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Can't Speak, Can't Learn: What's the Impact of Non-Native Speakers in Schools?
22 May 2012
76 Portland Place (the Institute of Physics), London, W1B 1NT

Headline Speakers

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As experts in assessment, we believe it is our duty to provide a forum to debate key educational issues. This event focused on English as an Additional Language (EAL).

The proportion of primary school children speaking other languages at home has doubled in the past decade. The DfE estimates that nearly one million pupils do not speak English as a first language (schools census January 2011).

It is hard to spot a 'gifted and talented' pupil if they are held back by language challenges. It is also hard to spot those with genuine educational needs. What impact does this have on teachers and the education of mainstream students? How can we ensure every child can access the whole curriculum?

Cambridge Assessment addressed the following questions during the conference:

1.    How might all subject teachers have a grounding in language teaching nowadays?

2.    To what extent can we say that 'every teacher is a language teacher'?

3.    How can we be sure that potential 'gifted and talented' non-native speakers are being identified as such?

4.      How can teachers ensure that silent or challenged non-native speakers are not misdiagnosed as having special educational needs?

5.      In what ways do schools encourage the learning and maintenance of students' mother tongues?

Programme
12:45
Bene't Steinberg, Group Director of Public Affairs, Cambridge Assessment
Introduction from Chair

13:10
Case study film
What’s the impact of non-native speakers in schools?

13:20
Lee Donaghy, Assistant Headteacher at Park View Business & Enterprise School, Birmingham
Teaching EAL students

Document coming soon
13:30
Dr Sandra McNally, Director of Education and Skills, Centre for Economic Performance, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Pupil performance on the changing geography of ethnic minority pupils in secondary schools

Document coming soon
13:40
Phil Woolas, former Immigration Minister and Labour MP
The impact upon the community

13:50
Dr Philida Schellekens, Consultant, Author, Teacher and Teacher-Trainer
The impact of language skills on future life and career chances, and what schools can do to develop pupils’ language skills further

Document coming soon
14:05
Questions and discussion: Session 1
14:25
Coffee break and social media wall Comments from Twitter, LinkedIn, etc
14:45
Interactive vote A
14:55
Panel discussion: How can the curriculum respond?
Chaired by Dr Nick Saville, Director, Research and Validation, University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations | Panellists will include: Dr Frank Monaghan, Vice-Chair of the National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC); Prof. Dr. Piet Van Avermaet, Director of the Centre for Diversity and Learning, Ghent University, Belgium; Tim Chadwick, consultant and teacher trainer – language and testing.

Document coming soon
15:25
Interactive vote B
15:30
Further questions and audience debate: including Closing remarks
16:00
Finish
16:30
Audience Reaction
Content