EMLAS (Ethnic Minority Language and Achievement Service)

Using Clicker 5 to develop subject specific vocabulary with learners of English as an Additional Language.

The Ethnic Minority Language and Achievement Service (EMLAS) works in partnership with schools in Swansea to support pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds who are learners of English as an additional language (EAL). The service provides both specialist teachers and bilingual teaching assistants to help pupils access the curriculum and acquire EAL.

The service supports pupils within both primary and secondary age ranges and so has to work closely with the schools to be able to adapt information so that children learning EAL can access and understand the materials being studied in both Key Stages Three and Four.

The service has a strong commitment to using ICT to support pupils learning EAL and equips each specialist teacher with a laptop and bank of software to use to support the pupils. Clicker 5 is one of the pieces of software on this core bank of software.

The service felt that, following discussions with the EES Curriculum Support Team, this piece of software could provide a strong platform to base learning materials.

Mrs. Helen Myers has used Clicker 5 in a number of different settings, both primary and secondary since its introduction to the service core software list.

It has been used to produce and adapt a range of subject material to support children learning EAL. The examples shown have been used to support a group of mixed abilities and stages of English as an additional language development to support the work being undertaken in Geography sessions.

These interactive and engaging activities have been introduced with the Specialist Support Teacher to reinforce the language and concepts used in simpler language than offered in the teaching materials. The children are able to hear the words being spoken by the Specialist Support Teacher who created the Clicker activity by selecting the text, are able to record themselves saying the words and then compare it back to the original.

The use of Clicker 5 means that the children are able to be comfortable in navigating around the software and even though it is used in the primary age group also it does not appear age appropriate to the pupils using it in Key Stage Three.

The software has given Mrs Myers the opportunity to create supportive resources for a range of topics or subjects which are differentiated according to the EAL needs of the individual child.

The pupils have benefited from having resources which are differentiated to their specific stages of EAL. The resources have enabled the pupils to understand the concepts involved so that their EAL development does not stand in the way of them accessing and understanding the curriculum.

The pupils find the software to be very supportive and not ‘age specific’ which could be an issue if the software appeared obviously targeted at a younger age group. This would de-motivate the pupils towards learning where as Clicker 5 has the opposite effect and has given the children confidence and support when used with the Specialist Support Teacher.