Mentoring Programme for Bilingual Staff (2008-2009)

The Mentoring Programme for Bilingual Staff was amended during 2008-09 following a series of conferences with past members of the National Sabbatical Scheme and a pilot programme held at a Further Education College (Pembrokeshire College). The programme and the documents were reassessed during this period. The package content is based on the structure of the activities completed at The Pembrokeshire College e.g. Procedures and recording documentation for initial meetings, planning and session observation sheets.

The package and guidelines are based on a three month pilot scheme aimed at supporting bilingual tutors. A tutor with experience in supporting staff on the PGCE course was chosen to lead the programme supported by the Language Development Officer.
The college had identified three members of staff who wished to follow the mentoring programme under the guidance of Brenda Jones. The programme ran for three months starting in January 2009.

Tutors subject areas:

  • Health and Beauty. NVQ Level 1
  • Key Skills Level2 ( Health and Beauty)
  • Mechanics Pre-apprenticeship  Level 1

The recording and assessment sheets were devised and Sgiliath Officers met with the staff from Pembrokeshire College on a monthly basis to discuss proceedings and developments.

Outcomes resulting from pilot programme:

  • That this type of programme, following the completion of the Sabbatical Scheme, provides a wider perspective to the course as it is conducted in a real situation.
  • It allowed teacher/tutors to prepare, teach and share knowledge equally in both languages, therefore disseminating equal opportunity within the college.
  • Following the programme the tutors were able to give more students a choice to present their evidence through the medium of Welsh.
  • Tutors felt they were able to create learning materials of equal standard in both languages.
  • Support with the college raised tutors’ confidence and fomented interest in English medium students.
  • The programme enabled tutors to support linguistically unconfident students.
  • The tutors felt that a year long support programme would be beneficial depending on the confidence and linguistic ability of the tutors.
  • The course leaders felt that the documents needed revising to reduce their ‘academic’ tone.

Acknowledgement

Sgiliaith would like to thank the following for their assistance in developing the programme:

  • APADGOS staff
  • Canolfan Bedwyr, Bangor University
  • Staff of the ‘Welsh School’, Cardiff University
  • Janice Morgan and Brenda Jones, Pembrokeshire College
  • All past members of the National Sabbatical Scheme for their co-operation