By Matt Salusbury
In a rare crossover between the worlds of EFL and state-sector English as an additional language (EAL), the charitable arm of global commercial EFL school chain Bell Educational Trust is funding and developing courses to train state primary school teachers how to support students with EAL.
The Bell Foundation, started in 2012 in a Bell restructuring and funded by profits from the schools operation, will run pilot courses for primary teachers from the east of England, a region including Cambridgeshire, where Bell is based. Bell’s PR and marketing executive Caroline Davidson said courses will be ‘tailored to reflect the diversity of nationalities in different localities’. Polish is now the biggest language after English in eastern England counties.
The initiative is in partnership with the National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (Naldic), the UK EAL teachers’ association. Naldic executive committee member Carrie Cable said the project has come at a time of ‘increasing numbers of bilingual learners in schools’ and ‘cuts in dedicated central and local government funding and services for EAL’.
Bean there done that: Rowan Atkinson (left), best known for portraying the characters Mr Bean and Blackadder, rehearses his role as ‘utterly hopeless’ language school English teacher St John Quartermaine. Atkinson said of his character in this year’s revival of the play Quartermaine’s Terms at London’s Wyndham Theatre, ‘I don’t think I had any teacher as bad as him.’ With him in the staff room are Louise Ford and Malcolm Sinclair.
By Matt Salusbury
The Netherlands is looking into ways to retain its international students after they graduate. Currently, the proportion of international students who stay on is well below one in five. Enticing even that ratio to stay on and work would add an estimated €740 million (£633 million) to the Dutch economy and fill skills shortages in key technical fields.
By James McCrostie
Berlitz Japan’s four-year legal battle with unionised teachers ended on 27 December last year when management and union representatives signed an agreement to end the company’s lawsuit against the union.
In 2008 Berlitz Japan sued Begunto, the teachers’ union, and five teachers volunteering as union officers for ¥110 million (£776,000), claiming a teachers’ strike was illegal. In addition to dropping its suit, the company will award current union members a rise and the union a lump-sum bonus. The agreement prohibits the disclosure of financial details to anyone outside the union.