As a British international school in the Greater Bay Area in China, LEH International School Foshan promotes the British curriculum as a framework for delivering high-quality education to its pupils. The British curriculum is designed to be broad and balanced, providing pupils with a strong foundation in a range of subjects, including language, mathematics, science, humanities, and the arts.
Language proficiency is a key component of the British curriculum, as it is through language that pupils access and engage with all aspects of the curriculum. However, we understand that not all of our international pupils come to us with a high level of English proficiency, and that's why we've developed a range of innovative and effective English language learning programmes to help them achieve their full potential.
Mrs Jones, our English Language Specialist Teacher and Head of Learning Support, leads the way in creating an immersive English learning environment that encourages pupils to use and practice their language skills every day, from small group reading to various interventions tailored to the needs of each pupil.
Mrs Carolyn Jones
English Language Specialist Teacher, Head of Learning Support and House Parent
Mrs Carolyn Jones currently serves as the English Language Specialist Teacher, Head of Learning Support and House Parent as LEH Foshan. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature, a Masters Degree in Creative Writing, TEFL and a Diploma in Teaching; she is also working towards a Masters in Educational Psychology. With an extensive experience in international schools, Mrs Jones has held a variety of positions as English teacher, House Mistress, SENDCO, Exam Officer and Head of Gifted and Talented Programme. These have honed her skills as an educator in supporting pupils with diverse learning needs and creating a supportive learning environment.
In this article, we invite Mrs Jones to share more insights into the pathway to English language fluency at LEH Foshan.
Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things but learning another way to think about things.
- Flora Lewis, an American journalist
At LEH Foshan, our Language Policy emphasises the importance of creating an English-rich environment that supports pupils' language acquisition and development while promoting cross-cultural understanding and communication.
1 Acknowledgement of Different Learning Needs
As teachers, we recognise that our pupils learn at different speeds and levels of success. Therefore, we take a pupil-centred approach, tailoring our teaching methods and strategies to accommodate the needs of individual learners. Based on their year groups, all pupils joining LEHF go through different admissions assessments, including reading comprehension assessments, CAT 4, writing assessments, interviews and OPT. Further assessments and observations are carried out upon entry if required.
2 A Shared Responsibility
We believe that language learning is not limited to the English Language Acquisition (ELA) classroom; all teachers, regardless of their subject area, have a role to play in supporting pupils' language development. ELA specialists are allocated to different faculties; they work collaboratively with mainstream teachers to co-plan lessons and support language development within the classroom, using strategies such as Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) to support language development within their subject areas.
3 Push In, Pull Out Support
The Push-In, Pull Out Support model is adopted to provide targeted English language instruction for pupils who require additional support. The basic concept is that we pull these pupils out of Humanities lessons to offer Humanities CLIL-based intensive English instruction until they reach a certain level of competency. Once they have achieved this level, we put them back into the classroom with in-class support until they are fully competent in English.
4 Language-Rich Physical Environment
Our teaching spaces feature English and bilingual displays with keywords, phrases, and sentence stems that support pupils' learning. These displays are varied to meet the level of scaffolding required for pupils and support the development of language skills across all areas of the school.
LEH Foshan also provides a range of intervention activities to help pupils develop their English language skills and achieve a level of proficiency that enables them to engage fully with the curriculum. Apart from the additional English classes and adapted Humanities lessons mentioned above in the 'Push In, Pull-Out Support' model, the following are some of the intervention activities that the school currently employs:
1 Oral Intervention
Oral intervention involves a teacher or a language specialist working one-on-one with pupils to improve their speaking and listening skills. This intervention benefits pupils who need help communicating their ideas and thoughts effectively in English.
2 Reading intervention andsmall group reading intervention
Reading intervention involves a structured approach to reading that helps pupils improve their comprehension and analytical skills. Pupils are taught to identify key information, make inferences, and draw conclusions from written text.
3 Immersive Programme
The immersive programme is designed to help pupils become more comfortable and confident in their English language skills. The programme includes activities that immerse pupils in an English-speaking environment, such as group discussions, debates, and presentations.
4 Language Acquisition ECA
The school offers extracurricular activities (ECAs) focusing on language acquisition. These activities include Newspaper Club and language games that help pupils practice their language skills in a fun and engaging way.
5 Vocabulary Books
We provide vocabulary books and templates to encourage pupils to add any new vocabulary they may come across. This process helps them to expand their English language vocabulary and cultivate them to be independent language learners.
At LEH Foshan, language is not just a tool for communication but also a pathway to understanding different cultures and ways of thinking. Therefore, we are committed to providing our pupils with a language-rich environment and innovative and joyful language-learning interventions that support their English acquisition and development.
As we look to the future, we are excited to continue pushing the boundaries of language learning and developing new strategies to support our pupils in their language journey.