Planning the Whole-school Language Policy –
From where we are to where we want to be
Language Learning Support Section
17 January 2011
Contents
□ Language learning at pre-primary level
□ Language learning needs at
secondary level
□ Challenges at the primary level
□ Developing your own Whole School
Language Policy
Objectives
□ Nurture children to attain all-round
development in ethics, intellect,
physique, social skills and asethetic;
and to develop good habits to
prepare them for life
□ Stimulate children’s interest in learning
and cultivate in them positive learning
attitudes to lay the foundation for
future learning
Six learning areas
Arts
Self &
society
Mathematics
Language
Science &
technology
Physical
fitness
& health
Language Curriculum
□ Create a language-rich environment
□ Provide integrated language learning
experience, beginning with listening
and speaking
□ Mother tongue (Cantonese and
Putonghua) and second language
Listening and speaking
□ Listen to and understand conversations and
stories
□ Use vocabulary and short phrases to express
ideas and needs
□ Speak politely, clearly and fluently in
dialogues
□ Ask and answer questions, make simple
inferences, solve problems and predict the
outcomes of events
□ Share with others their experiences in
everyday life
Reading
□ Master preliminary reading techniques
□ Develop interest in reading and form
reading habits
□ Understand stories
□ Recognise common words
□ Learn through reading
Writing
□ Communicate in the form of pictures
or words
□ Master fine motor skills and knowledge
of space and direction
□ Enjoy reading aloud or sharing their
scribbles or writing with others
□ Explore the use of different writing
equipment
Principles of teaching
□ Use everyday experiences and authentic
materials
□ Use casual conversation
□ Use comprehensible language
□ Listen with patience
□ Use stories to develop concentration &
imagination
□ Use open-ended questions to develop
thinking skills
□ Rote-learning, dictation, strenuous writing
exercise   
Second Language
□ Develop interest in learning English
□ Listen to and understand simple
conversations in everyday life
□ Sing or recite nursery rhymes and
employ simple words used in everyday
life
Assessment
Extracted from an assessment record form of a kindergarten
聽說能力
閱讀能力
□能專注聆聽
□明白說話內容、要點及寓意
□能說意思清楚而完整的句子
□說話時表現有信心
□能與他人分享生活經驗及感
受
□聆聽砭故事後能覆述內容
□唸兒歌時配合聲調
□唸兒歌時配合表情
□能配合圖片認讀句
子
□能運用單字卡配詞
Assessment
英語
□能暢順地唱出英文歌曲
□能暢順地朗讀英文兒歌
□能透過圖片認讀英文句子
□明白老師的英文用語
□能用簡單英語與老師對話
書寫能力
□正確地運用書寫工
具
□能依筆劃次序書寫
□能適當地運用書寫
空間
Needs arising from…
□ Learning the English subject
□ Learning other subjects with heavy
language load
□ Learning the Chinese subject
□ School-based MOI arrangement
School-based MOI arrangement
□ increasing opportunities to use English
in different subjects at the junior
secondary levels
□ use of Putonghua to learn the Chinese
subject
Implications for language learning
□ Integrated use of the language skills
□ Higher order thinking skills
□ Processing vast amount of information
quickly
□ A wide variety of text-types
□ A strong knowledge base needed
□ Greater linguistic and cognitive
demands
Bridging the gap
□ How to help the KG students adapt to
learning at primary?
□ How to prepare students for the
challenges in learning at secondary?
Time to consider a
whole school language policy!
Developing a whole school language policy
□ Consider students’ abilities, interests and needs
□ Consider school-based circumstances: school goal,
teachers’ readiness, support measures
□ Consider students’ gradual and systematic exposure
to both languages at primary levels from pre-primary
□ Consider students’ needs in bridging over to
secondary education
Schoolbased
Studentcentred
Holistic
planning
Whole
school
approach
Considerations in planning a
whole-school language policy
Outside the school
Outside the classroom
Inside the classroom
Inside the classroom
Curriculum
□ Language subjects: incorporate the skills, knowledge,
values & attitudes required in other subjects
□ Other subjects: apply and re-teach the skills, knowledge
and VA taught in the language subjects
Learning and teaching
□ Create a language rich classroom
□ Conduct cross-curricular learning activities
□ Provide self-access learning materials & equipment
□ Facilitate reading across the curriculum
□ Be a good language model
Task/Assessment
□ Language subjects: use topics and materials covered in
other KLAs, design questions that assess integrated and
higher order thinking skills
□ Other subjects: provide students with more opportunities
to demonstrate their language skills
Outside the classroom
□ Set up self-access learning corner/room
□ Provide programmes for different target
groups
□ Create a language-rich campus
□ Designate reading time
□ Organise co-curricular activities
□ Tap expertise of service providers to
organise special activities
□ Invite guest speakers to provide interesting
talks/activities
Outside the school
□ Organise visits to Putonghua and English
speaking organisations
□ Partner with community to motivate
students to participate in public/inter-school
events
□ Emphasize the importance of gaining
exposure through the mass media
□ Collaborate with local/non-local institutions
in organising stimulating activities
Key messages
□ The objective is to motivate/reward students
for using their multilingual skills
□ Development of an LP is a whole school issue,
involving different stakeholders
□ Whole school dimension to LP include the
subject curriculum and language use for
school events, communication with parents...
□ It is developed through an informed PIE
process
□ Leadership team should be familiar with
broader policy on language & learning
□ Teachers should have an overview of the
relationship between thought, language
acquisition and learning
A word of caution
□ Examples taken from the sample HKDSE
papers are only used to illustrate the
cognitive and linguistic demands on
students in learning the language and nonlanguage subjects
□ They provide insights into the areas which
need to be addressed when planning the
language and non-language curricula
□ A “teach-to-the-test” approach is not
advocated
A word of caution
□ While schools may strive to adopt
different strategies to implement their
whole school language policy, it is
important to address teachers’
workload
□ To create the greatest possible impact
on students, put emphasis on teacher
development and curriculum
leadership development
References
□
□
□
□
Good practices of primary and secondary
schools in holistic curriculum planning and
classroom practices:
English Language
Chinese Language
Use of Putonghua to teach Chinese
Language across the curriculum
http://www.edb.gov.hk/languagesupport
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Whole-school Language Policy – planning & implementation