emily’s tail and they went together to load the heavy chest of treasure. 
"I thought you would not come back!” said the fisherman.      
Emily put the chest by his feet. He was so surprised that he began to cry.
"A beautiful gift for someone like me… Thank you, thank you very much! I'm going to buy a nice house and good food for my wife and children. I promise not to tell anyone that mermaids exist!”

The end                fin

Bilingual stories for younger audience written by my year 10 group last year

Mario by Buba- English-Portuguese

Many years ago an 11 year old boy named Mario lived with his father called Jack. 
A muito anos atras um menino chamado Mario e tinha 11 anos de idade vivia com o pai chamado Jack.

One day the father went to the school to register Mario.
Um dia o pai foi numa scola a procura de matricula.
A week later the school sent a letter to Mario to say that he had a place at school starting next week.
Uma semana depois enviaram uma carta a dizer que vai comesar a escola na semana  seguinte. 

The day arrived that he was to go to school at 08:10 and leave at 14:10.
O dia chegou que era ele para ir a escola as 08:10 e sair as 14:10. 

He went to school on Monday and did not have any friends.
Ele foi a escola na segunda feira e nao tinha nenhum amigo .

One day his dad won the lottery and he made a lot of friends.
Um dia o pai ganhou alotaria e fez muitos amigos.

The end                 fin

Part 5-English language reading provision for EAL Students who are not literate in their first language

What activities did Malik do in these reading sessions?

Story: The flour of wolf, fox and bear
The activities I did with Malik are chosen from Pauline Gibbons’ book called  ‘Scaffolding language, scaffolding learning, 2002; Pages:77-97’
Before reading activities;
Malik looked at the pictures of the story and described the pictures. We talked about the features of wolf, fox and bear.  He was able to give very accurate details of the characters, the setting and the location however some of the pictures were not very clear. Afterwards, he tried to predict the plot and wrote his predictions into the worksheet. Malik wanted to know if his prediction was correct and this gave him a purpose to continue. In addition, we talked about the setting, location and background.

During reading activities;
Malik and I did shared- reading. I helped him with his reading and asked him to guess what the word might be. Although he had some difficulties to recognize the words, he was good at guessing the two words like; One day, wolf, fox, bear, first, second, third, very well. I used pictures to show the crop, grains, chaff, straw and seeds. He also responded well to ‘What’s next?’ exercises.

After reading activities;
I asked questions to test his comprehension such as;
T – Tuba    M- Malik

T: What animals are there in the story?  
M: Wolf, fox and bear
T:Who gets the biggest part of the harvest and why?
M: The bear cause he is the biggest.
T:Where do they go to grind their shares?
M:  It’s like… mell, mill
T: What voices do stones make?
M: Whee, whee
T: What about the fox’s ones?
M: rumble, rumble
T: Why do fox’s stones sound different?
M: Different
T: Crushed rock, do you remember?
M: Oh, yea, yea, yea
T: How does fox’s flour look? What does he say about it?
M: Light
T: The opposite isn’t it? His flour looks light, while the others’ look dark. And they are asking why?
M: Yea, yea
T: What does he say about it then?
M: He told them he put them his tail on it.
T:  No, you forgot. He says something, he soaked them in…
M: River
T: What happens to bear’s and wolf’s flour?
M: It’s gone.
T: Of course, silly animals aren’t they?
M: Yea.
T: What would you have done if you were the bear and the wolf? Would you have believed the fox?
M: I wouldn’t listen to them.
T: Are there people as ‘cunning’ as the fox in the story? Are there liars?
M: Some of them.
T: Can you tell me what the moral of the story is? What did you learn from the story?
M: I learnt how did the people trust other people and I learnt how did the other people lie and staff.
T: Do you think that you should trust people?
M: No, only if they are your best friend. Not even with best friends like...
T: So you think apart from your best friend, you should not trust people.
M: Yea.
T:  So do you think you need to get to know the people, before you can trust them?
M: Yea, cause some of the people they look like good but inside they look like bad.
T: Look at the story from the fox’s view. If you were this fox, what would you have done?
M: I should have told the truth.
T: So the other moral of the story is that ‘Always tell the truth’. Don’t lie. Because what happens in the end. He was punched.

Malik drew his own pictures of the story using the time line framework and wrote one word for each scene to summarize. 
Afterwards Malik filled the gaps successfully in the monster cloze that I prepared. 

