Anne Margaret Smith

Anne Margaret  Smith

Anne Margaret is an English language teacher and a dyslexia assessor. She founded ELT well to bring together these two fields of education and offer training and advice to professionals on both sides.

Location Lancaster


  • Thanks for providing all of this information and resources. I'll need to go through it all and digest it properly ;)

  • In my future SLT role I need to:
    1) find out more about DLD and multilingualism - what to look for, how to identify it and how to support those children and families.
    2) encourage colleagues to be more aware of the effects of growing up multilingual (e.g. not assuming the developmental norms for monolingual children will hold for multilingual children)

  • thanks for sharing!

  • Great to make use of the language resources that the whole school community has, and lovely that it sends such a positive signal about the value of every language.

  • * the difference between mono- and multilingual children regarding the mutual exclusivity principle

    * research seems to point to cross-cultural similarities when it comes to narrative macro-structure

    WISH - to know more about the possible cultural differences in narrative construction, as the research mentioned seems to be focussed on users of...

  • If a learner has difficulty remembering a new word in English, I ask them to tell me if it sounds like anything in their own language. Then we try to make a connection between the sounds that are already familiar and the concept represented by the English word. They can tell me, or draw a little picture (the sillier the better) and that seems to help them...

  • In the US once, I discovered that 'still' is one of those words that the British and Americans understand differently. I'm not a fan of fizzy drinks, so I asked the waitress in a cafe if the lemonade on the menu was still. She looked at me for a minute and then asked 'still what?'. The conversation went round in circles for a while till my friend intervened...

  • @HelenMorrissey I know - I also used to wonder how on earth the researchers knew what was going on in the babies' heads. On my SLT course we learnt that they gave the babies dummies to suck, which were connected to sensors, and they measured the babies' interest in different input by how their sucking patterns changed, as well as how their attention shifted....

  • I love this - never too young to become excited by other languages ;)

  • When I assess multilingual learners, I use a set of pictures that includes a phone. My perception is that this seems to be the same in pretty much every language (or at least variations on the theme): telefon, ffon, etc. This was confirmed using this app... except for the Finnish: 'puhelin'. Very interesting!

  • Really interesting - filling some gaps from my SLT course ;)

  • I think overtly valuing different languages at school is important. Perhaps giving multilingual children a chance to teach some phrases to their classmates, so that everybody gets a chance to become multilingual, even if they are from monolingual families.

  • There are many factors at play here, as people have commented below. One important factor is the individual personality of each child, which is linked to their attitudes to the different languages they are exposed to. (I'm thinking of families I know where some children might like to be different from their classmates and use their other languages in public,...

  • I am pleased to see the term 'multilingual' given prominence in this course. Often in the literature, I only see 'bilingual', from which I am apparently supposed to infer the possibility of more than 2 languages being used. We have an appropriate term, and I think we should use it - there are so many people in the UK who use more than 2 languages for...

  • Hi! I have been teaching English as an additional language for 30 years, and I'm also a dyslexia assessor. I'm now training to be a Speech and Language Therapist.
    I'm really interested to see other people's different perspectives on multilingualism, especially in the UK, and in an SLT context. Really happy to find this course!

  • I was thinking the same @JordanPutman - provision mapping seems to me like a management tool, which could be a really important aspect of implementing inclusive practices. But individual planning seems more like what teachers do, once the resources have been allocated.

  • @EleanorOdom great points raised here.

  • Interesting comments below about methods of formative assessment. I would just add that I try to get my learners to evaluate themselves, to build their self-awareness and their self-esteem. It can just be really simple questions at the end of the lesson / week (How did it go? What worked? What was hard?) but I hope to encourage self-reflection so that it...

  • @BiancaBotha thanks for the reminder that not all settings are the same - different priorities, different approaches.

  • I know what you mean @LamiyaMasmaliyeva but I feel like if we know our learners well, we can design more appropriate lessons, so they can work more effectively. Hopefully, we save some time in the long run.

  • Totally agree @HelenLi - getting to know our learners is the first crucial step towards including them, and it doesn't have to cost anything - we just have to pay attention!

