Alison Schofield, Master of Teaching BEd, BA Psych
Educator | Author | Bilingual Specialist | Literacy Specialist | Disability Specialist
Alison began her career as a disability specialist and behavioural therapist before becoming a special education teacher. She grew up in Northern Ontario, Canada and taught in the multicultural cities of Calgary and Toronto before moving to the UAE. She has worked with indigenous children and multicultural communities. Alison later worked as a teacher and Learning Support Coordinator within international schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai where she began extensive work and research with bilingual and multilingual learners. After running educational consultancy, IngeniousEd, for 9 years in Dubai, she then co-founded the Centre for Educators of BMLs (a social enterprise) in the UK with Francesca. Alison loves writing, exploring new learning approaches and discovering other cultures.
Keynote: Making a Bigger Impact with our Bilingual & Multilingual Learners
In many schools around the world, bilingual and multilingual learners (BMLs, EAL, ELLs) are educated in English-medium schools and classrooms. In fact, these learners are the fastest-growing student group in the world today.
Despite this, most teachers and school heads receive very little training in the research and best practises for BMLs. While BMLs are largely held to the same expectations as native-English students, their educational experiences and learning trajectories can be quite different from their native-speaking peers. This often leads to struggle and anxiety.
How could things be different if teachers were empowered with the right information and strategies? How could BMLs benefit and thrive in English-speaking schools? This talk will provide key insights, little-known research and practical implications for practise.
Best Literacy Practises for Bilingual and Multilingual Learners (BMLs, EAL, ELLs)
(repeated on Saturday morning)
We all know the importance of reading and writing in the primary classrooms, but did you know that many BMLs are already two or more years behind their grade-levels in literacy by Grade 6? This gap can continue to grow so that independent reading, writing and researching by secondary school is severely impacted. This session explores the reasons why we need a comprehensive, whole school approach for accelerating BMLs literacy and gives several practical solutions to get started.
Vocabulary: Make it or Break it
(repeated Friday afternoon)
Vocabulary is the missing link for our students’ school success. But for our bilingual and multilingual learners (BMLs, EAL, ELLs), vocabulary is even more important. This hands-on workshop will give you a new framework for understanding BMLs’ vocabulary size and the direct link this has on their reading comprehension and achievement. For example, did you know that students learn around 1,000 new words each year or that young learners’ vocabulary can be accelerated? You’ll learn practical strategies that you can apply in your classroom right away but you’ll also receive several helpful resources.
Culturally-Responsive Schools and Classrooms: What’s Possible when we get rid of the ‘English Only’ Mindset
Classrooms today are microcosms of our diverse, globalized world. We’ll explore why teaching in the English medium does not mean that our students must abandon their most valuable assets-their home languages-for supporting their learning. Learn why languages are efficient vehicles for maintaining cultural knowledge but also for building cultural capital in global workplaces. Beginning right in the classroom, find out how you can nurture your students’ cultures, languages and identities in 10 easy ways.