Use of Language Policy

 

 

Statement of Philosophy

At Fountain College, we use language as a medium of inquiry, providing opportunities to challenge, nurture and develop both first and second language speakers.

Language does not operate in isolation but in the context of human experience and communication. Learning language is integral to the development of personal, cognitive, social and cultural identity as well as to making meaning of the world around us. Fountain College recognises that language is the foundation of all learning. Students learn language, learn through language, and learn about language.

We believe that students bring to any learning situation their prior knowledge and engage with the curriculum through the activities and assessments experienced. Within the interrelated components of the curriculum, students make sense of these experiences and construct meaning.

We understand that because our students come with many different language backgrounds, they will all progress at different paces. Fountain College values differentiated and varied instruction, which embraces multiple learning styles. All teaching integrates the skill areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting.

We consider all Fountain College teachers to be language teachers and the language development of our students to be the shared responsibility of teachers and students. Fountain College understands that the most conducive environment to language learning is a positive and encouraging one, wherein students have the opportunity to engage in authentic and meaningful learning experiences.

All teaching and learning is driven by the idea that through language, we are encouraging intercultural awareness and new perspectives, a culture of curiosity, as well as an appreciation of the richness of our world’s diversity. We strongly believe that through this exploration of language, students develop as deeper, independent thinkers; as responsible, understanding citizens of the world; and as better communicators in our multilingual world.

All students experience an enriched English-medium language programme. Fountain College’s curriculum is accessed through English, and it is also recognized that all other courses have important communicative aspects. These aspects help students render multiple understandings of the world.

 

1.1 Essential Agreements for the Teaching of Language:

All students:

  • Are taught language by all staff and have opportunities to read, write, view, investigate, inquire and present across the curriculum.
  • Are taught literacy skills in context.
  • Are encouraged to develop a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, respond to, appreciate and construct texts.
  • Are encouraged to use self-correcting strategies.
  • Have access to, and are taught through, a variety of technological and information resources.
  • Are encouraged to express themselves, orally and in writing, in a variety of media and situations.
  • Are encouraged to share and develop their work in a social context.
  • Are encouraged to see language as a tool for thinking, inquiring, reflecting and learning.
  • Are encouraged to maintain and value their mother tongue and to value that of other students.
  • Are given the opportunity to become proficient in more than one language.
  • Are exposed to a broad range of literature reflecting a variety of cultures and perspectives.
  • Are encouraged to develop a love of language and literature.
  • Receive constructive and specific feedback from teachers and peers.
  • Are exposed to modelling of rich language experiences.
  • Are given time to reflect on their learning and to apply techniques appropriately.
1.2. English as the language of instruction at Fountain College

English is the primary language of instruction at Fountain College. Admissions requirements and assessments ensure that all students are able to access the curriculum in English. A range of procedures is used to assess English-language proficiency, including written and verbal language tests, observations, viewing of previous reports and interviews.

Mother Tongue Support

Fountain College believes that mother tongue language development is crucial to maintaining cultural identity and emotional stability. While we do not offer bilingual programmes, we do recognise that strength in mother tongue supports students in learning other languages. International schools have a special responsibility to recognise and support each and every aspect of language development.

Fountain College will in the future offer support for mother tongue groups where communities of speakers of the same language can gather together to foster the use of the mother tongue as a way of developing academic language proficiency as well as emotional and social proficiency. The focus is developing the listening and speaking abilities of the students to bridge the gap between ‘school’ language and ‘home’ language.