New teaching guide on foreign pupils

TEACHERS are being given tips on how to deal with foreign pupils after an influx of youngsters coming to Scotland as part of the fresh-talent initiative.

A guide has been published on behalf of the Scottish Executive, which advises on preparing lessons for pupils whose first language is not English.

The 33-page document tells teachers to ensure that bilingual pupils are placed in the appropriate year group, regardless of their ability to speak English so that they quickly become part of the school community.

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Teachers are also advised to make sure they know how to pronounce pupils' names, any cultural and dietary requirements, the language they speak at home and whether they need an interpreter.

Jack McConnell, the First Minister, made the fresh-talent initiative one of his flagship policies in order to address Scotland's declining population.

Peter Peacock, the education minister, said: "Every pupil deserves the same standard of education, whether their first language is English, Chinese, Turkish or any other. Our fresh-talent scheme attracts skilled workers from across the globe to Scotland.

"As it grows in popularity, we will see more children whose first language is not English in our schools. This can make our schools stronger and benefit all pupils by helping them to learn about diversity and tolerance."

The most recent figures show that about 26,000 migrants from the European Union accession states have settled in Scotland. With a further 4,000 immigrants predicted to arrive annually, the population should rise steadily over 15 years.