JOIN OUR FREE, SEPTEMBER WEBINAR!

JOIN OUR FREE, SEPTEMBER WEBINAR!

  REGISTER FOR OUR FREE, PRE-RECORDED WEBINAR TRAINING

‘Getting to the Bottom of your BMLs’ Barriers:
What to do if you Suspect your BML has Learning Issues’

WEDNESDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER, 2020  

Get Access to this Webinar for 24 hours, from 12 PM (LONDON, UK TIME)

YOU KNOW YOUR BMLS ARE STILL ACQUIRING ENGLISH, SO STRUGGLE CAN BE NORMAL; BUT WHAT IF IT’S A SIGN OF SOMETHING MORE? WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW AND WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU THINK A BML HAS A LEARNING ISSUE?

This can be a tricky situation! On one hand you know these learners are just as likely to experience a special educational need as any other student; yet, you also understand that BMLs are found to be over-represented in special education settings. What can you do to support your learner and prevent unnecessary labelling or diagnosis of a learning disorder?

If you’d like more confidence in understanding the complexity of this situation with very clear action steps, this training is for you! Whether you’re thinking about one particular student in your classroom or considering building stronger policies for your school, you’ll gain actionable takeaways.

This webinar is suitable for school administrators, teachers and teaching assistants. We’ll be discussing learning issues in the context of different age groups and levels.

JOIN AUTHOR, CONSULTANT AND LEARNING SPECIALIST, ALISON SCHOFIELD, AS SHE LEADS YOU THROUGH A HIGHLY-PRACTICAL TRAINING. DESIGNED TO HELP YOU GAIN GREATER EXPERTISE WITH YOUR BMLS, SHE’LL NOT ONLY GIVE YOU NEW WAYS OF UNDERSTANDING THIS COMPLEX ISSUE, SHE AIMS TO GIVE YOU A SOLID PLAN AND STRATEGY GOING FORWARD. 

Sign-up Now to Gain Access to this Webinar on Wednesday, 30th September, 2020!

WHAT ELSE YOU CAN EXPECT TO LEARN IN THIS TRAINING:

  • You’ll understand WHY this information is so critical for every educator to grasp
  • Learn about the range of ‘typical’ language acquisition in BMLs and areas they can expect to struggle across different stages
  • Understand how BMLs can display a range of observable behaviours that can mimic a learning disorder
  • Learn about cultural bias and other key testing considerations ; understand why standardised tests shouldn’t be your first step
  • Find out how you can use ‘dynamic assessment’ and other types of evaluation to gain deeper insights
  • Get a practical plan of action that you can implement with your learner or even include within your school policies; this includes dynamic assessment

#DIALOGUE 1: Should BMLs be Serviced in Special Education/Learning Support Departments?

#DIALOGUE 1: Should BMLs be Serviced in Special Education/Learning Support Departments?

This session is dedicated to one of the most popular questions teachers have about serving their BMLs: can these students be supported within the special educational needs or learning support department? Our Co-Founders, Francesca McGeary and Alison Schofield, clarify this issue and offer 3 important considerations for schools and educators:

  • It’s not a good idea unless one essential condition is met
  • This is an ethical and even legal issue
  • A suggestion is offered for schools to find a model of service that is well-established and sound

Watch the video below:

IDEA #5: Why your Bilingual/Multilingual Learners Need Projects Right Now

IDEA #5: Why your Bilingual/Multilingual Learners Need Projects Right Now

Over this week, I’ll be sharing 5 posts-all of them focused on ideas for online learning with your BMLs. Since some teachers have limited access to their students and learning materials at this time, these ideas are quick-win strategies you can implement right away. This is blog post #5 out of 5. You can find the others in previous posts.

If you really want to make excellent use of time and minimise heavy day-to-day planning, projects are definitely the way to go. They’re a value-packed way to engage and motivate students but they also enable independence and curiosity.

Typically, projects pair hands-on learning experiences with conceptual knowledge in order to produce a culminating task or ‘product’. Because of this, they offer a naturally-authentic ‘curriculum,’ rich with a variety of language experiences. This makes them ideal for fostering BMLs’ language skills. Projects can be designed as short or long as you want to make them. Why they’re particularly appealing during this pandemic is that students can have regular check-ins with you to stay on-track; but they can carry out the self-study components from home. This helps them take ownership and responsibility for their learning but in a way that’s manageable . The key is to offer regular check-ins with students to ensure they’re staying on-track and getting the right feedback.

