Oldham International Arrivals and English as an Additional Language (EAL) Conference, 18.10.18

Oct 22, 2018 | General MEaP News

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MEaP Open Day on August 30th at Brooks Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

Our Manchester, Our Supplementary Schools Conference, December 9th, 2017

Attended by Ornette D Clennon

A welcome and address from Councillor Paul Jean Jacques

More information about Councillor Paul Jean Jacques, here.

Morning Presentations

Natalie Downs talking about the Harmony Trust and Oldham’s demographics

More information about the Stronger Together Project, here.

Commentary: The fact that there are community tensions in the town centre, where the change in demographic is being felt, points to the need for greater community cohesion initiatives and deeper grassroots partnerships. Supplementary schools specialise in these activities, yet seem to be undervalued by Local Authorities (with a notable few exceptions). See here (NRCSE/LMU organised Community in Education conference) for an example of this.

More information about the Dynamix Project, here.

Commentary: As supplementary schools serving the community, we are already plugged into large community networks, where cultural heritage and mother tongue language teaching is widespread and relatively common place. This means embedding EAL pedagogy will be organic for us, as we already have our mother tongue experts in our community networks.

Jessica Hainsworth talking about the Harmony Trust Teaching School Alliance and EAL Champions

More information about the Harmony Trust Teaching School Alliance, here.

More information about the Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF), here.

Commentary: This fund will be potentially extremely useful for us because it will enable us to run our Mother Tongue and Cultural Heritage teaching as a core subject, assist us with our cultural competency and teacher training and also help us to share learning with other schools.

More information about NASSEA assessment for EAL, here.

Commentary: Heritage and culture might be highly valued but in using EAL teaching strategies purely for academic attainment purposes, the cultural context within which the language exists, goes largely ignored. This aspect of culture is especially important for children whose first language is English but whose families’ native cultures are not British. How are these children catered for in the sense of using their cultural backgrounds as tools for educational engagement? I would view this issue as an overarching ‘Britishness as an Additional Culture (BAC)‘ that needs to be taken as seriously as its subset ‘English as an Additional Language (EAL)’. See herehere (NRCSE-partnered Bradford conference) and here (MSSN policy briefing) for examples of its importance. For a full scholarly discussion about BAC within education, see here (book publication). Of course, this is about time and resources and what is deemed a priority in a school curriculum, as well as touching on aspects of staff ethnic diversity (in terms of the wider cultural ethos in the school)

More information on Jim Cummins’ Ice berg theory of bilingualism, here.

More information about InPrint 3, here.

Dr Sofia Ali talking about Academic Literacy

Commentary: This is a difficult question to answer if EAL staff are considered only additional and not intrinsic (reflecting the curriculum).

Commentary: The activity of “building a field” is a perfect application of developmental bilingualism where this activity could be carried out in the Mother Tongue as preparation for the session in English. Its potential application within developmental bilingualism only serves to highlight the extreme importance of making sure that comprehension keeps up with linguist fluency to avoid parrot-fashion use of academic phrases designed for maximum grading. See Li Wei’s (2017) Translanguaging as a Practical Theory of Language that describes the concept of multilingualism as an integrated form of a single linguist practice rather than a plurality of separate monolingualisms added together (and kept separate, by inference). This has direct relevance for the application of “building the field” where the comprehension skills of L1 (mother tongue) are used to prepare specific written or oral skills of L2 (English). See John Searle’s (1980) Chinese Room argument that illustrates the potential and inherent dangers of this approach  if the principles of translanguaging are not followed. Also see below:

More information about the Oracy Project, here.

A presentation about Safeguarding in the context of registering New International Arrivals introduced by Helen Hampson, Chair of Oldham Alliance of Primary Headteachers and Principals


Commentary: The need for cultural competency training for these issues around safeguarding within multicultural communities is acute:

Afternoon Workshops

Practical Examples of Teaching Academic Literacy – Dr Sofia Ali

Activity 1

Commentary: Without cultural competency training in terms of curriculum delivery and overarching pedagogical practice, the use of the “mode continuum” can unintentionally perpetuate hierarchies of cultures by degree of “acceptable-ness” (code for White British). For an example that came out of our activity; a variation of the phrase “bigging up” potentially being (unquestioningly) classed as less formal than the phrase “cheers!” on the mode continuum. This is significant because children from particular social groups might tend to only use one expression, more frequently rather than the other, which means any hierarchical judgment about these expressions becomes a direct judgement on the cultures (themselves), within which these phrases sit. This lack of cultural awareness can often lead to the historical and contemporaneous classroom cultures of ‘low expectation’ for some pupils. For scholarship and research on this matter, see here. This point also illustrates the dangers of taking too literal (narrow) a approach to language and lingusitic acquisition, which translanguaging avoids because “it highlights the importance of feeling, experience, history, memory, subjectivity, and culture”.

Activity 2

Activity 3

Activity 4

Commentary: We had to write “sensational sentences” for images that were provided


Using Play to Teach EAL Children – Natasha Nield

Activity 1

Commentary: This, below can be used to either prepare for the activity or to assess it:

More information about Tower Hamlets “Progression in Language Structures”, here.

More information about Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), here.