Three Simple Tips for Year Six SATs

I’ve been teaching for nearly two decades and much of that time has been spent in the wonderful world of Year Six (the final year of primary school). This includes guiding the delicate transition to secondary school, the emotional Leavers’ Assembly and of course the inevitable May SATs, amongst many other life-affirming milestones.

Chinese New Year 2018: Canine Times!

Chinese New Year 2018: Canine Times!


Chinese New Year is fast approaching so Mantra Lingua have much of what you need to celebrate the Year of the Dog.


If you work in a nursery, if you’re a teacher in a school working with youngsters from EYFS to KS3, or simply someone who values education, we’ve got many inspirational resources for you.


Masks to Make Your Tail Wag

Anti-Bullying Week: Books That Stay With You

A good book gives you more than you realise at the time. A good book will keep on giving. Good books rock! What book do you keep coming back to?


What Books Beckon?

One book from my childhood that keeps drawing me back in is the wise, funny and beautiful Dr Seuss tale ‘Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?’.

It reminds me in its own zany way that it is important to notice the good things in our lives and build from there.

Anti-Bullying Week: Mantra Lingua's Home Language PENpal Solutions

You will probably possess at least one characteristic which makes you stand out from any crowd. It may be your hair, your shape, your shoes or the way you speak. The list is endless. Mine’s hair. I’m bald. And that’s fine by me. Bravo for variety. Isn’t it great that we’re not clones, all looking and behaving in the same way? That would be so dull. Vive le difference!


However, both children and adults may pick up on an aspect of someone that sticks out from the group and choose to see it as a weakness. This may be a source of bullying.


Anti-Bullying Week: Mantra Lingua's Book Bonanza

Anti-Bullying Week is nearly upon us.

It’s from Monday 13th to Friday 17th November.

I’m fortunate to have taught for many years in schools and on a 1:1 basis as a tutor. It sometimes seems like an arms race between children becoming more aware of how to deal with bullying and there being more ways in which one can be bullied, particularly online.


Remember your best teachers... it's World Teacher's Day!

Today (October 5th) is World Teacher's Day. 


Why diverse subject-matter... matters

In this blog, we often concentrate on the lives of teachers with EAL needs.

Term continues; Looking forward to Diwali

How is term going?

I've been enjoying that piece by our fantastic teacher-blogger Ali about the first day of school. Here's to managing always to learn things that aren't in the plan!

First Day Back at School, by Ali Harwood

The first day back at school is often a shock. Whether you are a child, a parent or a teacher, that long summer break may seem a distant memory by mid-afternoon on the opening page of the new school year.

The seasons seem to change so quickly…


Who Should Be Teaching The Teachers? by Ali Harwood

This is for parents, teachers and those interested in education and how it works. I read an interesting article in the TES recently – ‘Spare us from the hypocrites who preach about how to teach’ - about the idea and reality of universities running our schools.

Summer Sharing: A-level Results, Languages Spoken in Holiday Destinations, and Back to School...

The holidays continue. (Well, for those of us down here in the south). But there's plenty going on to keep us busy.

Bringing Pupils Together

May here, with a summer missive. How was the end of term?

Getting Lost. Or, Getting Creative

I'm writing this blog-post partly for my own benefit. But knowing that it's useful for me makes me confident that it might be useful for some of you, too.

You see, there's just so much on offer here on the Mantra Lingua website that I sometimes wish I had a summary. I'm doing one for myself now, and you're going to witness my working.

The Multilingual T-Rex

Hands up. Who knows a child who likes dinosaurs?

Next question. Who's heard the news about T-Rex?

Why bilingual literacy is important

Here's a lovely article from last month, by Annabal Bagdi for the Oxford Mail. Words such as 'amazing' and 'eclectic' describe the range of languages that children know. We'd like the article just for that.

New Year Planning: EAL Assessment Frameworks

You and your learners are enjoying the 'home straight'. I shall never forget the smell of my primary-school playing field at this time of year.

Or perhaps you've already finished. (Hey, look at my surname. I may be a southerner for now, but I wouldn't ignore you Scots). 

Grammar Roundup

Sillily, I'm not even sure whether the fronted adverbial that I chose as an opener for this piece is a real word. This article suggests that it is, although some of the public comments at the bottom do question the headline wording.

Our Traditions of Language Diversity

The Mantra Lingua people have been working really hard to support you as you plan and budget for the new school year. They've been making sure you know about the benefits and resources coming from here, which are particularly helpful in the EAL field. I hope it's been useful for you. For this post, I'm taking a slightly different tone. I'm offering a personal philosophical and historical context, to suggest some perspective around what you do and to cheer us all on as we work.

Translation in an EAL Setting

We’re looking at ways in which teachers can support multilingual students and their parents, particularly as we plan ahead for the new school year. Today, I’m going to focus on one particular area: the use of translation. More specifically: translation when you don't know the other language. What do you do?

Welcoming pupils. And parents.

We’re now thinking about how we welcome new pupils at the beginning of the school year. This blog largely exists in order to share strategies, resources and insights connected with teaching students with English as an Additional Language. Now we want to add a very important element: their parents.


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