“Language wraps itself around, in, through and between everything that we teachers and learners do in the classroom. (Ritchhart 2002: 141)”
At Galilee International School (GIS) we focus on using language as a tool to listen, think, discuss, listen and reflect on information, ideas and issues. We achieve this by providing an immersive English speaking environment that encourages language and communication. Acquisition of more than one language enriches personal development and helps facilitate international-mindedness. It is our goal that each student develops language within meaningful and enjoyable context.
Students are able to apply what they have learned and transfer their conceptual understanding to face future challenges.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION
English is regarded as the primary language on campus. Children will be exposed to an English environment at school in which all of our staff and teachers speak English for daily conversations. Our well-appointed campus also uses signs and instructions written in English. On the other hand, as language skills should be sharpened and utilized on a daily basis, we value home education in which parents can play their parts as facilitators. We will encourage and support parents to talk to their children in English at home.
In addition, we are preparing the grounds for our students to understand a variety of accents. GIS has a diverse staff team; our teachers come from all over the world. English will be taught by Native English Teachers. This is of paramount importance as our next generation should be able to communicate and understand different accents in a globalized world. GIS encourages students to listen to entertaining and informative English programs from different countries.
CHINESE AS ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE
At GIS we integrate Chinese into our PYP Framework, as a specialist language. GIS offers two programs, Mandarin and Cantonese. Cantonese is the language of the host country (Hong Kong) .We strive to provide Chinese instruction through inquiry focused activities, relevant to the Units of Inquiry and Chinese cultural events as well.
For English/Cantonese program, Cantonese would be introduced every day, for one hour in the class, taught by a Native Cantonese Teacher. Children will learn vocabulary and concepts related to the school’s Unit of Inquiry. Furthermore, children will learn to read and write in traditional Chinese on an advanced level, paving their path to meet the standard that is equivalent to that of local primary schools in the future. Children graduating from our K3 classes will acquire skills and knowledge focusing on several aspects of Chinese Language, such as reading comprehension, writing and communication.
Since we adapt a global approach, echoing to the IB PYP philosophy as well, Mandarin is being offered as a specialist language. Through Mandarin children are introduced to the greater global community.
For English/ Mandarin program, Mandarin would be introduced every day, for one hour in the class, taught by a Native Mandarin Teacher. There are various levels that cater for non- Native Mandarin students and Native Mandarin Speakers.
At GIS we value the development of mother tongue. We offer after school programs that focus on developing children’s mother tongue. In addition to that, our library contains a growing number of books in various languages, such as English and Chinese. This collection is being extended to various languages, to further support Mother Tongue, such as Japanese and German.
Strategies used at GIS to support positive language development
Parent communication ( Online portal, communication books, newsletters)
Year –round ongoing language assessment
Variety of resources, including : role play, water and sand play, creative station ( craft station)
Small group learning
Displays around the school
Mark- making/ emergent writing opportunities
Show and Tell – Weekend adventures with class mascot
Inquiry based learning areas
Effective use of the library
ICT/ multimedia is used to support learning( interactive whiteboard, IPad and laptops)
Reading program including Oxford Reading Tree and Raz- Kids programs
Phonics Program ( Letters and Sounds , based on UK National Curriculum)
**The Language Policy is revised and reviewed annually.