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Working with Multilingual Families

by Susan Stewart, International School of London, Surrey, United Kingdom

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 …

Posted by CIS on Friday April 21
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Interviewing the Interviewers: How our recruiters get to know our candidates

Communication style, sense of humor, reactions to challenges—these dynamics help recruiters to get to know the person behind the CV. CIS Career & Recruitment Services takes the time to discover what makes an educator unique in order to lay the groundwork for a positive relationship between candidates and school. The personal connections that CIS has within their community of educators and schools make that possible. Starting in August 2016, CIS announced, among other service enhancements, that each candidate will have a video interview with a member of the CIS Career & Recruitment Services team. Two Recruitment Advisors, Becky Hazlett and Tanja Janjic, recently discussed how important this interview step is to both educators …

Posted by CIS on Monday March 20
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“How can I make the people around me do great things?”: Leadership development for an interconnected world

Are the teachers and leaders in your school interculturally competent? Does it really even matter? Gavin Hornbuckle’s research, highlighted below, demonstrates that we shouldn’t assume international school staff are culturally competent. Explore this topic in-depth at the CIS Symposium on Intercultural Learning in Amsterdam (9 & 10 March) or Singapore (23 & 24 March). More information here.

“You should be predisposed to other people's power -- how can I make the people around me do great things. If they do, then, by definition, I'll succeed, because that's my job, is to get this team moving in the right direction.”

President Barack Obama, 
Remarks at a Town Hall with Young Leaders of the UK, April 23, …

Posted by CIS on Thursday January 26
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Language in international schools: Moving away from the monolingual monolith

Eowyn Crisfield, an expert on bilingualism in international schools, will lead a workshop at the upcoming CIS Symposia on Intercultural Learning in Amsterdam (9 & 10 March 2017) and Singapore (23 & 24 March 2017). International school leaders and teachers interested in learning the latest research and gaining practical advice on effective language development in international schools are encouraged to attend. More information here.

A role of many international schools is to provide an English-language education for international students from a variety of backgrounds. Underpinning this belief is the implicit assumption that the school is responsible for teaching non-English speaking children to speak English, and to succeed in …

Posted by CIS on Wednesday January 11
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The Importance to School Communities of Accreditation Award Ceremonies

by Graham Ranger, Director of School Support & Evaluation, Council of International Schools

We often say, in accreditation circles, that the process is as important, if not more so, than the accreditation award. Of course, there are many reasons why a school chooses CIS International Accreditation but the most important drivers are those which help the school provide a better international education for its students. We achieve this by asking the school to engage with its community in consultation, through the CIS Community Survey, as part of the Self-Study process through which all constituents are represented and all groups (students; faculty; support staff; Board members; leadership; parents; and sometimes alumni) are involved. It …

Posted by CIS on Thursday December 22, 2016
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Looking forward to 2017

 by Jane Larsson, Executive Director, Council of International Schools

“I trust CIS.” This is the most meaningful feedback I received in 2016 on our work in the international community. As I reflect on the year past and our plans for 2017, I want you to know that you can count on us to continue to devote our time and efforts to issues that matter, issues that reach beyond our international school community, issues that require comprehensive education and action among young people…and adults.

Child protection issues continue to surface around the world as people gain the courage to speak out. Our role as educators could not be more important. And so, at CIS, we pledge our continued leadership to train our school …

Posted by CIS on Wednesday December 21, 2016
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Myth-busting and fact-finding

 A conversation with Tim Gerrish OBE

In mid-November, educators from 56 schools in 24 countries gathered in Dubai for the CIS Child Protection Workshop, second in a series of four workshops around the world. Local educational officials from KHDA, the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority, also attended to provide local perspective and advice, as agencies around the world work collaboratively to strengthen school standard for child protection. Among the outstanding strand leaders, Tim Gerrish OBE worked with attendees in the School Policies and Practices strand, covering how safeguarding should be strengthened in the leadership dimension. With more than 30 years working in law enforcement, including many years of working with…

Posted by CIS on Saturday December 17, 2016
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Governmental Leadership: What does it take?

by Jane Larsson, Executive Director, Council of International Schools

Three years ago, I squeezed myself into a primary school chair at one of our schools, and looked across the low table into the eyes of four nine-year olds, each from a different country. “So,” I asked, “how are you doing? Are you developing into global citizens?” The little boy sitting across from me retorted, “We’re NOWHERE NEAR being ready as global citizens!” I asked him, “Why not?”

“Well”, he said, “You don’t always know how to ...act around people from other places. When someone new comes to our school…you have to be careful…” “If you talk to someone who is …

Posted by CIS on Monday November 14, 2016
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Learning what you don't know about Child Protection

 by Hannah Sapunor-Davis, Communications Coordinator, Council of International Schools

“My job is to tell you what you don’t know and, what you don’t know that you don’t know.” This is how Dr Joe Sullivan, a leading forensics expert, explains his role at the CIS Child Protection Workshops. It can be disconcerting when school leaders realize that they are missing vital information. And when that lack of knowledge means they are missing signs of children being abused, this discomfort creates an urgent need for expertise and resources. For this reason, we’ve created a series of Child Protection workshops throughout the world led by CIS Affiliated Consultants to support and empower …

Posted by CIS on Thursday November 3, 2016
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My CIS Journey, So Far...

by Tejal Bhatt, Visiting School Evaluator

Introduction by Chris Durbin, Associate Director of School Support & Evaluation Services, Council of International Schools

Research into happiness from many studies has shown that giving to charity, altruism, kindness and generosity towards others lifts the spirits of the donor in particular. Put simply, providing your own material needs in life are reasonably well met then people’s lives are enhanced by purpose, by variety and by community. In volunteering for CIS over many years, I personally have found real purpose in supporting educators across the world. We are still remarkably isolated as a profession. In a lifetime career in schools, we may only have up to a dozen school …

Posted by CIS on Thursday October 13, 2016
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