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.


Additionally, bullying may happen to those who are seen as vulnerable or who find it difficult to speak up.

For your children whose first language may not be English, Mantra Lingua can help you to help them find their voice whilst encouraging others to listen and conversate.


I currently tutor ten children and I asked a bilingual Y5 student if she could say what she thought bullying was, what you should do if you experience bullying and what advice she would give to a bully. She thought that bullying is if someone’s being mean to you every day, that you should ignore their meanness if it happens once but if it happens again, then tell a teacher or parent and ‘they’ll sort it’. Her advice to the bully was to imagine if they were being bullied themselves.


All thoughtful responses.


Over the many years I’ve been teaching, I’ve found that the acronym S.T.O.P. is one of the most useful ways to identify and deal with bullying efficiently and clearly, for both children and adults.

When identifying whether behaviour is bullying or not, think ‘Several Times On Purpose’.

For example, if Jordan gets pushed accidentally once in the school corridor, that is not bullying.

However, if Alex waits for Jordan outside the dinner hall every day so that they can hit Jordan, that may well be bullying. Let’s give the Jordans out there some useful strategies.

If you are experiencing Several Times On Purpose negative behaviour, then you should Start Telling Other People (also S.T.O.P.), these ‘Other People’ being responsible adults and parents/carers if you are a child.  


How can Mantra Lingua’s resources help?

Well, using our PENpal talking pen will help your EAL children communicate with other children, with you and the other adults in school… as well as with their family at home.


PENpals are portable, easy-to-use and enable you to extend communication for learners.


Here are three resources you can use with the PENpal talking pen to combat potential bullying:


1) Mantra Lingua Key Phrases for School A3 laminated chart.


This easy to use resource with 30 languages including Arabic, Polish and Mandarin makes communication simple and may diffuse difficult situations. It contains dozens of useful phrases such as   

+‘What’s wrong?’

+‘Don’t worry, mummy’s coming’ and

+‘Would you like to join in?’


The chart can be used between teachers and children, children with children, and when you’re communicating with the parents and carers of your EAL learners.


2) Mantra Lingua Recordable Stickers and Labels.


Each recordable sticker can hold a mighty 60 minutes of audio. The stickers can be used for kinaesthetic learning with dyscalculic and dyslexic children. This set of resources helps them to flourish in their learning environment and supports their study skills and visual timetables.

One school in Birmingham used our recordable labels to record their information about staying safe online in 3 different languages for their EAL children. What a great idea! Why not try this yourself?


3) Mantra Lingua Language Starter Kit.


This group of resources will help children new to English settle in quickly to your school environment.

*EAL learners will feel comforted listening to stories read in their home language 

*English-speaking children will be curious to explore the new words and language of their recently arrived classmates. They will enjoy reading the dual language books together.

*Parents and carers of your new arrivals will understand that you value their language and heritage in your welcoming community.

*You have many languages available for your children, including: Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Russian, Somali, Albanian, Bengali and Arabic.

*Choose between KS1 and KS2 options.


As well as Mantra Lingua…


At Mantra Lingua, we look out for other organisations and individuals who are providing high quality learning resources.

For Anti-Bullying Week, Childline have many such materials about different types of bullying. This includes cyberbullying, racial bullying and faith and religious bullying.


Here’s some of their good advice for learners of all ages:

*Be proud of who you are (this could be your smile, your eyebrows, your sense of humour or your love of Doctor Who). 

*Let friends and teachers know when you take part in religious events so they understand more about you and what you’re doing.

*Ask friends why they wear religious items and how they feel about it.

More ideas in the Childline link below:


There’s also a good S.T.O.P. discussion activity for KS2 and KS3 children on the Loudmouth website, an organisation who provide education and training through theatre. This activity ‘helps learners to define bullying as negative controlling behaviour that is deliberate and repeated’.


At Mantra Lingua, our work all year round is focused on celebrating and highlighting the importance and benefits of difference. Let’s all support the hashtags #abw17 and #antibullyingweek.