Aware of the fact that a foreign language is no longer just a school subject or an advantage, but a part of daily life, our aim is to raise lifelong learners who will become citizens of the world with the ability to express themselves not only in their native tongue but also in different languages. The Common European Framework forms the basis of our foreign language curriculum and our overall objective is to get the learners to communicate by providing them with the necessary language skills.
At Adapazarı ENKA Schools,
- Foreign language education forms a significant part of the programme. The school believes in the benefits of beginning language education at an early age and starts teaching English for 10 hours per week from kindergarten. Our aim until the end of 2ndgrade is to introduce English, to instill a positive attitude towards the language, to develop active listening and speaking skills and to teach with fun activities. From the 3rd grade, our programme includes both language acquisition and language learning elements. The programme mainly aims to develop communication skills in the language.
Through the English lessons in our school, we aim to develop the communication skills of our students in a second language. During the first three years of the programme, comprehension and communication skills are supported with rhymes, games and stories. In the 3rd and 4th grades, reading, comprehension, listening, speaking and writing skills are fostered.
In every unit of inquiry, language is used by students to find connections and to develop transdisciplinary connections.
We believe that every new language brings with it a different point of view, and that learning a language along with its cultural elements is a step towards international mindedness. For this reason, starting from the 2013-2014 school year, we have included two 20-minute Spanish lessons per week in the kindergarten programme and two hours of Spanish lessons per week in the other grades. While in the first two years of the programme the focus is on oral language production, the later years also contain some written elements.
As we value the previous experiences, needs and interests of our students, we implement differentiated instruction, tasks and assignments in our language lessons. Whenever a new concept is being taught, we use the scaffolding strategy to support the students until they are independently confident in using the new concept. Therefore, every student has the opportunity to be successful.
Given the importance of repetition in language education, the students are given homework periodically and they are encouraged to keep reading logs.
- Starting from the 2010-2011 Academic Year, we motivate our 3rd and 4thgraders to take the Cambridge University Young Learners Examinations so that they can experience this challenge.
- As we believe that the use of English should not be limited to the classroom, and that language is useful only if the students communicate with the world, our English Department actively works to fulfil the standards set by the Council of Europe in teaching and assessing language, and to give our students the opportunity to communicate with English speakers through international projects
- Our students are given the chance to show what they have learnt during the academic year through end-of-year English performances (sketches, plays, dance performance, etc.)
- The students are expected to present their language products during the portfolio days at the end of the school year. Before and during these presentations, they have the chance to reflect on their learning processes and to produce. These presentations also enable parents to learn more about the process.
- It is believed that language development is strongly linked with the need to communicate. In this belief, we provide our students with real interaction opportunities which increase their cultural and social awareness.
- The language learning process is held to comprise three concurrent elements: learning the language, learning about the language, and learning through the language. As language is the cornerstone of the curriculum, all three elements are supported.
- In the belief that “Every teacher is a language teacher”, teachers act as role models for students by using language correctly.
- Our teachers attend seminars which include language teaching. Foreign language teachers regularly attend seminars on ELT to support their ongoing professional development.
- Believing in the importance of consistency and continuity in learning a language, practices in the school are being shaped according to the Essential Agreements adopted by the whole school. (See Appendix 1). Applications that require the use of language are chosen in consideration of the developmental and age levels of the students. In order to develop students’ understanding of language, International Mother Language Day (February 21st) is celebrated with various activities.
- It is believed that reading, writing, listening, speaking and media literacy activities have a positive effect on learning a language. Hence, the regular use of the library, in-school and out-of-school reading activities, and the use of dictionaries are encouraged. Note-taking studies, twice-weekly 20-minute reading sessions, regular dictation studies and visual interpretation activities are used. During all these activities the fundamental aim for the learners is to find connections. According to the school’s weekly schedule, two Turkish lessons and one English lesson per week for each level are conducted in the school library. The Skills of Using the Library (See Appendix 2) that have been identified for each grade are developed using the same activities throughout the school. Students are also given opportunities to familiarise themselves with literature and with authors, as writers are invited to speak at the school during the course of the academic year. Astudens in 3rdand 4th grade are encouraged to take an interest in literature through the Book Shop activities.
