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Family with no English, how to communicate?


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Oh boy what a day!!! I really need some ideas on how to communicate with a new family who speak no English. We currently have four families attending playgroup with EAL and we communicate via the phone etc and all has been effective, however this family has no English at all.

The problem became greater today as the child displayed challenging behavior, however I know this is due to age, circumstances and frustration.

When grandma collected I tried to explain what had happened, the grandma got the idea by my role play but was unable to reply to me. I am not happy with this as I need to communicate the positive events not just the difficulties and i need to understand the replies. I need to find a way of sharing the communications.

I use my planning board to show what the child has been doing in the session which the Grandma likes. I am thinking about creating a book showing simple images of activities, emotions, positive and difficulties faced during the session in order to communicate. But this will only be one way communication. What happens if I need to have meetings with the family?

I called in at my local children's center for advice (as the family is known to them) however no one could see me, I contacted the health visitors as I know there has been contact/ concerns and no one answered the phone. I will call the early years team tomorrow and i hope i will get some support or ideas. Anyone been here and done this????? please give me some ideas!!!!

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Sorry folks!! the home language is Polish. A friend of the family speaks English and the contact number given is of the friend. However due to the nature of the difficulties and having a little knowledge of the family via a support worker i am not comfortable in using the friend for translation purposes, just have one of those funny feelings :(

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How about contacting your local school ...if you are in an area where there are other polish families they may be able to help...also polish clubs in the area/lots of translation info in the internet (try babbel...i think it's got polish on there). Polish is very usual in our area so i can normally find a parent to translate but i do have a basic list if it's any help (at work but could post tmos) Do Mum and Dad not speak any English (quite unusual if they don't because they are taught at school?) if their English is not too bad but they don't pick up what about a communication book...failing all of this then brush up your makaton and get good at acting ^_^

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Children Centres get free translation services. Hope they can help you. I am so glad you said that you got that funny feeling about using the family friend as a translator, best to use some professional or unbiased service - it reminds me of Victoria Climbie's case - only the aunts translation was used and no independent person stepped in...... (sorry, just been on Safeguarding course so all hypervigilant at the mo!) Hope you get some support soon! :huh:

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We have a little boy who started with us in January who is Latvian. This is our first ever experience of EAL so has been a steep learning curve for us. Mum and Dad speak a very small amount of basic English and the child can say "goodbye". We have contcted our diversity team and we are getting £100 towards a translator so that we can speak to the parents in detail about the child and his progress. We have also been supported in this by a visit from our childrens centre teacher and with some pcs resources from our area SENCO.

The child himself is very, very shy and reserved and progress is in very small steps, but over the last two weeks he is now smiling, sitting with the other children for snack, moving around the room and even coming into the office for some small group activities!!! And today he even said Crocodile when he saw a picture of one in the book. I think the first time he smiled the whole team were nearly in tears!!! It's so rewarding to see him make the smallest progress and makes me think that we are doing the right things by him.

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Gosh , I wish we were given £100 for every EAL child we have/have had!!

My first thoughts here were- Someone must be speaking/understanding some

English or how have they found out about even attending a preschool

never mind actually coming to yours. Also if you aren't comfortable using a friend

(which I fully understand and agree with) then I would also be disinclined to use

another parent-

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i would have to say that i have never had an issue using friends and family...it is usually pretty obvious what people are saying even if you dont speak the language!(though i will keep this info in mind) we have 10 languages spoken at pre-school at the moment...i have no support from any other services (CC'S dont engage with us, no emas service now, no senco ...so i have to go where i can!) perhaps you will find more help in your area miss sunny day

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