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New Scots benefit from online lessons

By David Porter

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Aberdeenshire Council's Community Learning and Development team has taken its English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) lessons online in a bid to continue to engage with the many Syrian New Scots and ESOL learners who now live across Aberdeenshire.

They have trained 52 members of staff, at speed, to use Google Meet and are planning to introduce Google Classroom as another means to support online digital learning.

For parents and carers of children and young people who speak English as an additional language, the Council's Wellbeing Equity and Inclusion team has also put together a suite of resources to support home-learning for these pupils.

Visit: https://asn-aberdeenshire.org/english-as-an-additional-language/

The team's efforts to transform their usual offerings at pace have been recognised by similar teams across Scotland.

Community Learning and Development worker, Steven Maclennan explained: "In Google Meet we are able to present to learners using PowerPoint or Google Slides and complete exercises and teach to groups as well as individuals there.

"The online sessions have been really well-received so far and we're hoping to continue in this way, perhaps even beyond lock down as it's so easily accessible.

"While we recommend users having a webcam and headset, all that's really required is a laptop, tablet or smartphone to take part."

Councillor Gillian Owen has welcomed the use of new technology to continue language lessons for new Scots.
Councillor Gillian Owen has welcomed the use of new technology to continue language lessons for new Scots.

Councillor Gillian Owen, chairwoman of Aberdeenshire Council's Education and Children's Services Committee said: "It's just brilliant to see the innovative ways teams are finding to continue to provide important services to communities across Aberdeenshire.

"Perhaps now more than ever opportunities for lifelong learning and socialising from a distance are important to people, and it's particularly important some of the most vulnerable members of our communities continue to enjoy a dialogue with us."

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