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The Centrality of Language Skills in Effective Learning (CLEL)
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context/background: Avonbourne College is an 11-18 girls school, with a mixed 16-18 sixth form, 1220 students on roll with 183 staff (92 teachers) . Students from the college are generally drawn from a locality which has a poor socio-economic background with consequent limited linguistic facility and their opportunities to travel to or even communicate with students from within Europe are certainly hindered by this. Many of our students lack the necessary language skills in their own language to deal effectively with content learning and even when English is the mother tongue, the language of the home and the playground are often inadequate for learning. Modern Foreign Languages teaching has been highlighted as a priority within our School Development Plan. The focus for this includes curriculum (teaching, teaching methods and learning), innovation, independent learning and improving students' performance in the UK Baccalaureate. Objectives of the project: The project will allow us to further the aims our Development Plan which has a considerable focus on globalization, internationalism and sensitivity towards foreign cultures and languages. We aim to bring the centrality of language skills in effective learning into the consciousness of all staff across the school. The competences acquired by participating staff will enable them to be more sensitive to migrant students ,all students learning a foreign language, and native speaker students from the our catchment area. We wish to use the successful experience of CLIL teaching in our EAL department to develop CLIL in mainstream teaching to native speakers. This project will increase not only teaching staff personal competences, skills and sensitivities, but will impact upon our students' foreign and native linguistic competences and cultural sensitivity to diversity. Number and profile of applicants: 32 staff in total across the whole school with a range of teaching experience and responsibilities but to include Subject Teachers, Language Teachers, Assistant Teachers, Pastoral Heads, Middle Academic Leaders, Senior Teachers and school Academic Management (including the Executive Head Teacher) and a School Trustee who collectively have the capability and means to disseminate results and affect wider change within the school and beyond. Activities/Methodology used in carrying out the project: Training/Activities will vary according to the Development Plan and the participants' training needs, but will come from this list: Intensive Language learning, Methodology of Teaching French or Spanish as a Foreign Language, Language & Methodology, Language and Culture, Bi-Component Courses including school attachment, three-Day Study visit for senior school leaders and European Programme Coordinators or staff involved in Erasmus+ activities, Spanish for Business, Spanish Language and Flamenco, Spanish Language and Salsa, Spanish Language and Cookery. Anticipated results: Students' conception of the importance of speaking another language is heightened, their achievements in language qualifications increase and their understanding and awareness of cultural diversity improves. Migrant students have access to CLIL based materials resulting in better outcomes. Teachers' other language competences increase, their confidence in using the spoken word in the target language improves, their ability to deliver CLIL based curricula and schemes of work increases and their ability to participate in International learning is enabled. Project Results will help to overcome linguistic problems encountered by native speakers in subject learning. Impact envisaged/Long term benefits: Impact on the school: Awareness of the need to speak another language for educational, cultural and employment purposes will have a positive impact on the school's ethos, a greater uptake of second language learning and of cultural exchange visits. Vocational choices will drive a demand outside of school into the wider community. More awareness in our parent community will enable a positive outlook which impacts on curriculum choice. The importance of language learning for inclusive International learning, liaison and cooperation will permeate the work that already takes place. International projects that are impeded by mono linguistic dialogue should benefit and the opportunities to participate in further project work will be enhanced. For the school community, it will impress the concept that to be an 'International School' is to be inclusive, participatory and to embrace cultural and linguistic diversity Wider school community: Work with Primary Feeder Fchools developing language learning from Early Years. Adoption of a CLIL based approach for the growing migrant community. Offering an extension of English for families, offering the target language to families. Engagement with local business to impress the importance of linguistic agility for business and industry.
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