By Martha Ross, Vienna International School
The CIS Symposium on Intercultural Learning provided the forum for interested educators like myself to reflect on the importance of intercultural competencies within the field of international education. We shared examples of good practice, current research and discussions about student experience, which contributed to interesting debate and raised the consciousness of us all. For two days, we lived in the ideology of intercultural learning. We heard from impressive student key note speakers from The International School of Amsterdam, who reinforced the effects that intercultural learning has had, and will have, on their lives.
After attending the first Symposium last year, I had the opportunity…
by Rebecca Butterworth and Lydia Eckstein, Inter-Community School, Zurich
Setting the Scene…
“I experience learning as coercive.” When one of our student ambassadors made this statement at a leadership conference about the future of learning, it gave us good reason to pause. As committed educators we believed that students were at the heart of our decision-making. How could this be that learning was coercive? Were we truly that controlling?
According to this student, yes. Choice in what and how to learn is limited, and even more so as students move through the system and sit final examinations. This student was articulating that her experience of schooling reflected a top-down power structure where the adults ‘…
Language instruction through an asset-based approach: Understanding what students can do with languages
By Lorena Mancilla, PhD, Director of WIDA Early Years
Language is intricately tied to our identity. However, far too often multilingual students are subjected to implicit, and at times explicit, messages that devalue their home language and/or language practices. Such deficit-based messages can be detrimental to a student’s identity and can negatively impact their learning and language development.
In her seminal work on borderland identity, Gloria Anzaldúa (1987) wrote, “So, if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity—I am my language. Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself.” Recognizing that language and …
Value and Values: CIS Tour Participation as Investment in Yourself, Your Institution, Your Community
by Sam Dunlop, Portland State University
There I was again. Attempting to moderate a friend’s reaction to my recent international trip, this time assistant leading the CIS Africa tour. “You have a dream job,” he says.
“There are many dreamy parts of my job,” I say. “But not all of it is as glamorous as it sounds. I promise.”
To him, and many of my friends and family, I leave the comfortable (and delicious) bubble of my Portland life for a three week holiday in the ever-exotic and mystical land known as “Elsewhere.”
Of course, Elsewhere, at least to all my friends and family, is based on the snapshots I share through my well-curated stream of Instagram pictures. So, I am that guy: the…
by Susan Stewart, International School of London, Surrey
Language acquisition, of a single language or two languages simultaneously, is an innate and naturally occurring phenomenon. In recent years, the press has done much to highlight the advantages of being bilingual, which is an improvement on the negative messages in the 1960s and 70s. However, the myths of previous years linger on, and many questions and concerns surrounding the use of languages stem from some common misunderstandings about the process of language acquisition.
Creating a Common Understanding
As Head of Languages at the International School of London (Surrey), I run regular workshops entitled ‘Raising your Bilingual Child’ to ISL Surrey parents and …
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