FAQ

What is the Learning Village?

The Learning Village provides targeted online and offline learning for 6-14 year old English language learners in schools where English is the language of instruction.

It focusses on three strands of learning:

  • Survival Language provides day-to-day vocabulary and language structures to enable, for example, conversing with friends, talking to teachers (beginner to intermediate level English)
  • Curriculum Content provides academic language that can be aligned to the learners' curriculum of study. 
  • Phonics provides study of letters and sounds and high-frequency words.

How can the Learning Village help me?

  • Saves you time by providing ready-made, customised resources
  • Increases your capacity to support more learners
  • Increases the progress of the learners
  • Increases the capacity of the learners to support themselves
  • Supports quick English learning 
  • Strengthens home-school bonds

What does the Learning Village do?

  1. Customised, individual EAL learning programmes offering opportunities for learners to:
    • Practice speaking, listening, reading and writing 
    • Progress at their own rate
    • Take ownership of their learning
  2. Flexible small group EAL support
  3. Support for targeted EAL whole class teaching – teacher demonstration
  4. Flashcards to support offline learning in every lesson
  5. Resources to cater for EAL learners

What is the impact of using the Learning Village?

The impact of the Learning Village was tested in the following schools:

  • Woodend Academy, UK
  • International School of Milan, Italy
  • Yew Chung International Primary School, Hong Kong
  • Bradford Girls Grammar School & Lady Royd Primary, UK
  • Academie Ste Cecile International School, Canada
  • Heidelberg International School , Germany
  • St Johns C of E Primary School, UK

Longer term research has commenced in Lea Forest Academy, Birmingham and Wood End Academy, London.

Testing showed significant results: https://www.learningvillage.net/reviews.

Download a PDF for student 'Ali' here (right-click then 'Save as').

What methodology does the Learning Village use?

The Learning Village is built on tested methods of learning and developed from Teaching English as an Additional Language 5-11 (2012) by Caroline Scott, Director.

It is based on a form-focus approach to learning vocabulary and language structures (through strategic use of flashcards online and offline) and is designed to be used in collaboration with communicative approach (immersion in the mainstream).

Research evidence supporting the strategic use of flashcards to learn vocabulary and language structures alongside a communicative approach to language learning is strong.

Nation and Waring point out:

  1. There is a very large number of studies showing the effectiveness of such learning in terms of amount and speed of learning. See Nation (1982), Paivio and Desrochers (1981) and Pressley et al (1982) for a review of these studies.
  2. Research on learning from context shows that such learning does occur, but that it requires learners to engage in large amounts of reading and listening because the learning is small and cumulative (Nagy, Herman, and Anderson 1985; Nagy, (1997). This should not be seen as an argument that learning from context is not worthwhile. It is by far the most important vocabulary-learning programme. For fast vocabulary expansion, however, it is not sufficient by itself. There is no research that shows that learning from context provides better results than learning from word cards (Nation, 1982).
  3. Research on the learning of grammar shows that form focussed instruction is a valuable component of a language learning course (Ellis, 1990 Long, 1988). Courses with a form-focuses component achieve better results than courses without such a component. The important issue is to achieve a balance between meaning-focussed activities, form-focussed activities, and fluency development activities (Nation, 1997). Direct learning of vocabulary from cards is a kind of form focussed instruction which can have the same benefits, perhaps even more markedly so, than form focussed grammar instruction.

Nation, P & Waring, R (1997) Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists in Schmitt & McCarthy (1997) Vocabulary, Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy, Cambridge

How does the Learning Village work?

The learning of new vocabulary and language structures is taught through speaking, listening, reading and writing. It is delivered through pictures, making learning accessible to students of any mother tongue.

Teachers enroll their students, and can then monitor usage, view progress, assign curriculum content (lessons in all areas of the curriculum are available e.g. weather in Geography, Ancient Egypt in History, measurements in Maths and Sound in Science), request content and send messages to their students among other features.

There are over 8000 words/phrases that have been designed to be aligned to the National Curriculum, the International Primary Curriculum, Cornerstones Curriculum, International Baccalaureate PYP and any other curricula.

Flashcards come with every lesson as well as games to support usage.

Lessons are split among three strands of learning:

  1. Survival language - New-to-English/intermediate lessons including the basics of vocabulary and language structures
  2. Phonics – The teaching of reading through sounds
  3. Customised curriculum content - Vocabulary and language structures for the curriculum

The Learning Village is designed to allow students to take ownership over their language-learning journey with a private website login. At the heart of the student experience is the Learning Village map, which closely mimics the student’s move to a new town. A tree-house, the student’s private quarters within the map, displays the aforementioned three strands of learning and provides a journey-like experience for each. As students progress through their strand-journeys, friends are made and populate their map. Friends can be visited at any time and facilitate the writing and speaking elements of the learning journeys. They also support the student with motivational messages.