To develop his analysing skills, another activity that I tried was ‘Changing the ending of the story’. He successfully changed the ending orally but he needed support with his writing.  He thought of two different endings by himself and further two with support. These are below;

  1. The Bear and the Wolf warned the Fox and told him not lie again. (by himself)
  2. The Bear and the Wolf killed the Fox. (by himself)
  3. When they tried to beat him up, the Fox protected himself and he hit them back. Afterwards they stopped fighting. (with support)
  4. When the Bear and the Wolf tried to beat him up, the Fox ran away. (with support)
I asked Malik to read these different endings back to me. While he was reading he had some difficulties with the words. I asked him what strategy he uses to read the words that he does not know. He told me he looks at the letters and sounds than tries to make sense out of them. He sounds the letters one by one and tries to put them together to read.

Strategies I recommended to Malik to help with his reading are;
  1. Read for the meaning
  2. If it is a story that he created orally and someone else wrote it, try to remember the original story and read from there.
  3. Learn how two consonants sound together such as; gr, st, kn, tr, br, ed, sl, wr, sh etc. This would help you to read the other words with the same two consonants.
The consonants are more helpful than vowels. Referring to letters as sounds creates some conceptual confusion. Nor it is easy to give sounds any functional reality; we do not in everyday life go around giving the sounds of letters. It is hard, therefore, in a general way for learner-readers to see what sounds mean, to understand what they are and what they do.    

Malik told me that he finds our reading sessions very useful and thanked me for teaching him some of the reading strategies. He also added that if all the topics were taught this way he could understand and could make a lot of progress in school.


This activity gave me the opportunity to take a closer look at Malik’s reading level and what I can do to support him. However, if I had to do it again, I would definitely choose another text to begin with to see Malik’s true potential. Afterwards I changed it to the story he created. This helped me to realize how he read accurately and he used different strategies to have a successful reading session.

Malik testified that reading and writing are the hardest parts of learning. He was happy to have an alternative such as; illustrating instead of writing. What he requires is more ‘Picture- word matching up’ or ‘putting the illustrations in order’ type of activities to start off with.  Also telling a story while I wrote it down aided him to read back to us easier. Malik also told me because of his difficulties in reading and writing he does not enjoy in lessons. Therefore, teachers can provide audio- visual resources, story boards for particular texts, or writing frames as well as chosen text with clear print and clear illustrations.         

Malik needs to practise reading at home and at school regularly. In school, he should take part in smaller group support schemes. At home, he needs to be exposed to first language books and read frequently.

EAL students with similar type of difficulties should be identified at early stages and targeted for reading support groups. I believe that targeted support will work and those students will achieve more in schools. 

Further questions that I ask to myself are;

  1. Will teachers’ busy schedules allow us to plan in advance to support students like them in class and target their specific needs? 

  1. How can we prepare those students for really challenging exams, which schools are under pressure to put students through?

  1. How can we develop Parent-School relations with those students’ parents, who either do not speak any English or speak very little English?
Written by Tuba Bauhofer
Graduate Diploma/Certificate in Minority Ethnic Achievement
Institute of Education, University of London
Month and Year of Submission: 29 June 2007

Part 4- English language reading provision for EAL Students who are not literate in their first language

Choosing the right text

This session clearly shows us that stories which are created by the students themselves are effective to teach reading because students relate to them and make sense of what they read.  

Malik has been attending to the Ruth Miskin literacy group in school for 3 months. However, this did not help him a lot because it purely aims to teach reading from phonetics and words without a context. (A sample to this program attached)  This program is effective for native English speakers; however it does not seem to work with EAL students because those students do not have the same educational and cultural background; therefore they find very difficult to predict the words unless they are in a context which makes sense to their knowledge of world.

If we would like Malik to become an independent reader, we have to find other strategies and teach him how to use those strategies independently to read better.

Learner-readers tend to have difficulties with texts whose language is particularly remote from what they usually either speak or hear. There are certain items of language of low occurrence in spoken English and non-occurring in many E2L learners’ speech which appear to cause particular difficulty.

Malik has been attending once a week to Lewisham-Greenwich Young People’s Theatre ‘Voices’ Project created for EAL Students since mid- April. It aims to teach English through drama. It is helping him to express himself which also gives the opportunity to reflect on events. I registered him to this program to help with his language development. In addition, he shares his worries with the other children who had similar experiences.

He also goes to a community school in Deptford for two hours every Sunday morning.

Refugee children have specific language needs – most newly-arrived asylum – seeking children enter the school system speaking little or no English. Particular attention should be given to supporting language learning for children whose prior education has been interrupted. As literacy is such as the Literacy Hour in England should be accessible to children for whom English is an additional language. Refugee children also need to maintain and develop their own language. There is now clear evidence that children who continue to study in their first language perform better in school than those who are not able to develop their first language.

Malik has improved his speaking rapidly because he already speaks two languages. However, he has never learnt reading or writing in those languages. Therefore, he attends to guided reading sessions that I run once a week in school. The texts I choose for these sessions are the stories of different genres such as; folk tales, adventure and mystery stories.