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Nascholing t.b.v. Engels in de onderbouw (kleuters) bij Pilgrims in Canterbury
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Vensterschool is a public primary school in Noordwolde, the Netherlands and is part of Comperio foundation. Comperio manages 30 public primary schools in the Stellingwerven, Friesland, the Netherlands. On the Vensterschool, about 250 children are educated by 22 staff members. The Vensterschool is a community school, collaborating with several institutes to provide children with additional support. As the school is located in a poor language-learning environment, it aims to involve children in as many language activities as possible. In order to prepare children for a globalized, technological world, English language lessons are an important part of the curriculum. In the upper grades (5 and 6), the textbook ‘Take It Easy’ is used as a guideline to teach children English as a second langauge. Further, children in grade 6 (aged 11-12) can attend extracurricular advanced lessons taught by retired teachers from secondary schools. On a project base, children in grades 4 and 5 (aged 9-11) are involved in preparatory English lesson activities. The Vensterschool would like to extend these preparatory English lesson activities to pre-K, K and grades 1, 2 and 3. In order to realize this, the professional development of the teachers is seen as an important pre-condition. Both candidates did an extracurricular course in English language teaching in primary education (in Dutch: Engels in het Basisonderwijs) during their Bachelor in Education. This course mainly focused on teaching English language in the upper grades of primary school. Back then, English lessons in Dutch primary schools were not common. The nominated teachers explicitly express the need for further professional development in teaching English in young children (aged 4-8). In order to do this, they want to do a course in ‘Methodology and language for kindergarten teachers’ in the Pilgrims teacher training institute. In 2014 they attended the national conference ‘Early English: a new horizon’. Further, they visit several schools that have experience in teaching English as a second language to young children. Afterwards, the nominated teachers will share their knowledge and experience with colleagues from Comperio foundation. Staff members of the Vensterschool believe that professional development is one of the key elements in implementing an approach to English language teaching in young children. Further, they believe that implementing English language teaching in pre-K, K and grades 1, 2 and 3 can improve children’s self-confidence, social skills and language skills.

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