Welcome (back) to BGI
Waterfalls of English language
It’s been a steady start to the second year of the BGI project and I’ve been thinking hard about what to write. This year, four new classes have entered the project. That’s around 65 new kids and they’re getting annoyed that I don’t remember all of their names quite yet – it does give me a bigger pool of choice for names when I eventually decide to have children though. With the new classes, of course, come more teachers, who I can only speak highly of due to their continued support and guidance as I adjust to the new year group.
Since teaching here for a year, it’s hard to think about English as one subject, but as something that is flowing between lessons, subjects and hours. I seem to forget (quite often) that I am teaching in a non-English speaking school. Alongside team teaching English, I am now teaching other subjects across 6 different classes. Although I have welcomed 2 new classes of children in Woodwork, we haven’t had any accidents (we’ve been working with machines too!) – so I can only assume that the English instruction plus the visuals are enough to comprehend the tasks.
Working in English across a variety of subjects is giving so much more than a baseline of knowledge to the language. We aren’t learning unit by unit. We’re learning the names of the machines and tools, how to read music, how to resolve conflicts, how to form grammatically correct sentences… this all comes from a whole-rounded education where English is being modelled throughout the day – not just for the subject. Isn’t it wonderful that something so simple can bring so many skills and tools to our children?
It is evident that the children who took part in the project last year have a stronger grasp of the English topics presented to them in the 5th Grade, and that they can understand a wider range of vocabulary. My goal for this year is to bestow this knowledge upon the four new classes joining the project and give them the tools that they need to learn this second language.
I’m looking forward to updating you as the school year progresses and to share my experiences and ideas for going international.