LEARNING COMPONENTS & MAINTAINING EVIDENCE OF LEARNING

There’s usually several tasks students complete before coming to the final learning product. These might include: research, experiments, interviews and data-collection, for example. Scaffolding students’ progress with a graphic organizer or a task checklist to help them stay organized is critical to their success. Other ways students can track their learning journey includes: keeping a photo record of the tasks they’ve done, maintaining a learning journal and recording websites they’ve visited. Journals can show student brainstorms, summaries of research, diagrams and results of experiments, etc. These are all authentic artefacts of students’ learning. Going through these items with students can help them to self-assess, get clear feedback and plan ‘next-steps’. Teachers can also use this opportunity to observe students’ discrete skills like writing, planning or working independently. This gives a clearer picture as to what students may need more guidance around.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT TOPIC

Choosing the right topic to explore is critical. It should be something relevant and meaningful for all students. It should offer multiple entry points for a variety of learners and could even provide a real-world context like the Sustainable Development Goals, for example. The trick is to get this balance right for the age of the learners, the different language and ability levels as well as the resources students have available.

Project-based learning is an authentic way of exploring concepts but it can even be more relevant during these unpredictable times. This approach removes the teacher as the ‘sage-on-the-stage’ and empowers learners to be more active in their learning processes. For BMLs, this can provide wonderful learning opportunities to share topics related to their cultures and languages but you’ll need to remember that some BMLs may not be used to self-directed learning. Especially if you’re working with newcomers or children who’ve changed school systems, they can find it hard to transition to a more autonomous learning model. If the child is used to traditional or ‘rote learning’ as a basis for their education, they’ll likely need more support to understand and manage their projects. In this case, you’ll need to ease them in gently and break down the project components into specific activities that match their comfort levels. This will still allow them to tackle a reasonable level of challenge while developing awareness of a different way of working and learning.

While most teachers use some form of project-based learning within their teaching, I would encourage them to make projects a main focus now, more than ever. Projects can stimulate curiosity and interest and these are keys to helping students experience more joy and pleasure in learning.

Alison Schofield is an educator, consultant and co-founder of the Centre for Educators of BMLs. She loves sharing her expertise with teachers around the world. She’s especially passionate about literacy and learning approaches with BMLs. If you have any questions about this article or even an idea for another article, feel free to reach Alison at: alison@educatorsofbmls.com

IDEA #4: Get your Bilingual/Multilingual Learners to Vlog!

IDEA #4: Get your Bilingual/Multilingual Learners to Vlog!

Over this week, I’ll be sharing 5 posts-all of them focused on ideas for online learning with your BMLs. Since some teachers have limited access to their students and learning materials at this time, these ideas are quick-win strategies you can implement right away. This is blog post #4 out of 5. You can find the others in previous posts.

Vlogging, or video-blogging, is a great way to share knowledge, thoughts and ideas with the world. Especially at this time, vlogging can be a fun and interesting format for students to share things about themselves and their lives more meaningfully.

Having students vlog to highlight what they’re doing when they’re away from school can be a powerful collective activity. This pandemic provides us with a unique opportunity to connect with other parts of our lives we may not have had time for previously. ‘Slow’ is the new normal and many of us are finding different experiences to keep us busy and enrich our lives. It can be the same for students and their families. For instance, some are discovering cooking and baking; some are learning new hobbies like gardening or even playing board games. Vlogging can be a great way to bring spark motivation and interest amongst your learners and this can create a fabulous medium for conversation and discussion.

A GOOD PLACE TO START

You might like to start your learners off with ‘a day in the life’ vlog and ask them to upload short videos with an explanation of the content. Right now, we’re all getting a little taste of what we thought the future might be like–having to use online channels for basically everything–to communicate, connect and work. Vlogs can actually help your learners build greater connection with their peers and families and can build up their proficiency with storytelling.

Storytelling with multimedia is a high-value skill in our New Economy; so helping students become skilled at telling their own stories is not a waste of time! Storytelling often involves sharing with a specific purpose and we want our students to see that they need to be clear on their purpose before they begin their project. Have them think carefully planning and executing the creation (and sharing) of their stories.

Once again, don’t forget to provide clear prompts that get them to focus on the right content for the vlog. For example, you might want to pose a question like, ‘How is culture an important part of our daily life?’ and then do some brainstorming with students before they go out and film. After, get them to make a list of 3-5 ideas and ‘storyboard’ the shots they want to film (e.g. sketch an image of what they want to film in a series of square boxes). This will help them be more targeted about what on what they need to capture for their short film.

If you want to dig deeper into vlogging and storytelling with your students, there are numerous ways to do that depending on what your goals are. You could consider time-lapse videos, interviews, silent pictures or even a ‘docu-series’. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could also have a ‘film festival’ with a ‘watch party’, judges and awards! These are just a few ideas but your students will certainly have many more if you brainstorm together.

Alison Schofield is an educator, consultant and co-founder of the Centre for Educators of BMLs. She loves sharing her expertise with teachers around the world. She’s especially passionate about literacy and learning approaches with BMLs. If you have any questions about this article or even an idea for another article, feel free to reach Alison at: alison@educatorsofbmls.com

Pin It on Pinterest