Opportunity for your school: the Young Interpreter Scheme

The Young Interpreter Scheme (YIS) is an award-winning scheme created by Hampshire EMTAS – the Collaborative Partner in this proposal. The specific mission of the YIS is to facilitate the transition to school for children who are new to English, i.e. novice EAL (English as an Additional Language) learners. Young Interpreters (YI) are either children who have an additional language themselves, but who have advanced English language skills, or monolingual English-speaking children. Their role is to act as mentors to novice EAL learners in everyday school activities. Young Interpreters take part in a 4-part training programme where they are taught about their role and responsibilities, the cultural and linguistic needs of the novice EAL learners that they will be helping, and different methods to aid communication with their EAL peer. The training is delivered by a designated member of school staff using resources made available online by Hampshire EMTAS on Moodle. The scheme has now been adopted throughout the UK in more than 800 primary and secondary schools, but it has not yet been the subject of any systematic research investigation. 

Would your school be interested in taking part in a study evaluating the benefits of the Young Interpreters Scheme? The project is led by Debra Page and Ludovica Serratrice, from the Child Development Group at the University of Reading.

What would being part of the research look like for schools?

  • Consent from parents of up to 30 children aged 6-11 years (up to 15 Young Interpreters ready to be trained and up to 15 non Young Interpreters).
  • Staff to help identify children and contact parents about the project.
  • Assistance with setting up video calls to assess the participating children, and therefore a computer in a quiet room where this can take place.
    • 1 week of testing either side of the Young Interpreter training, and 1 week of testing 6 after training is complete.
  • I will help, via video chat, with delivering the Young Interpreter training.
  • I will provide children with a Young Interpreter diary to log their work.
  • The scheme can help children with EAL settle into school quicker, and improve their English.
  • Young Interpreter children can raise their empathy and intercultural awareness.
  • Schools can create an ethos of inclusivity and celebration of others languages and cultures.
  • There are no assessments for teachers or parents to complete.
  • Your school will get free access to the Young Interpreter Scheme’s materials (worth £95).

This video talks about the scheme and the research project.

Please get in touch with Debra via email at debra.page@pgr.reading.ac.uk  if you have any questions or are interested in taking part in the project