On April 13th-14th, 2012, we joined an annual IB Workshop on The Role of Language in the PYP. The workshop leader for this session was Bronwyn Gowty. There were 25 teachers, both from pre-elementary and elementary unit joined the session.
Day One- In the first day of the workshop, we shared our prior knowledge about the roles of language in the PYP, discussed some issues about language across the school, and reviewed our language policy.
The Central Idea and lines of Inquiry for the two days workshop is:
Central Idea: Language as a fundamental tool to learning, thinking and communicating and permeates the whole curriculum”.
The lines of inquiry are:
- Language instruction in a bilingual setting
- Students learning language, learn about language and learn through language
- How language contributes to a cohesive learning experience
It was interesting when watching a video of Changing Educational Paradigms – Ken Robinson. In the video, Sir Ken Robinson was illustrating the nature of the today’s learners and the complexity they face as learners and individuals. Todays teachers have got more challenges to face to be able to teach the digital natives students. He also mentioned about the public education system and explained the reasons why we need to review the system. There are two reasons; economic and cultural. He said that economic condition is very unpredicatable and it demands people to be more anticipated and ready with changes. Secondly, he mentioned about cultural identity. The challenge for us as teachers is how to teach the students to be able to understand their personal identity.
After watching, we discussed in our group about strategies to teach the 21st Century students- looking at the challenges and opportunities. This activity was leading to a discussion about our beliefs and values of teaching and learning in the 21st Century.
Day Two- In day 2, we focused on planning some strategies to be used in our school and classes regarding to foster multiliteracy in the bilingual classroom. There were some interesting discussion on our school language policy. The dilematic condition that we are facing between the ideal condition and school and parents expectation. We are now working to review our school language policy so that the needs for students to learn their own mother tounge language is also accomodated.
In brief, the workshop run well. We gained more awareness on the fostering of mother tounge language both in our classes and our school community. Hopefully, the school and parents can also support this matter.