  • @BrihaZainab I also chose 'challenge' and I like your comment on it. I agree that it is closely linked to other sections and that it is important that inclusion does not finish at the school gate.
    My perception is that in the UK a lot of stereotypes and preconceptions still persist, that we need to challenge. We are a very diverse country, and we need to...

  • Maybe:
    Champions of inclusion work with colleagues to implement inclusive practices across the organisation, for the benefit of all staff and visitors, as well as learners.

  • @VijilaJohnson I agree peer reviews can be really helpful - if there is a collaborative culture, and it's not just about picking holes in each other. It's a great example of having joined-up inclusion throughout the organisation. Not just including the learners, but the staff also feeling that they belong and they are valued.

  • I'm glad to see this focus on differentiation, with practical examples of how it works in the classroom. I like the way differentiation has been broken down into different categories. It's one of those words that gets bandied about a lot, but I do think many teachers are afraid it will mean a lot of extra work. Which none of us really needs!
    More than once...

  • Yes, Elisa, I agree that allowing friends to work together can be good - they are already comfortable with each other so they can focus on the task. It is a shame if they don't get to know the other members of the group. Also, there may be an established set of roles in the group (e.g. who will speak, who will write, who will nod and agree but not really...

  • @SofíaMingoranceGuerra I agree with you to an extent, certainly that students can bring different skills and perspectives to the task in hand. However, I think that it can be very good for learners who find the content easy to take the role of explainer / mentor to those who find it more difficult. Only when we can explain something do we truly understand it....

  • @MariannaChrysostomou I agree with you that if the teacher has managed to create an accepting classroom culture, it might be fine to give students different worksheets, because everybody would understand why.
    But I also agree with @VickyAnderson that it could lead to demotivation.
    I wonder whether one way forward might be to produce different worksheets /...

  • wow - sounds like you really differentiate in all sorts of ways. Great!

  • I think you're right here @SofíaMingoranceGuerra - it's about giving every student what they need, not giving everybody the same. And I agree that getting to know our learners is the most important thing we can do to be more inclusive.

  • I think this is a really important, @SamirHamani - those students who are very capable also need to be seen and encouraged to fulfil their potential. All too often, I'm afraid, if a learner is not failing, and not causing any problems, their individual learning needs are overlooked.

  • Looks like we chose the same ones :)
    Have you tried out either of these?

  • I really like 3. Three before me and 4. Random acts of kindness

    3) Encourages autonomy and co-operative learning strategies - they can ask a friend for help, but they know that they might be asked to help someone else sometime. It could be used, for example, when learners are writing, to check a phrase or a word they want to use.

    4) Nurtures a sense...

  • I think the pyramid discussion format offers a safe space for less confident learners to make their suggestions to a few peers first, before sharing them with the whole class. There is also some protection given by presenting ideas as a group. This takes the pressure off them, allowing them the time they need to formulate and refine their contributions to the...

  • I think learners have the right to be heard, and the responsibility to listen to others.
    They have the right to be safe in the classroom, and the responsibility to help maintain the safe environment.
    They have the right to be fully included in the classroom, and the responsibility to help others to feel included, too.

  • Some overlap with my ideas here, and I really like your first one!

  • I try to foster respect through understanding each other, and valuing our differences. This also helps to nurture a sense of belonging to a group, feeling safe in the learning space.

  • Maybe a value could be defined as a guiding principle that determines behaviour and choices in every day life.
    Recognising that we are all shaped by our individual experiences helps me to appreciate all the different ways that my learners perceive the world.

  • This is a great, no-nonsense talk. Love it.
    I particularly appreciate Stella Young's vision for the future where we no longer have very low expectations of disabled people and what they can achieve, and we are not surprised to find them doing 'real' jobs like teaching.

  • I think the medical vs social model framework is a good starting point to understand the shift in perception that is needed for inclusive practices to be implemented. We have to recognise that people are disabled by the environment and the systems that they encounter, and the socially just way of dealing with that is to remove those barriers, preferably...

  • I think this is an interesting way of categorising differences (cognitive / communicative / sensory-physical / emotional-psychological). It could be helpful for teachers to make sure they are considering all aspects of their individual learners' lives.
    It's also helpful to remember that these categories overlap, and students may be different from their peers...

  • @AmirAli I agree - it's a nice idea to get the students to come up with their own set of classroom rules, if possible, then they are more likely to follow them.