TISA recognises that Language is fundamental for all learning. It is essential for communicating and constructing meaning. It is a tool that drives the curriculum.
English is the language of instruction in TISA. Additionally, and in line with the PYP, TISA believes that the development of mother tongue is crucial to maintain cultural identity. We promote maintenance and enrichment of mother tongue by encouraging parents and students to continue speaking, reading and writing in their mother tongue. We also provide opportunities to develop mother tongue through mother tongue classes.
TISA also believes that acquisition of more than one language enriches personal development and help facilitate international-mindedness. Therefore, our students are given the opportunity to learn additional languages through the foreign language programme.
Learning language in a PYP classroom is a balance between three aspects- learning language (using language to communicate with others); learning about language (developing an understanding of how languages works) and learning through language (listening, thinking, discussing and reflecting on information, ideas and concepts) (Halliday 1980).
All teachers at TISA are language teachers. Language teaching and learning extends across the curriculum - in the arts, P.E and the homeroom class.
At TISA we believe it is essential to maintain and encourage the development of our students’ mother tongue. It supports further language acquisition, helps students develop personal identity and addresses social, emotional and academic needs.
Research has shown that students learn more quickly and effectively if they maintain and develop their proficiency in their mother tongue. When mother tongue is not adequately developed, the development of second or subsequent languages will be limited. (Cummins, 2011)
To help students retain a connection with their home language and culture, TISA offers mother tongue and culture classes for students from P3 to P8. By integrating mother tongue into our curriculum, we are teaching our students the importance of culture, diversity, and facilitating international understanding.
TISA offers Azerbaijani, French, Russian and Spanish mother tongue and culture classes twice a week led by language teachers. We are also starting new mother tongue classes such as Dutch, Italian and Turkish, led by teacher volunteers and committed parents. These classes will take place once a week.
In addition, we are encouraging and supporting parents who are willing to lead a mother tongue class.
The context of the language teaching is the PYP transdisciplinary themes, in which we include elements of geography, history, traditions as well as language.