Trinity Spirit

← Language Policy

Mrs Thistlethwaite was recently invited to speak at an International Baccalaureate conference in India. We were very proud of her representing Trinity Lutheran College in this way. Mrs Thistlethwaite’s presentation revolved around how we teach English and other languages at our school.

At Trinity Lutheran College, we recently reviewed and updated our language policy and have been working hard on bringing it to life in our school. We discovered that staff needed clarity on what the language policy is and what it means for them in practice.

An effective language policy is about the process of language learning and not the product. The IBO’s learner profile influences all that we do in our Junior School so it makes sense to be featured in all of our documentation. As a staff we developed statements to reflect how the learner profile assists us to enact the language policy.

Once the staff had clarity around our goals and vision through the development of our policy, we then looked at curriculum coherence and asked the following questions:

  • Do all our documents align?
  • Are we talking the same language across year levels and is our practice consistent?
  • Are our curriculum documents clear in the skills and concepts to be covered at each year level?

We also developed guidelines for the teaching of English and Literacy.

Pedagogy (the way we teach) is important for our staff to ensure our approach focuses on the child and how they learn English. Through our research we investigated and began our journey to implement the Daily 5 approach to Literacy learning. The two most important aspects of curriculum coherence are:

  • ensuring that the students develop the skills and support to set their own goals in reading and other aspects of Literacy/English learning
  • that they are developing independence in their learning

We then looked at our Japanese language program. Peel Sensei makes many links to the year level class programs and therefore there are many connections made between the learning of Japanese and the students’ learning in other areas, such as English.

Lastly, we made links to our community through parent involvement in supporting mother tongue languages. As part of our lunchtime club program, parents from various cultures volunteer their time to our clubs. Our students have enjoyed Hungarian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese clubs to date. We focus on a different culture each term and this is really popular with the students.

The teaching of English and other languages at Trinity Lutheran College provides a solid foundation for other learning and, under Mrs Thistlethwaite’s guidance, we have established language programs which cater for the needs of all learners in the Junior School.

Mrs Trudy Moala
Head of Campus, Early & Junior Years

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