THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
Today, English is used more and more in international contact all over the world. The cross border interaction is also cultural, we meet online, travel a lot and share other people's values and social life. The best way to acquire a new language is to communicate and collaborate. We think it is very important to meet the English language already in pre -school. Furthermore the project want to give way for new methods of English teaching and learning. "The English Track" is a consistent factor for all schools in Skolsta from pre-school up to grade 6 with focus on communication. Language studies are taught and learnt using different skills.
The aim of this project is to:
̶ increase motivation and eagerness to learn English and also other languages.
̶ increase children´s communication skills
̶ increase children´s opportunities for cultural exchanges
̶ integrate English with other subjects
̶ increase children's communication skills by establishing contacts with pupils in England and communicating with them in English.
̶ increase children´s realia knowledge about English speaking countries
In addition to the ordinary lessons, the children from preschool up to grade 4 get an short "immersion" of English every day. It could be learning the days of the week, numbers, greetings or other everyday vocabulary, often integrated with another school subject.
An "English lady" visits the youngest children initiating language activities.
In grade 5 students there is an optional lesson of English where they play games or watch movies. Fifth-graders also read realia about England and other English speaking countries.
In grade 5 classes also establish internet contact with an English school. They interact with the English pupils exchanging ideas and make comparisons between the two countries regarding history, traditions and social life.
In grade 6 have an interdisciplinary lesson with music and English to increase motivation and desire to learn English. In the spring semester of grade 6 they make a trip to our English partner school thus giving them an opportunity to communicate and practice their knowledge in English in a functional way.
"English Only" is offered as a topic of the “Pupil's Choice”.
Once a week we have a “Speakers Corner” in the school canteen when all pupils and staff having their lunch at these tables speak English only.
We also have something we call “Outdoor English”.
All teaching staff has had further training in English, has visited our partner school in London and participate wholeheartedly in the project.
An exchange has been created with Argyle Primary School in London. Students exchange letters with each other and then visit their "penpals" in the spring of grade 6. The entire staff participated, both teachers and "non-teaching" staff such as the personal in the school canteen and cleaning staff. The trip emphasized everyone's part and responsibility in "English track" and provided an opportunity for language training, studies of the British education system, culture and society exchange and inspiration. It´s “everybody´s project”
The focus on more communicative, more varied and playful English teaching integrated in several subjects has been successful. Extended time of learning through continuous "immersion" of young learners as well.
The trip to England motivates the pupils in grade 6, and we can clearly see that it also encourages pupils at a younger age, when they have something to look forward to. Also from equality standpoint, we think it's good to be able to offer the kids this. Many of them have never been flying before. The trips have been very successful and they give the pupils several days of conversation in English! Their willingness to communicate in English increased considerably!
We generally have good results in the national tests in English. They particularly have good conversational skills.
There is a tremendous strength that even the adults who do not have a 'perfect' pronunciation or vocabulary dare to show their strengths and weaknesses and thereby strengthen and make the students confident in their own language learning.
Above all, we wanted to have "proof" that we were on the right track. It is also important for schools in general to show and share their recipe for success. We are all reinforced by positive attention!
We have received visits and given lectures. There have been articles in various magazines. The project is now fully incorporated into the regular teaching program and we develop it continuously.
Positive attention, which has strengthened us all! A greater awareness of quality in teaching.
Do not hesitate, let others see your good way of working!
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
We selected The English Track project because it is consistent with the priorities of the European Commission in the field of language learning. Specifically, The English Track project provides added value to the whole school, all pupils and all personal, not only the pedagogic staff. The project uses many different methods and approaches to language learning, such as language immersion, communication on line, extra English lessons and activities, which all gives pupils motivation and eagerness to learn English. The project is creative and original in its complexity of activities. The European emphasis is created by a intense and close cooperation with a partner school in London. The visit of this partner school in grade 6 with not only the pupils but also including all personal gives all involved a unique opportunity of insight in different traditions, culture and social life and it promotes language skills. They use many different methods and activities but everything in The English Track is transferable and can be a source of inspiration to other language learning initiatives.
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
Skolstaskolan receives the ELL reward because of the involvement of all personal in the mutual work to find ways on how all children, from preschool to grade 6 can be stimulated and motivated to learn and to use English. Language Learning has become part of the ordinary teaching and has become a natural part of all pedagogic work, both inside and outside the classroom. English is also integrated in other subjects and activities such as music, during lunch breaks and outdoor activities.
Evaluations have shown that students feel that English learning has become more fun and that they learn and understand more of the language. Their communication skills were developed and their self-confidence has been strengthened. They show more willingness and eagerness to use English.
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