The Young Interpreter Scheme provides additional support to pupils who are learning English as an Additional Language (EAL), to their families and to the school. Young Interpreters undergo specific training to prepare for this role and are selected on the basis of different personal qualities they may have. Bilingual pupils use their language skills in a variety of ways to help new arrivals access English and feel part of the school. Alongside English-only speakers, they learn different strategies to clarify, explain and ‘interpret’ a whole range of school activities and routines to new entrants through the medium of pupil–friendly English where their first language isn’t shared by other pupils or adults. The Young Interpreters help children within their class but are also always available on the playground for support and are key in raising the profile of other languages, cultures and religions within the school.
Each KS2 class has a minimum of two Young Interpreters and we are hoping to role the scheme out to KS1 in the Summer Term.