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Beyond Vision to Action: Student Leadership, Intercultural Learning and Service

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 ‘…

Posted by CIS on Friday June 9
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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 …

Posted by CIS on Monday June 5
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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…

Posted by CIS on Monday April 24 at 09:49
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Working with Multilingual Families

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 …

Posted by CIS on Thursday April 20 at 10:12
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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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