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This latest issue of the Young Interpreters Newsletter is packed with exciting news for Young Interpreter Champions, Young Interpreter Co-oordinators and Young Interpreters themselves with lots of opportunities to get involved. Find out about our competition, training opportunity and about the exciting work happening in Rochdale, Hampshire and Dublin. 

Astrid Dinneen

Hampshire EMTAS needs you

Hampshire EMTAS is in the process of revamping their leaflet which aims to support parents in bringing up their children bilingually. The team would also like to create a brand-new publication for children and young people growing up in more than one language and is interested to hear what Young Interpreters think this publication should include. Should it explain the importance of maintaining your languages? Should it show you how you can use your languages to help you with your learning? Should it tell you more about heritage language GCSEs? You tell us. Contributions in the form of photos, artwork, videos, audio recording etc. are welcome from Young Interpreters of all ages in Hampshire and the rest of the world. The most outstanding entries will receive a prize. Please contact Astrid Dinneen at with your ideas and examples by the end of the Summer term. Pictures of children must be carefully reviewed by each participating school to ensure all have permission from their parents/guardians.

Young Interpreter Champion meeting

The Young Interpreter Champion initiative is gathering momentum with 6 Local Authorities already in our directory and more colleagues enquiring about joining. Established Young Interpreter Champions will meet on Teams on Tuesday 21 June from 10.30 to 12.00 to check in and get to know each other, find out how the Young Interpreter Scheme is rolled out in participating Local Authorities and plan forward for 2022-23. This meeting is open to all EAL teams and Local Authorities considering joining the Young Interpreter Champions forum and upskilling themselves in developing the scheme within its intended ethos in their own area. Contact Astrid Dinneen to register.

Using arts-based practice to enhance cooperation – an update from Rochdale YI Champion Erica Field


In December 2020, the Department of Behavioural Science & Health at UCL published a report that outlined how arts engagement can impact on social outcomes, youth development and the prevention of mental and physical illness. They found strong evidence that arts engagement can enhance aspects of social cohesion, improving prosocial skills, social competence and socio-emotional development. It’s wonderful to have confirmed what, deep down, we already knew in schools.  Art helps children and young people!

Backed by the research, and spurred on by the responses we get from our youngsters, the Rochdale Young Interpreter Scheme are investing in arts based practice to enhance cooperation. For our training session with YI co-ordinators we are commissioning Cartwheel Arts to lead development sessions where staff are taught an arts-based approach to take back and use with their Young Interpreters in school. This train and trainer approach helps to upskill school staff and disseminate research-based arts practice back in school settings.

At our first session, Alex taught us how to carve in order to make printing blocks. We explored how each individual block could contribute to a whole, building a collaborative piece of art. We looked at how having small elements in common could help create a cohesive whole, without the loss of individuality. Each Young Interpreter in Rochdale will get the opportunity to work with their peers to plan and create their own individual block, considering how it works within their group’s design. Each school will contribute their design to a larger canvas, bringing all the Rochdale Young Interpreter schools together through art.

An update from St Swithun Wells Primary School in Hampshire


Our team of Young Interpreters at St Swithun Wells Primary School is made up of twelve enthusiastic, caring and happy boys and girls from Year 3 and 4 who support their buddies three times a week for 15 minutes just after lunchtime. During these sessions we read them a story, show pictures and talk about the book. Year 3 and 4 buddies also read their colour band books to us and sometimes practise their spellings. ‘We use pictures, drawings and read with expression to help them understand what we are reading’ (Martha, Year 3).

This job needs us to be independent and responsible. At the end of lunchtime, we have to remember to go inside, quickly choose books with lots of pictures from the library and then collect our buddies from their classrooms. ‘I sometimes speak Polish with my buddy. If he doesn’t know the word, you can tell them what it means (Arthur, Year 3).’ We enjoy reading to them and seeing them smile.

It’s good for our buddies because they know they have someone they can trust. ‘At the beginning they were nervous and now they are excited to see us. Sometimes when we leave, they try to go with us’ (Evelyn Year 4). When we are on the lower playground they come up to us to talk. Our buddies like us and feel comfortable.

We are helping them to learn English and feel happy, but we are also learning new skills as Young Interpreters. ‘I am learning to empathise with others’ (Igor, Year 4). ‘It is helping me get better at communicating with people’ (Ava, Year 4).

The role makes us feel appreciated and proud and teachers always give us a smile when we come and take the children. Some other children in the school want to be Young Interpreters. The headteacher told everyone about what we do in the assembly. We also got a tea party in the headteacher’s office as a reward for our job.

Some of us spent time with Young Interpreters when we were still not confident speaking English a few years ago. Now we are helping others. When our buddies are older and speak English very well, they may become Young Interpreters.

St. Mary's Primary School pupils star in podcast

St. Mary's Primary School is one of several schools successfully running the Young Interpreter Scheme in Ireland. In a recent podcast, pupils from St Mary’s shared their top tips for starting in a new school and helping others feel welcome. Listen to the podcast with your Young Interpreters and discuss what their top tips would be during one of your regular meetings with the children. Then head to the subscription course to share your group’s top tips with the rest of the YI community.

Debra Page updates us on her research on the Young Interpreter Scheme

Hi readers. I am very pleased to report that data collection for my PHD research is complete. The third and final wave took place during the Autumn term 2021. This was a monumental feat and effort by all of the staff and children involved so I thank you very very much for participating. They are not rid of me yet though as I keep checking in with them to hear how the scheme is developing in their school. This year is dedicated to analysing all my data. In addition to this I am also writing my PhD thesis which is becoming a very big book. The chapter on empathy and the Young Interpreter Scheme is complete and I will soon write a summary about this in a future update. I also look forward to sharing results of what is found out about the wonderful Young Interpreter Scheme in terms of intercultural awareness and language use. 

Hampshire EMTAS news

Upcoming courses and events

Catering for the needs of refugee new arrivals
This network meeting will be pertinent for schools welcoming children and young people from Ukraine, Afghanistan and other parts of the world where circumstances have forced families to seek refuge in the UK. 

Hampshire’s Traveller and Showmen cultures
Hampshire EMTAS celebrates Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month this June with two dates for our popular Cultural Awareness session.

Visit our website for details of dates and to book your space.

Latest publications

The Place of EAL in Teacher Training Education - Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn, a new blog by Lynne Chinnery
With an average of one in six pupils in UK schools learning English as an Additional Language (EAL), every student teacher will unquestionably need a solid understanding of EAL pedagogy and how to apply it in the classroomBut how important is EAL these days? You may have noticed a distinct lack of focus on EAL in the OFSTED Inspection Framework but there is at least a mention in the DfE’s Teachers’ Standards. Does this mean that an understanding of EAL good practice is no longer as important for practitioners as it used to be? Is EAL support and training no longer required apart from a cursory nod? Continue reading...

Resourcing EAL, a new Position Statement by the EMTAS Teacher Advisor team
This Position Statement covers underpinning principles that schools should take into account when thinking about practice and provision for their learners of EAL. It details the distinctiveness of EAL pedagogy and clarifies why TEFL/ESOL approaches are not appropriate for this group of learners. Read the Position Statement...

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