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LANGUAGE POLICY of MIDDLE YEARS PROGRAMME AT GJH

1. LANGUAGE POLICY STATEMENT

In order to prepare our students for increasingly intercultural world, communication and intercultural awareness create the base of GJH MYP language policy. At our school we offer two Languages A - Slovak and English and four languages B - Slovak, English, French, German and Spanish.

2. LANGUAGE A

Language A is generally defined as the student's mother tongue or the language in which he/she has achieved the level of proficiency near to the native speaker. In our school we offer two A languages - Slovak and English. In MYP 1-3 students have Slovak as Language A with 4 lessons a week. In MYP4 they have 3 lessons a week. In MYP5 students can choose between Slovak and English as a language A with 3 lessons a week. Based on the requirements of Slovak Ministry of Education, all students in international programmes have to attend Slovak language lessons. Students coming from international background with zero or foundation level of Slovak language will be provided extra support lessons of Slovak as language B in the afternoon classes. The aims, objectives and topics of Language A group can be found in Subject group outlines documents.

3. LANGUAGE B

The primary aim of language B in the MYP is to encourage students to gain competence in a modern language other than their mother tongue, with the long-term goal of balanced bilingualism, thus also realizing the IBO learner profile. In our school we offer 5 languages B: English, Slovak, German, Spanish and French. English, being the language of instruction, has allocated 5 lessons a week in MYP1-3, and 4 lessons a week in MYP4-5. Students, who will opt for language A English in MYP5, will be required to take 3 lessons of Slovak B a week. The other B languages are German standard and advanced, French foundation and standard and Spanish foundation. Each language has been allocated 3 lessons a week. Students decide for their second language B when entering MYP. They are expected to follow the same language until their last year in MYP in order to be able to take on Standard or High-level language course in IB diploma.

4. LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION-ENGLISH

At our school the language of instruction is English. It is the language of international communication and the number of people using it as a second language (ESL) has increased dramatically in the recent years. To reach conversational fluency in English can be a fairly fast process (within about two years) but to acquire the academic level of English takes between five to ten years. The reasons for that are mainly two - academic English is far more complex and English Language A speakers are growing in their language skills every year, so it is increasingly difficult for the ESL learners to catch up with. In order to allow our students to be capable to stand the competition we have set 5 lessons a week of English B in MYP1-3 and 4 lessons a week in MYP4-5. These courses are focused on speaking, reading, listening and writing skills sequenced from easier to more complex skills. All subject teachers recognise that learning in second language is a challenge, so they also focus on building key vocabulary necessary for successful completion of each course. Students are encouraged to use language of instruction whenever possible. If they find it difficult to express in the language of instruction, they may use other language/s they speak in case it is really necessary and if their teacher and all classmates understand the other language. Teachers are required to use English as the language of instruction in the classes. They are expected to recognise the potential problems their students might face as ESL learners and take appropriate steps to overcome the difficulties. (Scaffolding teaching)

5. ADMISSION - LANGUAGE LEVEL REQUIREMENTS

In order to enrol, students are expected to have previous knowledge of the language of instructions at various levels depending on the grade they are applying for. Students in MYP1 and 2 are expected to have pre-intermediate or intermediate level of English (The Common European Frame of Reference for Languages-B1 level) Students in MYP 3 and 4 are expected to have intermediate or upper-intermediate level of English. (The Common European Frame of Reference for Languages-B2 level) Students of MYP5 are expected to have upper-intermediate or higher level of English. Examples of entrance English tests are available on our website. (The Common European Frame of Reference for Languages-C1 level)

6. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

As far as the professional development is concerned Language A and B teachers are expected to follow the latest trends in language teaching and follow the MYP language group web page and language teachers' forums.