- Considering the students’ individual learning differences and developmental levels, various learning and teaching tools and strategies are used in all activities.
- Bulletin boards, news and e-mails are prepared bilingually throughout the school.
At Adapazarı ENKA Schools we aim to:
- Use a common approach in assessment practices, both in the native tongue and in additional language courses,
- Take a common approach to the feedback given to the students depending on the nature of the task,
- Attach more importance to dictation activities, so that students become aware of the mechanics of spelling and writing,
- Diversify resources in the library and encourage the use of these resources to support international mindedness,
- Review this language policy at the beginning of each academic year and revise it if necessary,
- Increase the differentiation of tasks, since students in the same classroom are actually at different developmental levels both in their native tongue and in foreign languages.
- Develop students’ self-confidence in using the second language to communicate and their ability to use it in their daily lives, and in this way increase the effective use of language during inquiry.
Assessment for language at Adapazarı ENKA Schools is implemented according to the Assessment Policy and Essential Agreements.
At Adapazarı ENKA Schools, the school administration, the Primary Year Programme (PYP) coordinator and the whole staff work cooperatively to review and to develop language policy. At the beginning of the new academic year, the members of the language policy board are responsible for informing new teachers about language policy.
At Adapazarı ENKA Schools, the school administration is responsible for:
- providing resources for the school library,
- monitoring the implementation of the programme with respect to its rules and obligations,
- supporting the professional development and training of the teachers.
- providing teachers with enough time to plan language opportunities for the learners,
- meeting the requirements of language policy in their own speech and writing, and being good models for the students.
At Adapazarı ENKA Schools, the PYP coordinator is responsible for:
- implementing the PYP programme and organizing regular meetings,
- ensuring the compliance of the language programme with PYP criteria,
- contributing to the organisation of the internal standardization of language assessment according to PYP criteria,
- contributing to decisions on the selection of language subjects and the activities for those subjects,
- meeting the requirements of language policy in his/her own speech and writing, and being a good model for the students,
- making revisions and innovations according to PYP criteria following the annual evaluation, and contributing to their implementation.
At Adapazarı ENKA Schools, all teachers are responsible for:
- organising a creative learning atmosphere in order to allow students to reach the final objectives identified in the language policy,
- their own professional development,
- using effective teaching strategies for the development of the students’ listening, speaking, reading, writing and media literacy skills,
- implementing activities that support the foreign language acquisition and mother tongue development of students and that are appropriate to the school’s language policy,
- informing parents about the language development of the students,
- keeping the expression “Every teacher is a language teacher” in mind, meeting the requirements of language policy in their own speech and writing, and being good models for the students,
- using appropriate assessment techniques which provide meaningful feedback with respect to native tongue development and foreign language acquisition,
- creating a variety of activities in recognition of the different learning styles of the students.
At Adapazarı ENKA Schools, all students are responsible for:
- actively using the opportunities provided in and out of school to develop both their native tongue and their foreign language abilities,
- reflecting on their learning process.
Although the library of Adapazarı ENKA Schools meets the requirements of students in Turkish, our school is aware of the needs for various resources in different languages and about different cultures. To this end, we intend to vary our collections culturally. We aim to obtain and actively use resources that can support differentiated learning by providing the same content and concept at different levels. This process is usually managed by the school librarian, yet all teachers may take on roles according to the needs and interests of their students.
At Adapazarı ENKA Schools, most of the students, parents and school staff are individuals whose native tongue is Turkish. We have two students who are bilingual (Turkish, English). Our staff includes one native English and one native Spanish teacher, while other teachers use English as a second language at different levels of proficiency.
According to a survey carried out in the 2014-2015 school year, 223 parents out of 230 stated that they had studied at least one foreign language, 230 said that learning a foreign language is important, 223 indicated that they monitor their child’s native tongue, 208 said that they monitor their child’s foreign language development, 226 indicated that they support their child’s native tongue development while 222 parents said that they support their child’s foreign language development.
At the beginning of each year, the school community language profile survey is conducted with the entire school community. This survey also provides parents with an opportunity to share their ideas on language learning.