New School Year – New Season of NALDIC blogging

It’s the start of the new school year and NALDIC is back with a new season on the blog. We hope that your summer was everything that you wanted it to be and that you are ready to hit the ground running as we launch into 2018/19. As you finish labelling exercise books, or marking the last of those dissertations, we wanted to let you know about a few NALDIC-related goings on and to remind you that as the subject association for EAL we exist to support research, practice and advocacy in the field, and that you, our members, are crucial to that mission.

NALDIC has an ever-expanding membership, creating a vibrant and supportive national (and increasingly international) community of educators and advocates. If you’re in EAL you need to be in NALDIC! If you’re not yet a member please consider signing up. All members get our flagship magazine The EAL Journal every term, full access to the members’ area of our website, and free or reduced price entry to NALDIC events. Check out the membership options on our main website here.

Members all enjoy reduced entry to our national conference. This year we will be taking the conference to Leeds on Saturday 17 November, where we have a superb day planned for you. The theme of the event is Evidence Informed Practice for EAL, and features keynote speaker Jean Conteh author of The EAL Teaching Book, among many other classics on teaching multilingual learners. She will be joined by our usual smörgåsbord of workshops, seminars, networking opportunities … and pastries. Full details of this year’s conference, including how to book, are here. If you want to know what going to a NALDIC conference is like, do have a read of conference first-timer Catherine Brennan’s account of her day last year, here.

NALDIC Conference 26

RIG Locations

Is there a RIG near you?

Also on the horizon are the first NALDIC regional interest group (RIG) meetings of the year. These are run by NALDIC members but are open to all-comers, and in the last couple of years have grown in reach exponentially. Read our RIG coordinator Dianne Excell’s post on the blog here to get a feel for what RIG-ing is all about. Full details about where our RIGs operate are here. We hope to see you at a local meeting soon, do drop us a line for details about your nearest RIG.

In addition to RIGs we have a handful of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) springing up. These are usually virtual groups, with forums on Facebook to allow members to exchange ideas, ask questions of each other, and generally build communities around particular EAL needs. Two of our busiest groups are the NALDIC International Schools SIG, and the NALDIC Independent Schools SIG. Click on the links to join the Facebook pages for each of these. If there isn’t a SIG for you yet, don’t forget the EAL/Bilingual Google Forum. This is a place where you can ask, announce, and respond to anything EAL related. Our community of practitioners are always super helpful, and the forum is always buzzing with conversation. Join it here.

Finally, we’d love to hear from you if you would like to write for NALDIC. We are always on the lookout for contributors to the blog. We accept pitches for posts about research, practice, and advocacy around EAL and multilingualism. Posts are usually 750 to 1000 words and are published on Mondays during term time. here’s an idea of what sort of thing you might write about:

Teachers: we love hearing about classroom practice and successful policies that you have enacted in your classrooms. For some ideas, check out this postby inclusion lead Emily Gazzard on how she and her school support newly arrived Turkish children and their families. Or this one by international school teachers Josh Martin and Mindy McCracken on using Google translate software to help new-to-English learners engage in classroom activities. We want to hear similar stories from you about your practice.

Academics: Have you recently published an EAL-related article? We are always on the lookout for plain language summaries of EAL research. The blog is an ideal way to disseminate your research to a wide and highly motivated audience, beyond the academy. If it’s impact and public engagement you’re after you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at Dr Feyisa Demie of Durham University’s summary of his research on EAL data here. Or read Prof Catherine Wallace of the IOE’s summary of her book on the Somali community in Britain here.

PhD and Master’s students: We publish plain language summaries of dissertations and theses. This is an excellent way to get your research out from the library shelves and shared with the EAL community, and a great way to cut your teeth on the publishing process. Look at our guidance on writing a plain language summary here, then take a look at posts by former Master’s and Doctoral students to get an idea of pitch and tone. This one by Master’s student Emily Starbuck summarises her exploration of teachers’ feelings of preparedness to teach EAL learners. Current doctoral student Faidra Faitaki summarises her MSc research on pronoun use among Greek bilingual children here. Clare Cunningham, now at York St John university, summarised her doctoral thesis on teachers’ attitudes towards multilingualism for us in this post.

EMA and other support services: We want to know about your work. Emily Garratt of Milton Keynes EMA Network told us about their Pupil Voice project in this post. We learned about a project in Gloucester to help schools and foster parents support newly arrived young asylum seekers in this post by EAL specialist Jane Townsend. And in this post, Dave Windass of writing charity First Story told us all about their fabulous projects to transform the writing experience for young EAL writers.

Everyone: We also publish comment, editorial, and good old fashioned celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity. Julia Boonnak of Bromsgrove school wrote about her school’s fabulous celebration of cultural diversity here. Sara Moodie, head of the EAL team in Jersey, took a group of pupils to the Portuguese parliament for a day of debate and dialectic and wrote a personal reflection on her experience here. In this post Frank Monaghan of the Open University shares his thoughts on immigration after a visit to the Immigration Museum in Melbourne, Australia.

If you have a story to share, we want to hear from you. Take a look here at our instructions to authors, and use the online form to drop us a line.

It remains only to say have a fabulous academic year 2018/19 and remember, we publish a new blog post every Monday during term time in time for the morning commute. Click on the follow button to make sure you never miss a post.

Hamish Chalmers – Editor

na_logo-naldic is a publication of NALDIC, the subject association for EAL. Visit to become a member.