Parents

Bilingual families come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all share is the desire to do the best for their children. This area of the SCILT website is aimed at both parents and practitioners. By working as partners, we are able to ensure better academic success and improved social and emotional development.

EAL and Bilingualism

EAL

We recommend that practitioners contact their own Local Authority EAL services in the first instance. However, support, advice and guidance can be found at the following sites:

Network of teachers of EAL. The network fosters and develops the teaching of EAL in a multi ethnic environment through its website and annual conference.

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A network of professionals from all local authorities across Scotland who are involved in the management of EAL provision in schools.

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The national subject association for EAL. A wealth of resources, stats, information, research, publications and advice.

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Examples of good practice, resources and advice from Early Years through to Secondary.

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30 lessons on the principles of grammar

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Free online games to help children learn English the fun way

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Hundreds of free resources, videos and podcasts

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Bilingualism

Bilingualism Matters, an official Centre at the University of Edinburgh, provides a wealth of information and resources for teachers and parents. Bilingualism Matters is also at the forefront of the latest research on the benefits of bilingualism and language learning. 

Bilingualism Matters have produced a range of leaflets informed by current research which advise and guide both parents and practitioners.

 

Speaking two languages can help a child: 

  • maintain links with their family culture and heritage
  • develop stronger academic skills in reading, writing and language learning  
  • enhance cognitive skills such as attention span, problem solving, communication skills and task switching

Practitioners will want to be able to support pupils’ linguistic and cultural heritage whilst also ensuring that their English language skills are developing.

The presentations from the 'Bilingualism DOES Matter!' workshops are available below:

There is also an array of information about the benefits, challenges and practicalities of supporting bilingual children for parents and teachers at the following sites:

Section of the Language on the Move website dedicated to information and advice for bilingual and multilingual families.

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European Council for Modern Languages website with advice and information to support work-related second language development, particularly the linguistic integration of adult migrants.

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Online and in person language tuition delivered by highly skilled refugees from academic, professional, and industrial backgrounds.

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The site promotes awareness of language diversity in the city-region and beyond. We study the practical challenges and the immense opportunities that language diversity brings.

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An excerpt from a lecture given by Irene Fafalios at the Montessori Society AGM in London in 2007. Irene explains the different forms that bilingualism takes in today's multicultural society and how as teachers and parents we can support children who speak more than one language.

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News, articles and resources about raising children bilingually from National Literacy Trust. 2012.

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Online resource with a host of articles to support parents raising bilingual children.

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SCILT’s Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition encourages bilingual pupils to be creative in their home language in the Mother Tongue category.

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Gathered Together was an award winning partnership project between BEMIS and SPTC to support parents from Ethnic and Cultural Minorities to become more involved in their children’s education and school communities. The project ended on March 2016 but the materials and resources remain available. Of particular interest will be ‘Scotland, People and Language Forum: Report’ (Gathered Together, February 2015).

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Supporting young learners who speak English as an Additional Language (EAL) is an area of work and a priority for the British Council and EAL Nexus provides information and resources on bilingualism for teachers and parents.

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Bilingualism Matters at the University of Reading held an event in February 2017 in association with the university's Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism where parents in the audience shared their experience about keeping up the home language with children of different ages. An extract can be seen in the video 'Bilingual parents share strategies for home language maintenance' through the link below.

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Bilingualism Matters hosted its Annual Event at the University of Edinburgh’s Informatics Forum on 12 May 2017. The event brought together professionals and researchers from areas such as education, neuroscience, and policy as well as members of the public. Information and materials from the event can be found on the Bilingualism Matters Annual Event 2017 webpage.

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