Which learners should use the Learning Village? How does it align to my curriculum?

Learning Village comparison guidelines

This information will be useful to anyone using the Learning Village in collaboration with other assessments e.g frameworks such as Common European Framework (CEFR), NASSEA, Language in Common and the new English National Curriculum Proficiency in English or tests such as the New Salford Reading Test or old QCA National curriculum level tests.

*Note that a reading age may be over 7 years old but vocabulary and language structures may not be secure. If you believe this to be the case, assess learners on the content of the sessions using the hide button on the ‘learn pages’ of the demo learner. You can then note down your findings using the assessment for learning grid for tracking survival language (found in your toolbox).

**Phonics is based on Letters & Sounds (Department for Education & Skills), high frequency words (New General Service List) and New National Curriculum.

How can the Learning Village fit with my curriculum? (IPC, PYP, New English National Curriculum & others)

The Learning Village has been developed based on the needs of teachers in schools in the UK and internationally. Lessons are developed from the New English National Curriculum, the International Primary Curriculum, International Baccalaureate and other curricula. 

Simply choose the curriculum topic you are studying and source it on the Learning Village for your students to learn. All lessons are built on assessment and include sections on:

  • Learning
  • Practising
  • Reviewing

All online lessons come wth flashcards to that can be used offline.

How much is it?

Please see the pricing here: Pricing

Here is an example: 1 learner (if you buy 15) = £39.66 per learner

If a learner spends 30mins x 5 times a week  for 12 months each = 120 hours tuition for £39.66 per learner 
(total hours tuition available exceeds this)

It's also fully customised to suit your learner! How much would it cost a member of staff to provide this much tuition?

In addition to this you receive:
An EAL support programme, demo student for whole group teaching, monitoring of progress reports and flashcards to support every lesson.

I am a school applying for refugee sanctuary status. How can you help me?

Communication Across Cultures partners with EntraideUK. EntraideUK is a small charity based in the North of Solihull. Their aims are to support asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers living in Solihull and the surrounding area in order to facilitate their integration into society. We have provided them and their partner school with training and free subscriptions and teacher training to support their new-to-English refugee learners.

EntraideUK are currently working on a project that encourages schools to become a 'Refugee Sanctuary.' If you are a school applying for sanctuary status you will be allegeable for a discount to the Learning Village with a contribution of your subscription going to EntraideUK. Please let us know by emailing: info@communicationacrosscultures.com

Who are we?

The Learning Village is resource developed by Communication Across Cultures. We provide teachers and parents with the skills and resources needed to successfully support their young English language learners within the demands of the curriculum.

Here's our team:

Caroline Scott
Director, Author & Trainer

Caroline Scott BA, DipM, NPQH, MA has been working in schools developing English language skills for young learners catering for beginner through to fluent learners in culturally rich, international minded learning environments. She has taught young learners and trained teachers in the Europe, South East Asia and the Middle East. Caroline was the founding Head of Primary at CES, A British International school in Cairo, Egypt (3-18 IPC school) and the Primary Principal at the International School of Milan, Italy (3-18 IB PYP school). As well a delivering training across the UK and overseas, Caroline also links to a school in London where she continues to work with teachers and learners.

Caroline is the author of 'Teaching Children English as an Additional Language: A programme for 7-11 year olds' and 'Teaching English as an Additional Language 5-11: A Whole School Resource'. She has also developed EAL teacher trainingresources and online learning (https://www.learningvillage.net) to support teachers catering for new-to-English learners in the English speaking mainstream.

Simon Lobo-Morell
Developer

Simon joined the Communication Across Cultures team to work collaboratively in developing our online EAL learning environment, the Learning Village. Simon has over 10 years experience as a programmer and has a keen interest in languages, having also taught English as a Foreign Language in the past. Simon runs CDU Digital, a website development and digital marketing business.

Beverley Roby
Business Development 

Beverley is often the first person you'll speak to if you register on the Learning Village. She'll help with all your initial questions and set you up with your Learning Village advisor who can provide you with initial training and ongoing support. Beverley lives near Manchester with her dog, Poppy, and is the proud mother of Jasmine, who has just started university. 

Sobia Zaman
Administrator

Sobia liaises with teachers as well as manages venue arrangements for our courses. She also supports the development of content on the Learning Village... among other things! Sobia works as a Teaching Assistant part time and is a qualified programmer! She has a 7 year old daughter who is in-love with the Communication Across Cultures cat!

