Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

If my first step is good , my second will be better (Chinese Proverb): Ethnic Minority Students' Progress on the Ladder of Higher Education

Valerie Williams, John Edwards.

In England since the early 1990's, government funding to employ teaching assistants in mainstream classrooms has increased. This was particularly evident with respect to bilingual teaching assistants working with pupils for whom English is an additional language ( EAL ).By the end of the decade significant developments were underway in the training of this classroom based workforce.
In the context of UK workforce reform currently taking place, a training programme for teaching assistants has been commissioned and funded by the Department for Education and Skills ( DfES ) to be delivered within each Local Education Authority
( LEA ).
This paper/ presentation reviews and evaluates á ten year programme developed by Portsmouth LEA Ethnic Minority Achievement Service
( EMAS ) and the University of Portsmouth. It will identify how collaboration between a work-based employer and a higher education institution ( HEI ) can develop á curriculum based on established good practice for bilingual learners and teaching assistants and reward ethnic minority adult learners for expertise developed through their work based experiences and provide them with pathways to employment opportunities and academic accreditation that they may have considered beyond their reach.
It will focus on issues of empowerment, individual learning needs and the links between theory and practice. the actual and potential impact on the enhanced learning opportunities for EAL pupils will be addressed.


Valerie Williams  (United Kingdom)
Deputy Team Leader
Ethnic Minority Achievement Service
Portsmouth Local Education Authority

John Edwards  (United Kingdom)
Senior Lecturer
School of Education & Continuing Studies
University of Portsmouth

John Edwards has worked in education in the UK for thirty-two years. For sixteen years he taught English Language and Literature in State Maintained Secondary Schools and in adult education institutions. Since 1988 he has worked as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and Continuing Studies at Portsmouth University, having taught on a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and is currently Course Leader for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education, a programme which trains students to teach English in secondary schools in England and Wales.
His recent research has focused on the developments in Initial Teacher Training in the UK since the advent of government involvement and intervention in this field over the past twenty years. He is particularly interested in evaluating the criteria set by government for gaining Qualified Teacher Status and the processes by which trainee teachers attempt to meet the Standards set. In particular he is researching the potential contribution that pupils can offer to trainee teachers’ developing practice through a process of formal observations and feedback to trainees during their school placements.

  • Government funded training for teaching assistants
  • Bilingual teaching assistants in mainstream classroom
  • ethnic minority achievement
  • curriculum
  • work based learning
  • Collaboration between local education Authority and higher education
  • Empowerment
  • Individual learning needs
  • Enhanced learning opportunities

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)