Approaches to Multilingual Learning

What was shared at the EAL Conference in Copenhagen recently? How can children be taught in their mother tongue? What is 'message abundancy' and how is it relevant to EAL learners? Where does Mantra Lingua fit in? Using Graham Smith's informative conference report as a catalyst, these questions are explored, with links to relevant locations on the web.

Assessing Writing Assessment: what’s it all about?

Just when you think all the tests are over and the leavers’ assembly, the summer holiday and big school are smiling at you from the near future, what happens? Writing assessment!

Refugees Welcome

When thinking about activities that will help you to explore the refugee experience, start with the Refugee Week website itself.

Celebrating Refugee Week

Our musings lately have been loosely based around special days and celebrations. Now, Refugee Week is coming up. This is an important one.

Eid Activities

On the subject of times and seasons... Eid is coming up.

Democracy. Community.

We’ve been talking a little about marked days and seasons, from sacred festivals to Embrace Your Inner Geek Day (a day to be encouraged in schools, surely). Now, it’s a different kind of important time, for some of us in the UK. Time to vote.

More on friendships at school

We've been thinking about the different forms that school friendships can take.


On the eighth of June, you may well be having discussions about the democratic process. For clear reasons, issues to do with reaching out, love, acceptance, friendship, co-operation, and strong communities feel very important right now. We've been having some big conversations since this post first went up. How do we highlight these issues at school?

Special Days

The Mantra Lingua people have been thinking about the special features of our calendars. There are the ancient religious and cultural festivals; in a place like London where Mantra Lingua is based, you get to experience a wonderful diversity in our celebrations.

To language, or not to language

You may have heard me assert that ‘language is a verb’.


Screen or paper?

Here's an interesting article from across the Atlantic. It suggests a context for the question of whether screens are taking over from printed books in children's lives. Jordan Shapiro thinks that adults' habits are the problem, not the technologies that are on offer alongside print.

Sharing Stories

The team mentioned in today’s email that it’s National Share-a-Story Monthand that this 

Language Diversity - Working

Welcome back! Did you navigate your way here from our email? This post will take you to the inspiring EAL resources that we mentioned there.

Because Language Matters

You’re reading a blog post that is connected to Mantra Lingua’s communications with friends and colleagues. Aiming to be welcome, helpful visitors to your inbox, our emails touch on the work and research of many different teachers and academics. One of the jobs of this blog is to gather together links to the work that we’ve been discussing, so that you can explore further. Enjoy your explorations!

EAL: The value of the first language, or home language, or L1... Sorry, could you repeat that, please?

This post is linked to another few emails we're sending out to our lovely friends, this time discussing the home language (we'll try to define that at some point) and its value. As people interested in education, we specifically want to know what value pupils' other languages can add to learning in the English-speaking classroom. We are also asking what resources can help the progressive teacher who is interested both in showing that language diversity is valued, and also in using it as an educational tool.

SPaG terminology: useful or not?

Like many of you, I expect, I was reading this piece in the Guardian this morning. It raises a lot of interesting questions!

EAL: The home language as a practical strength

Welcome back! We want this blog to become a resource for you. It's about sharing links to outstanding work in the field of EAL: academic writing, blog posts, video documentaries, or performance poetry. The references in today’s shorter post give some background to the information and ideas that we’ve been sharing over in our email communications, discussing Mantra Lingua’s eGrammar Tales.

EAL and SPaG: A Teacher's Perspective

What grammar are all children expected to know? (Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation overview)

Whether pupils have English as an Additional Language (EAL) or as their first, school life has become harder since the new primary-curriculum emerged in September 2013. As a primary teacher of over fifteen years’ vintage, I’ve had to up the ante considerably in recent years.

Some background

Today we’ll be bold and counterintuitive. We’ll seek out the material that suggests that having English as an Additional Language (EAL) can be a strength. We’ll then apply that idea to the task of attacking the SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) syllabus at primary level.

EAL: Connecting you to inspiring work in the field

6 Language Diversity - Working

Welcome back! Did you navigate your way here from our email? This post will take you to the inspiring EAL resources that we mentioned there.


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