HAILEYBURY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL TIANJIN
Middle School Newsletter
Issue 6 , November 2019
LIFT UP YOUR HEARTS FLY HIGH AT HAILEYBURY!
What does teaching and learning English as a Second Language (ESL) mean?
English as a Second Language is a traditional term for the use or study of the English language by non-native speakers in an English-speaking environment (it is also known as English for speakers of other languages.) That environment may be a country in which English is the mother tongue, or it may refer to specialized approaches to language teaching designed for those whose primary language is not English. At Haileybury we provide that environment.
Teaching English as a second language can be a daunting task for anyone, even for experienced and skilled teachers. ESL Teachers at Haileybury are faced with beginners of English up to reasonably proficient speakers and writers who can perform at university level. Teachers need a great deal of patience, an encouraging manner and a ‘can do’ attitude towards the students.
Like teaching any other subject, ESL teachers find that students, children and adults alike, learn at different paces or speeds and for example, some are better at speaking than writing where others are better at reading than listening. Teachers adapt to the needs of each individual student, the culture and the high learning expectations of the students, school and parents.
Although challenging, teaching a student to speak another language is extremely rewarding.
Teaching Reading at Haileybury.
We continue to introduce readers to teaching and learning ESL. Some people believe that the first step in reading a text is to translate each word! How else can readers understand what they read is the common attitude. This is fundamentally not true! Reading is not translation, it is the ability to think and analyze. It is also the ability to focus on the main idea and not to lose important details. Additionally, at higher levels of reading, it is the ability to collate the known for inferences about the unknown. This long journey which starts in primary school and continues into middle school requires patience with the anticipation of a whole new world opening up to the ESL learners. Students learn to remember the key points of a story for comprehension and focus on details. A variety of methods beginning with the visualisation of what the story is about to the analysis of the function of language through vocabulary and grammar. Visualization can also end a story, especially where students continue the story-line in their imagination. Some may ask, how can you teach reading by visualisation and drawing pictures? The choice of key characters, key phrase, description and context ensures comprehension and the development of the readers imagination. Is it possible to understand a text in which some of the key words are new and not comprehensible? Yes, it is possible! There are various techniques to teach the connection between language (vocabulary and grammar) and the context of the story or text to enable the learner to guess the meaning vocabulary and the story as a whole. Combining the teacher’s linguistic knowledge and experience of teaching second language learners and student’s effort they have the ability to learn to read without using a dictionary. They can perform tasks and most importantly, appreciate and enjoy a wonderful way to learn and spend time constructively by reading books!
Tianjin TV Drama Competition coming soon!
Next week, Primary and Middle School students will be taking part in an incredible drama competition through Tianjin TV. Teachers and students are preparing 3 performances in Primary School and 2 in Middle School. Just observing their rehearsals is already incredibly interesting and rewarding. We are confident that their efforts will be noticed and appreciated!
Updates from the Playground Project!
The year 8 students have been working hard as the playground project continues. We are moving closer to being able to present our plans for a new playground which includes space specifically for Middle as well as Primary School students. The project has many different parts and students have been developing a number of different skills in order to complete the tasks. Different students have been responsible for different parts of the project. Some of the highlights include:
Measuring! Students have been using their math and problem solving skills to measure the playground. They are now drawing scaled plans which will be used to present the ideas and suggestions of the entire Primary and Middle School students and staff.
Surveys and information gathering. Surveys have been created to collect information on the needs of students and staff and to expand ideas to create an exciting, adventurous and curriculum-based playground. Safe, positive outdoor environments can improve morale among students and staff, reduce opportunities for conflict and to give opportunities for imaginative play, along with just time to hang out.
The results will come soon. Watch this space!
Communication. Senior 8 students did an excellent job of explaining the project to the Primary School students at a recent assembly and created a video which introduced the project to middle school.
Students about special projects.
The playground project
By Jack & Carol
We (Haileybury’s year 8 students) are currently working on the playground project. We are making plans to rebuild and add to the playground and make it better. We have been looking for input from the whole school, and with our support, we will put forward ideas to Haileybury’s Senior Management for final approval.
The playground project is great for many reasons. Firstly, we are doing things for the school and students, and it is a big responsibility. Secondly, the playground will benefit a wide age range of students, so we are working to satisfy many different needs, so we are learning to be warm-hearted. On the other hand, we need to work extremely hard to succeed on this project and we are learning that cooperation will make it better. In a few words, we are giving our best performance here!
To be continued……………
Wait for our next Newsletter!
作者：Jack & Carol