Native Language @ ISB

Looking back, looking forward

May 2, 2016 · No Comments

Supporting languages at ISB: the after school mother tongue program 2015-16

As our school year draws to a close it is a good opportunity to both reflect on what has developed in mother tongue support at ISB, as well as look forward to further growth in the future.

Currently we have 21 after school classes covering 8 language groups (Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Korean and Swedish). In total we have 97 children participating in the program, the majority of whom are from the elementary school. The teachers we have employed are qualified, have appropriate clearance, and all receive the child protection training offered by the school.

Apart from the classes themselves, we have an ISB mother tongue blog (https://inside.isb.ac.th/mothertongue/) which gives interested parents, teachers and community members the opportunity to explore the world of mother tongue maintenance and development; issues to do with the importance and benefits of bilingualism; brief snapshots of the classes in action; and biographies of the mother tongue teachers.

Other on-going projects commenced in Semester 2 include: a permanent mother tongue bulletin board outside the Elementary School Office where class activities are displayed on a rotating basis; the setting up of an Elementary School mother tongue special interest group; the development of a ‘Welcome to ISB’ video; the development of additional mother tongue classes in Middle School; and plans for the development of bilingual signage.

In a pleasing recent development, ISB is in negotiations with the educational group Danes Worldwide and NIST to formalize the teaching of Danish across a range of Bangkok schools based upon the ISB model. The involvement of the Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce has been important in this development.

Looking to the future, there will be opportunities to explore how we might integrate mother tongue perspectives into our day-to-day school activities. We will also be looking to expand the number of languages we support, especially with some of the larger language communities.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the parents who have supported the program. Their contributions, in time, enthusiasm and financial support has allowed the program to flourish. Thanks also to Olga Steklova for her contributions – looking forward to more next year.

I would also like to recognize the efforts of our mother tongue teachers in the after school program. Without them we wouldn’t have a program. They have made strong connections with the children; designed interesting and engaging lessons; and showed great commitment, especially so in the case of those who travelled long distances to get here each week.

 

  • Ms Guofang Tang and Ms Jingji Zhang for Chinese;
  • Mr Christoffer Granhøj for Danish;
  • Ms Jolanda Hofman and Ms Nicole Spanjer for Dutch;
  • Mme Laurence Poyer for French;
  • Ms Michaela Thimm (Lena) for German;
  • Ms Miyuki Jessee for Japanese;
  • Ms Mi Ok Choi and Ms Jung Young-Ae for Korean: and
  • Ms Agneta de Bekassy for Swedish.

 

 

Paul Dufficy, May 2016

Categories: After-school classes · Native Language at ISB · Native Language Teachers



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