January 14th 2017
Dartford Grammar School for Girls, Dartford
At the second Kent RIG, held at Dartford Grammar School for Girls on Saturday 17th June, Bhupinder Gill delivered a comprehensive overview of how the distribution of languages spoken by students in Kent schools has altered since 2010, providing a timely reminder of Jean Conteh’s comment that “We’re not diverse, we’re super diverse!”
Comparing statistics from 2010 with those of 2016, reminds us that, as Bhupinder commented, “people have always moved around and always will”. The presence of Gurkha barracks in the Medway towns and Folkestone, for example, has contributed to the rise in the number of Nepali speakers in Kent. Similarly, the fact that many parents of Malayalam-speaking children are medically trained and seek employment at Darent Valley and other Kent hospitals is a contributory factor in the rise in the number of speakers of Malayalam in Kent schools recently.
Bhupinder also shared a sample Policy for Mid-Phase Newly Arrived Pupils which invited much discussion around the need for schools to provide similar guidance to staff. She also demonstrated the bilingual website of Newbury Park Primary School which not only welcomes new pupils to the school with video clips of English Language Learners (ELLs) speaking their first language but also aims to teach a few key phrases in the language to visitors to the website. A definite inspiration to us all.
EAL co-ordinator, Debbie Graham led a discussion on our pastoral role. It was encouraging and reassuring to voice our thoughts about the multi-faceted role of the EAL Co-ordinator and ways of dealing with its demands.
Finally, Wendy Mackenzie demonstrated a whole class prediction activity as a way of leading into a piece of academic text. This activity is suitable for a range of subjects where lengthy texts are used to convey information.
Next RIG Meeting:
Saturday 7th October
Theme: Electronic Resources for meeting the needs of Multilingual learners
We look forward to welcoming more NALDIC and non-NALDIC members!