English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Can we translate SQA exam papers into another language for candidates whose first language is not English?

Under our current policy, we do not allow the translation of examinations into a candidate's first language, neither would a candidate be able to write in their first language and have this translated into English. Questions in SQA examination question papers are carefully set and worded in a particular way to elicit a particular response from the candidate. SQA could not be sure that the translation of any question was conveyed to the candidate in the same way as it had been written.

Where can I locate the EAL spreadsheet?

If a candidate requires the use of a bilingual dictionary for SQA examinations, you must submit a request by using the EAL spreadsheet. You can download this from the SQA Secure website by clicking on NQ then Assessment Arrangements and completing the fields on the spreadsheet, which is then sent to eal.requests@sqa.org.uk. There is guidance on completing the spreadsheet on the same page. Further details on the use of bilingual dictionaries can be found in the following resource: Use of a bilingual dictionary for candidates who have English as an additional language (164 KB).

If my candidate does not use a dictionary in an exam, can they still have 10 minutes per hour extra time?

EAL candidates are allowed 10 minutes extra time per hour for the use of a bilingual dictionary in the external examination. If the candidate does not require the use of a dictionary the extra time is not permitted.

Are there any exams in which the use of a dictionary is not permitted?

The bilingual dictionary is not permitted in external examinations in English, ESOL or the candidate’s first language. Further details can be found in the following resource: Use of a bilingual dictionary for candidates who have English as an additional language (164 KB).

How do I request the use of a dictionary/10 minutes per hour extra time?

If a candidate requires the use of a bilingual dictionary for SQA examinations, you must submit a request by using the EAL spreadsheet. You can download this from the SQA Secure website by clicking on NQ then Assessment Arrangements and completing the fields on the spreadsheet, which is then sent to eal.requests@sqa.org.uk. There is guidance on completing the spreadsheet on the same page. Further details on the use of bilingual dictionaries can be found in the following resource: Use of a bilingual dictionary for candidates who have English as an additional language (164 KB).

What type of dictionary is permitted to a candidate whose first language is not English?

The dictionaries permitted are English/first language (word for word) dictionaries that do not contain explanations or definitions of words or phrases. It is the centre’s responsibility, prior to the examination, to check that the dictionaries to be used by candidates are clean copies of English/first language (word for word) dictionaries. Further information can be found in the following resource: Use of a bilingual dictionary for candidates who have English as an additional language (164 KB).