EXPRESS YOURSELF WITH CONFIDENCE IN MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE

Language and Identity

Whilst the main language of instruction at SIS is English, we are committed to supporting and developing multilingualism as a fundamental part of our school’s mission to increase intercultural understanding and global-mindedness. We strive to create a challenging and motivating multilingual environment, offering meaningful opportunities to study a range of languages within the IB programmes.

Through language, our students acquire the ability to think and to learn, to develop social skills and values and to acquire knowledge.

We believe that language underpins all learning and view the on-going language development of SIS students as the responsibility of all teachers. We believe that the key to success lies in collaboration and in an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust and support between language specialists, teachers, parents/guardians and students.

As part of our commitment to personalised learning and empowering students to be the best that they can be, we offer an English Language Development (ELD) programme to support the learning of students who do not have English as a first language throughout their time at SIS. The aim of the ELD Department is to focus on improving the English skill sets of those students who study within it, whilst always maintaining and celebrating their own cultural diversity. This philosophy is consistent and school wide and helps us maintain a rigorous and relevant pathway that transitions seamlessly between the PYP, MYP and DP programmes of study.

All ELD students work towards individual language development targets and are carefully tracked and monitored, allowing for them to develop their academic language proficiency and exit the programme when appropriate. Research shows that students take, on average, five to seven years to achieve full academic fluency in English, but we must recognise that all learners are unique and individual progress will vary.

As students move up through the school, the ELD programme intensifies to provide the support needed to achieve success in the MYP and beyond. We aim to develop and extend the students’ use of English for academic purposes, which will allow them to access and interpret more challenging subject specific reading material and achieve academic success in the full range of written assessment tasks demanded by the whole IB curriculum. The ELD team also implements specific support sessions to begin preparations for the external IELTS exam in order to assist students to achieve the required level for DP and university entry.

❝The limits of my language are the limits of my world.❞

Ludwig Wittgenstein

❝In any meaningful language event, learners have the opportunity to learn language, learn about language, and learn through language.❝

M.Halliday 1985

❝Attending to students’language development is a pedagogical imperative. This development is essential to students’intellectual and social growth and enables full participation in the wider community❞

Halliday, in Language and learning in IB programmes, 2012: 22-26

Sotogrande International School