The past two years have been extremely challenging – and unprecedented – for us all. However, here at Across Cultures and the Learning Village, we are pleased to announce that more and more schools, in the UK and worldwide, are now accessing our highly structured and scaffolded resources to support their EAL learners.
With so many schools coming on board, we thought it would be useful to give you a profile of a particular learner in one of our schools, to discuss the impact that the Learning Village is having on her and her time at school, as well as examining how her teachers view our resources.
Our focus learner is a Polish speaker (‘Martha’) who joined Goldington Green primary school in Year 2, at the age of 6. She is now in Year 4. Martha has made good progress with her English skills during her time at Goldington Green and is now almost proficient in English language; however, she has some noted gaps in her learning. Her use of the Learning Village is now focused on helping to fill these gaps.
Pre-teaching of topic vocabulary through the Learning Village has been very useful for Martha. Through this, she has learnt to articulate her ideas much more clearly and has much better global comprehension and explanation skills.
Martha is now able to access her curriculum subjects more easily. She can converse more readily and find the words she needs in speech more quickly. Her teacher notes that she is engaging with greater confidence in lessons and is much more focused.
The content of Martha’s writing has improved and gaps in her grammatical knowledge are steadily being filled. Her level of independent learning is higher and she has become “extremely confident” with her learning.
The community aspect of the Learning Village has also been very helpful for Martha. She was previously rather “insular”, but now loves to go with her friends to the Learning Village small-group sessions, run by an adult, where she also happily supports their learning, especially during collaborative speaking and listening activities, which they all look forward to.
Over a three-month period, Martha made progress of 10 months in her reading age. Over the following three-month period, Martha made further progress in her reading age of 11 months.
One of Martha’s teachers, Tracy, has been using the Learning Village for several years now. She believes that:
The Learning Village is an invaluable resource; I couldn’t imagine life without it now! This resource has made the children’s learning experience really exciting.
It engages them AND gives them time to digest the vocabulary and language structures, allowing them to participate in the learning that takes place in the classroom.
Everyone is noticing the difference: the children’s confidence has rocketed and their subject knowledge and vocabulary have increased.
The Learning Village has enhanced our EAL provision immensely!Tracy Wilson, EAL Specialist Leader in Education, Goldington Green Academy