English is our shared language of instruction and communication. In a PYP school the focus is not just on learning language in isolation, but also on the application of language skills across the subject areas and throughout the Programme of Inquiry. Some language is taught as ‘stand-alone’, while other aspects of language are taught in the context of our Units of Inquiry.
We believe students learn best when they have opportunities to learn within meaningful contexts, and when the teaching is in response to students’ needs, interests and previous experiences. Students at OurPlanet come from a wide range of language and cultural backgrounds, which we view as a major asset to our learning community.
Students develop skills in the following strands of language learning :
What will students will be working on this year?
Listening and Speaking (Phase 1)
- Realize that people speak different languages
- Interact effectively with peers and adults in familiar social settings
- Join in with poems, rhymes, songs and repeated phrases in shared books
- Listen and respond to picture books, showing pleasure, and demonstrating their understanding through gestures, expression and/or words
Viewing and Presenting (Phase 1)
- Reveal their own feelings in response to visual presentations, for example, by showing amusement, curiosity, surprise
- Observe visual cues that indicate context; show understanding by matching pictures with context
- Recognize familiar signs, labels and logos, for example, pedestrian walking sign, emergency exit sign, no dogs allowed; identify similarities and differences
- Make personal connections to visual texts, for example, a picture book about children making friends in a new situation
- Use body language to communicate and to convey understanding, for example, pointing, gesturing, facial expressions
- Select and incorporate colours, shapes, symbols and images into visual presentations
- Listen to terminology associated with visual texts and understand terms such as colour, shape, size.
Reading (Phase 1)
- Distinguish between pictures and written text, for example, can point to a picture when asked
- Join in with chants, poems, songs, word games and clapping games, gaining familiarity with the sounds and patterns of the language of instruction.
- Participate in shared reading, joining in with rhymes, refrains and repeated text as they gain familiarity
- Handle books, showing an understanding of how a book works, for example, cover, beginning, directional movement, end.
- Show empathy for characters in a story
- Locate and respond to aspects of interest in self- selected texts (pointing, examining pictures closely, commenting)
- Realize that the organization of on-screen text is different from how text is organized in a book
- Show curiosity and ask questions about pictures or text
- Begin to understand sound-symbol relationships and recognize familiar sounds/symbols/words of the language community
Writing (Phase 1)
- Differentiate between illustrations and written text • use their own experience as a stimulus when drawing and “writing”
- Begin to discriminate between letters/characters, numbers and symbols
- Write their own name independently
- Experiment with writing using different writing implements and media
- Listen and respond to shared books (enlarged texts), observing conventions of print, according to the language(s) of instruction
- Choose to write as play, or in informal situations, for example, filling in forms in a pretend post office, writing a menu or wish list for a party
- Participate in shared writing, observing the teacher’s writing and making suggestions