Language- Secondary resources, International Teachers Magazine

It’s in the text

Using the Field-Tenor-Mode matrix to support EAL writing and textual analysis

Language curricula in international education place increasing significance on student ability to produce and analyse a range of text types. The Language Acquisition and Language B Courses of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years and Diploma Programmes are good examples of this trend. Chris Jay reports how the “Field-Tenor-Mode” anayltical approach can build understanding of English texts.

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Novels for young adults

Kate Shepherd reviews three novels with stories that will engage and challenge young adults. The Family with Two Front Doors is based on the author’s real family while The Big Bazoohley is written in the zany style reminiscent of Roald Dahl.  Words in Deep Blue is centred around a bookshop where we are drawn into the lives of the two main characters.

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My sister Sandee

Bullying – the long term effects

We all have to deal with the issue of bullying – much of which is thoughtless rather than cruel. The effects, however, are the same. T. J. Coburn – Director at the International School Dhaka (ISD) shared a very personal story with his students earlier this year to illustrate the point.

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Philosophy for children

Philosophically speaking: P4C

Philosophy for Children – P4C – is attracting the attention of an increasing number of international schools around the world. One organisation supporting the programme is the British based charity, SAPERE (Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education).  ITM recently spoke to SAPERE CEO, Bob House, about their latest international initiative.

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ECIS PE Teachers

ECISPE2016 conference

“Making them ALL smile and sweat; Why? What? How?”

April 13-16, 2016 and one hundred and twenty PE teachers assembled at Surrey Sport Park in Guildford, England to attend the annual ECIS PE conference. This conference has been at the heart of professional development for international Physical Education teachers for the past 28 years. It started in 1988 in Birmingham, England at the main ECIS three-day conference.

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The International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) – the new branch on the IB-tree

All too often we hear employers complaining that schools do not sufficiently prepare students for the careers they wish to pursue, nor for the workplace. Patric Elder looks at the new International Baccalaureate career-related programme, which is designed to combine the rigour of the IB with the demands of the workplace.

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Developing independent academic skills, Part 3

 Building a body of knowledge

A_woman_thinkingThe idea of building a memorised body of knowledge has become unfashionable. If we are living in the Knowledge Economy, the knowledge is at our fingertips and accessed on-line. The cloud, it is said, has changed everything: what children are learning at school now will be outdated by the time they leave university, so why bother? Progressive thinkers would regard the learning of more factual knowledge as less important than the development of transferable skills, creativity and critical thinking.

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Developing independent academic skills, 1

Learning independently, linear assessment and language

Why is the ability to learn independently so important? Andy Homden suggests that unless students learn to think for themselves, take the initiative and display the kind of self–discipline that gets things done, they will neither fulfill their potential nor be ready for the expectations of higher education and the world of employment. But – they have to be shown how.

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Developing independent academic skills, 2

Writing independently

Andy Homden 9

The importance of knowing how

Students become independent learners when they know how to do things, but the ability to master increasingly complex tasks at secondary level, takes both time and practice under the right kind of supervision. Planning and then writing an informed and relevant academic answer using properly marshalled evidence in the form of an essay is such a task.

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Making the Flipped Classroom work

Flipping the class with Edmodo

PhotoIndependent learning, virtual learning, differentiation and many other terms are sometimes used in discussions about how we best cater for the needs of students without considering how we make things work practically. Raheela Shaikh provides a helpful explanation of how she has developed her “Flipped classroom” style to make it work in practice.

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Predictive Testing – helpful or misleading?

EddiePredictive testing in British International Schools is an important mechanism used to inform them about the expected progress of individual students and groups. But is this measurement of added value robust and accurate? A comparison of raw results between different departments can be misleading. Eddie Rowe raises some questions about the use of objective testing to make comparisons between departments in the same school and the validity of such testing to measure a school’s ability to “add value”. 

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Critical Inspiration

Sasha Haldane

Sasha Haldane

Reflecting on a British style international education in the 70s and 80s, human rights and criminal lawyer Sasha Haldane identifies a number of different factors at school that prepared her for the legal profession: the inspiration of a charismatic principal, the enthusiasm generated in the school’s debating club and the application of critical thinking developed by the study of a “different” kind of history course. She hopes her own children will have similar opportunities at school in the 21st Century.

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Characteristics of successful online students

Charlotte Seewald

Charlotte Seewald

Online learning, e-learning, virtual education and computer based instruction are just some of the terms used to describe the delivery of part or all of a course using a computer. Not surprisingly, the exponential growth of online learning is a source of lively debate and, it has been suggested, explains, in part, the increase in home schooling or home education in many countries across the globe*. Charlotte Seewald, Assistant Director at the University of Nebraska High School, identifies some of the key characteristics of the successful online learner. 

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April 2015: Direct learning

CIMG5608The experience of direct learning

Question: How do four year olds learn?

Answer: In any way they can!

Everything at that age is new. All learning experiences are direct – audible, tangible, visible. Children learn by tasting and smelling. The engagement with the immediate environment is direct, and learning is by total immersion. Andy Homden argues that this kind of Direct Learning should play a much bigger role as children progress through primary into secondary.

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Field work first!

Head and shoulders

After two stints teaching Biology in Indonesia and Singapore, Jon Avon makes a strong case for the value of fieldwork. With interest in environmental studies dwindling in Grades 11 & 12 (Years 12 & 13) he thinks that it has never been more important to get students out of the classroom and into the field.  In his view nothing motivates students to take an interest in ecology more  than a well-conducted field trip. The preparation and responsibilities can be daunting, but the return on the hard work is well worth the effort. Here he offers advice for getting on the road in the right kind of way.  

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