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Bilingual and Multilingual Teaching and Learning
PYP Virtual Workshop
On November 14 & 15, 2022, the PYP team participated in a 2-day virtual workshop on Bilingual and Multilingual Teaching and Learning. In the context of IB education, all teachers are language teachers. Diving deep into the concepts of bilingualism and multilingualism is significant to establish a shared understanding of the complexities of how bilingual and multilingual students learn. As most of our students are English Language Learners (ELL), the workshop provided opportunities for the teachers to explore what bilingualism and multilingualism look like in IB education and the role of the mother tongue.
The IB education is grounded on the philosophy that international mindedness is enhanced through multilingualism. All IB learners are provided opportunities to learn another language as communicating in more than one language helps students develop an appreciation for language, culture, intercultural understanding, and respect.
The first session allowed the teachers to explore the significance of knowing students’ language profiles to understand better what language knowledge and resources students bring in the classroom. The team also reviewed the theories that influenced language learning, reflected, and made connections to their current practices in the classroom. The teachers engaged in collaborative work to identify challenges, best practices, and areas they consider changing as they reflect on their current practices.
The second day was focused on exploring the conceptual framework of language and learning in the PYP context. For the session, the teachers engaged in a jigsaw reading about the three domains of language learning: learning language, learning through language, and learning about language. The final task was to produce a product demonstrating an understanding of the different domains of language learning.
Some of the highlights of the workshop are connecting to the elements of the PYP, such as the learner profile attributes, approaches to learning, agency, standards and practices, and their role in language development. It was beneficial to review the IB documents related to language learning and the use of translanguaging approaches in supporting our English Language Learners. Currently, some of our teachers, with the PYP Coordinator, are doing a book study on translanguaging. The workshop provided valuable resources on translanguaging that we can use in the classroom. As we move forward, the team will engage in reflection to focus on the take aways and applying what we learned from the workshop.
International Baccalaureate Organization. (2019). What is IB education. https://www.ibo.org
Secondary Professional Development
Our two days of Professional Development were significant and productive. The workshop leaders displayed the qualities of the IB profile by focusing on collaboration, critical thinking, and reflection. They are true leaders who provide teachers with the tools for self-development. I hope our teachers feel empowered to advance in their profession and apply all that was shared in their teaching. Below are the comments from our DP Coordinator, Shameek Ghosh( who was also our workshop leader) and MYP Coordinator -Emma Yang.
We look forward to further professional development in the next semester.
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Maria Zialcita (PYP Coordinator and Head of All Staff Wellbeing)
Jaimala Quinlan (Secondary Principal)