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Whole-school approach

The success of a whole school languages program relies on the whole school (staff and community) supporting and understanding the purpose and operations of the approach and where the school leadership leads and engages the whole school community in developing a shared vision for the languages program. 

Features of a whole school approach:

All teachers in the school have a shared understanding of the links  between:

  • Languages education and other learning areas
  • The pedagogies of languages teaching and those of other areas of the curriculum

All students in the school:

  • Are taught a chosen (target) language
  • Make continued progress in the language over the full span of their schooling (F-Y6 or Y7-Y10)

In addition:

  • School leadership are clear in the vision and work activity to support and promote the approach
  • The languages teacher works collaboratively with all staff
  • The languages program is connected to the rest of the school curriculum
  • Strategies to address Intercultural understanding are an integral part of the curriculum
  • A languages advisory group may be set up to support the process of setting up and sustaining the whole school approach
  • Suitable language links to the community are sought out, promoted and cultivated
Considerations for starting the whole school approach:
Ways to strengthen the whole school approach:
  • How will the program benefit the students?
  • Which languages and cultures are already present and appropriate in the school community
  • How will the languages program and whole school approach be built and/or maintained?
  • How will the languages program and whole school approach be built and/or maintained?
  • How is Intercultural understanding represented in the curriculum?  How will the languages program develop this?
  • What skills, capacities and understandings will students need if they are to participate in intercultural contexts when they leave school?
  • Use the target language on a daily bases, e.g. Newsletters, school websites, signage.
  • Use the target language at school events, e.g. Assemblies
  • Keep parents informed parents about the languages programs and involved them where suitable
  • Include students’ language learning in school reporting and assessment
  • Hold community events to promote the target language and culture, e.g. Food festivals, art exhibitions
Adapted from Teaching Languages in the Primary School, Julie Browett, Anne Spencer, 2006

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