Language Perspective

Language which is our major means of thinking and communicating for the IYP, is fundamental to learning, underpinning and permeating the whole curriculum. It is not only learning language, but also learning about language. Through language and we should nurture an appreciation of the richness of language, including a love of literature. Traditionally language has been taught in a fragmented way, with separation of the strands within language and of language from other areas of the curriculum.

The IYP's approach to language seeks to lessen this fragmentation. While the four communication strands of listening, speaking, writing and reading can be observed separately, they are interrelated and interactive, with learning in one supporting learning in another. This is of particular relevance for international schools, where every teacher is a language teacher. The IYP considers language from the points of view of homeroom teachers, teachers of the language of instruction (often ESL), teachers of other languages (often the host country language) and teachers of mother tongue languages. The student profile identified applies to each student in every language taught, although the means and pace of teaching them may, and will, differ in different contexts.

Language does much more than promote cognitive growth: the IYP believes that mother tongue language development is crucial for maintaining cultural identity and emotional stability and that acquisition of more than one language enriches personal growth and helps facilitate international understanding. International schools have a special responsibility to recognize and support each and every aspect of language development.

Language in the IYP places increased emphasis on:

  1. Promoting integrated language development
  2. Language as a transdisciplinary element throughout the curriculum
  3. Additional-language teachers viewed (and viewing) themselves as IYP teachers
  4. A literature based approach to learning language
  5. A teaching approach that see making mistakes in language as inevitable and necessary for learning
  6. Reading for meaning
  7. Reading materials selected according to interest level
  8. Encourage the reading of world classics
  9. Making culturally diverse reading material available
  10. Focusing on meaning when reading and writing
  11. Encouraging appropriate cooperative discussion in the classroom
  12. Student engaged in spontaneous writing
  13. A variety of scaffolding experiences
  14. Writing as process
  15. Developing a range of independent spelling strategies
  16. Nurturing an appreciation of the richness of language
  17. Literature as a means of understanding and exploring
  18. Teaching students to read and research using multimedia resources
  19. Using language for creative problem solving and information processing
  20. A range of appropriate assessment methods such as portfolios, conferencing, miscue analysis, writing sample analysis and response journals. 


Social Studies Perspective

Social studies is viewed by the IYP as the study of people in relation to their past, their geographical surroundings and their society. Social studies help students to develop their personal, family, ethnic and cultural identities; to make informed and reasoned decisions about their classroom, the school and the world; and to understand themselves in relation to the past, the environment and society.

It teaches tolerance of diversity, social diversity and diversity of ethnicity. It actively values all cultures and people. Emphasis is placed on the reduction of prejudice and discrimination within the classroom, the school and the world. Social studies in the international school goes beyond respecting and valuing people?s right to be different. It is grounded in a strong and unequivocal stand for universal human rights, justice and equality. If a difference occurs between the values of a specific culture and universal human rights, social studies in the international school leads students to value the universal, while respecting the perspective of the specific culture.

these disciplines have been grouped as follows:

History is the study of what it is important about the human past. Students need to develop an understanding of themselves and their society in relation to the past, its influences on the present and its implications for the future.

Geography is the study of the relationship between people and their created and natural environment. Students need to develop a sense of the physical reality of the world, where they are in it and the variety of human activities based upon natural resources and land formations.

Society is the study of people and their relationships. It draws on the disciplines of anthropology, economics, ethics, politics, psychology and sociology. Students need to develop an understanding of how human values shape social systems.

Social Studies in the IYP places increased emphasis on:

1. A coherent, articulated, school-wide program of inquiry, based upon significant and
relevant contents

  1. Using multiple sources and presenting multiple perspectives (global, social, cultural and ethnicity)
  2. Planning units of inquiry that lend themselves to transdisciplinary investigations across the areas of curriculum
  3. Planning units that build in local, multicultural and global dimensions

The pluralistic nature of communities within and among nations, and the relationships between local and global concerns and issues, are addressed through the study of the host society, the students? own cultures and the cultures of peoples not directly represented in the school?s community. When social studies in the international school asks: ?What history??, ?What geography?? and ?What social framework??, it leads a diverse student body to a wide understanding of humankind. Social studies examines human diversity and human commonalities, using the perspectives and experiences of the school?s families, staff and host society.

Social studies does all this best through a questioning approach in which students create their own knowledge and understanding. Students and teachers exploring, investigating and searching for answers together, develop historical, geographical and social concepts that are important in understanding today?s social world.

Social studies is an integrated area of inquiry. The unique perspectives of a number of disciplines contribute to our understanding of human activity. For the purpose of this curriculum

  1. Using a variety of primary social studies sources and documentation (people, artifacts, field trips, surveys and interviews) as well as sources such as media and technology.
  2. Factual information as a vehicle to conceptual development within its units of inquiry that focus on students constructing meaning, and expanding and deepening their knowledge and understanding of the world.
  3. Empowering students to be responsible and to take action in our world today.