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EAL pupils and accessing the curriculum

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by siddons_sara, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. I have no connection with the company but 'Peppermint Publications' have some useful resources for EAL in all subjects. It might be worth having a look at their website. I know many on these forums are seemingly against paying for anything but for something as specialist as this, their asking price doesn't seem too much.

    I have to declare a vested interest on the next bit but a former colleague of mine has been working on some (paid for) resources for AO3 to make those problems more accessible to EAL pupils. I've trialled some of his resources and they have been brilliant for not only EAL pupils but for native English speakers too. I'll email him later to see where he is at with actually releasing the resources and then pm you if you are interested.

    I agree, maths is a universal language but it has become increasingly wordy in recent years, just watch EAL kids as they try to tackle an Optional Test paper or one of the current crop of GCSE papers...
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I wonder whether translations of the technical terms are the most useful thing. They'll meet the English terms as you teach - where the terms are new to them, they'll just learn the English. Making sure you recap key terms from the prerequisites is probably the most vital thing. Where they've already met the concept, then examples will be often enough for them to match them - but possibly they need to match them to the concept rather than the word. So a card with things like "+ add sum total" etc will work for any language, and many other terms can probably be covered with a reference card using diagrams/examples rather than their native language. Maybe that's what needs developing. Someone remind me in a week or two and I might give it a go (I have a major deadline next week and then some slack).
    As already mentioned, it's going to be the more wordy questions which use words from general English which may cause most problem in the longer-term: they're not as predictable. Contex-based questions work against EAL kids. (I loved a comment from a colleague on A-level mechanics, though: "Tell them they don't need to worry if they don't know what the noun is - just assume it's a particle.")
  3. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

  4. Kaiten

    Kaiten New commenter

    It would also be useful to know the different notation used in different countries, have had some interesting moments this year teaching a Russian girl. For example, she wants to use : for divide when we were starting ratio.
  5. On the Today program just before half term, they had someone demonstrating a device which they had invented for use in classrooms as immediate translation/interpretation for ESL students. I cannot find the link tonight, but will continue looking.
  6. The only problem with stuff like this is that it transliterates rather than translates, so if the grammar and syntax of the other language is different then what comes out is garbage. I used an internet translator to translate a test from English to Polish and then asked a member of staff who is Polish to check through it for me and she nearly wet herself laughing and then very kindly did a translation for me.
    Tandy's maths dictionaries on emaths are really good - I have used them with students and it does help them to access the work. I nearly dislocated my larynx trying to pronounce the Polish words though - I found it easier to give the students a copy of their own and point to stuff or add the odd word to presentations.

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