At the end of September, the English Department launched another branch of the English Everywhere Initiative, which is aimed at maximizing the use of English throughout the whole school. We are very aware that despite speaking being one of the students’ strongest assets in English, in order to achieve pure bilingual aptitudes the students need to use English in all areas of the school and at all times.
It is important that from as young as possible students understand that the English subject must be taught only in English. This helps the students to develop the skills of thinking in English, which means they don’t have to take time to translate from Spanish to English.
Speaking English not only develops one’s capacity of expression and all of its nuances such as vocabulary growth, proper pronunciation, better grammar, etcetera. It also develops listening comprehension skills, which are inherent to the art of communication. Not to mention, speaking to their peers and teachers helps our students develop very important social skills. Clearly it requires great discipline and effort to use their second language when their peers generally speak the same first language 100% of the time. This is why we want to reward the students who set an example for their peers by making an effort to speak in English on a monthly basis.
In September, we inaugurated the English Speakers of the Month Noticeboard to celebrate the students who made the most effort to speak in English. Students from Infant 3 up to Primary 6 were chosen by their English teachers as those who had made the most effort during the month to speak English all the time. These students were awarded a beautiful certificate and a house point to recognize their achievements. The students were presented with their certificates in front of their classmates and then the certificates were displayed on the English Speakers of the Month wall of fame to show off the students’ achievement. This also encourages others to make an effort to use more English and to try and earn the certificate in October.
The English Everywhere Initiative provides a raft of phrases, idioms and phrasal verbs on a daily basis. These can be found on the noticeboard and are transmitted to every class each morning by the House Captains and Vice Captains. This recognition scheme encourages students and staff to converse in English whenever they cross paths in the corridors or dining room, no matter how old they are or what level of English they have. The EEI has been further developed by the Infant Department who has also included chants and nursery rhymes to help in the children’s natural retention of English syntax, intonation, and vocabulary.
Infant October Speakers of the Month
As an extra reminder of the importance of using English whenever possible, was provided by our Secondary One Art students who have been working hard to revamp the EEI posters. These posters can be found around the school and they give good reasons for why we should speak English in the corridors. This Project Based Learning project was designed to develop their digital and collaborative competencies.
We hope “the cat hasn’t got your tongue” and that we hear you speaking lots of English all around Yago.