Sara Marchetto
Illustrator

Sara does an incredible job of bringing the online learning tool 'Learning Village' to life! Sara lives in a beautiful, small village in the Italian Alps and loves walking in the mountains and practicing yoga. She started her illustration career by creating a little ugly, but adventurous, comic series about her and her primary school classmates in her first days of school. She started to publish in 2006 and, since then, she's been creating illustrations for textbooks, educational projects and fiction books, collaborating with publishers and public and private clients in Italy and worldwide. www.blog.saramarchetto.comwww.saramamy@hotmail.com

CONTACT US

Tel: +44 (0) 118 335 0035
Fax: +44 (0) 118 335 0036
Mail: info@communicationacrosscultures.com

Special thanks to all those who have been part of developing the Learning Village with special mention to:

Our Pilot Schools
St John's C or E Primary School, Tower Hamlets, London, UK
Wood End Academy, Ealing, London, UK
Bradford Girls' Grammar School, Bradford, UK
Heidelberg International School, Germany 
International School of Milan, Milan, Italy
Lea Forest Academy, Birmingham, UK
Yew Chung International Primary School, Hong Kong
Academie Ste Cecile International School, Canada
Aston University Engineering Academy, Birmingham, UK
Hylands Primary School, UK
Parsonage Farm Primary School, UK 
Kelvin Grove Primary School, UK

Also to the following individuals:
Laura Haines, EAL Coordinator, International School of Milan
Sally Flannagan, Mother Tongue Coordinator, International School of Milan
Terry Haywood, Headmaster, International School of Milan
Vicki Wilson, EAL Team Leader, Yew Chung International Primary School
Norm Dean, Deputy Director, Yew Chung International Primary School
Rachel Parsons, EAL/SEN Teacher, Bradford Girls School
Sharmila Shah, EAL, Bradford Girls School
Amy Tilson, OCT, Academie Ste Cecile International School, Canada
Nick Parkes, English Support Teacher, Heidelberg International School, Germany 
Rebecca Richardson, School Leader, Bradford Girls School
Michelle Wain, Ethnic Minority Achievement Adviser, Havering
Sue Crane, LA Consultant, Tower Hamlets Ethnic Minority Acheivement 
Ann Cobden, Deputy Head, Wood End Academy
Anne Hayes, Headteacher, Wood End Academy
Jasminder Manku, EAL Teaching Assistant, Wood End Academy
Terry Bennett, Headteacher, St John's C or E Primary School
Angela Vasey, Inclusion Coordinator, St John's C or E Primary School
Hilary Thompson, Headteacher, Lea Forest Academy
Sarah Jones, EAL Coordinator, Lea Forest Academy
Sarah Brown, Head of International Primary Curriculum (IPC)
Coreen Seers, EAL Consultant & Author, Independant 
John Regan, Director, TeacheHorizons
Alexis Toye, Director, TeacheHorizons
Tom George, Director, Happy Hour
Owen White, Mentor, Edtech Futures
Adam Sefton, Director, Reading Room
Kim Dolman, Mentor, The Business Inqbator

Images are provided courtesy of Dreamstime www.dreamstime.com

How we got started

Caroline Scott, Author and Director at Communication Across Cultures originally began writing an induction to English, funding by the Local Authority of Tower Hamlets in 2002.

This funded was awarded to accommodate for the distinct need for additional support for new-to-English learners in the mainstream. After writing her first draft, Caroline went on to develop this further, eventually providing training for many schools in Tower Hamlet sand beyond. Caroline eventually left Tower Hamlets to start an international School overseas. There, she was able to develop ideas further and, with significant additional research, she wrote her first book, 'Teaching Children as an Additional Language: A Programme for 7-11 year olds.' She later went onto write her second book, 'Teaching English as an Additional Language 5-11, A Whole School Resource' which encompassed many more facets of language learning including language learning strategies, additional assessment and differentiating further for all levels of language across all curriculum subjects. 

The Learning Village was a natural evolution of her work. It allows increased flexibility for learners and teachers as well as significantly more content and assessment opportunities. Caroline also delivers a three day training for senior teachers/leaders on supporting EAL learning across the curriculum (the EAL 'Train the Trainer' course) as well as whole school insets and one day courses on how to achieve effective EAL teaching through the Learning Village.

I've lost my username/password, what can I do?

Go here: https://www.learningvillage.net/user/password and enter the email address you registered with. You will be sent an email with the username visible:

You can then click on the link to log in without a password.

Once logged in you should update your password by clicking here:

At which point you'll be taken to your profile page where you can change your password: