Placing Students in the Correct Language Class

I created this document to help place students in the correct language class for their Diploma Programme.

The document includes advice on the following (as well as links to the relevant International Baccalaureate publications):

  • Information on Group 1 languages and the types of language learners they are applicable for.
  • Information on Group 2 languages and the types of language learners they are applicable for.
  • The language routes students can take.
  • Placing students into language classes.
  • Using International Baccalaureate language phases to place students.
  • Using the Common European Framework of Reference to place students.
  • Using placement tests to place students.
  • Using a Language Profile to place students.
  • Solutions to students whose language profile makes it impossible for them to do a language B acquisition course at SL or HL: Ab initio, Self-taught, English B / Bilingual Diploma.

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Indicator

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability. It is used around the world to describe learners’ language skills.

I created this document to support staff in understanding the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) that the English Department create for students. The indicators help teachers understand what students are capable of in each level.

This document can be used in conjunction with the MYP Language Acquisition Global Proficiency Table Indicator. Roughly speaking:

  • MYP phase 6 is C2 / C1 of CEFR
  • MYP phase 5 is B2 of CEFR
  • MYP phase 4 is B1 of CEFR
  • MYP phase 3 is A2 of CEFR
  • MYP phase 2 is A1 of CEFR
  • MYP phase 1 is Pre A1 of CEFR

I used the following website to create the document:

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MYP Language Acquisition Global Proficiency Table Indicator

As my school also has the Intenational Baccalaureate Middle Years (MYP) Programme, students are given an MYP exit language level for when they move into the Diploma Programme.

I created this document to help teachers understand what students in each English phase in the MYP are capable of, with the aim of helping them plan their lessons accordingly as the students start their DP course.

I created this document from page 25 of the MYP language acquisition guide, 2014, which states

"The purpose of the MYP language acquisition global proficiency table is to provide teachers with statements indicating the competencies expected of students in each phase of the MYP language acquisition subject group. The characteristics of a communicator in each phase of the course are described through a statement explaining what the student should be able to do by the end of the phase."

This document can be used in conjunction with the Common European References for Languages Indicator. Roughly speaking:

  • MYP phase 6 is C2 / C1 of CEFR
  • MYP phase 5 is B2 of CEFR
  • MYP phase 4 is B1 of CEFR
  • MYP phase 3 is A2 of CEFR
  • MYP phase 2 is A1 of CEFR
  • MYP phase 1 is Pre A1 of CEFR

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Teaching Strategies to support EAL / ESL Students in the Mainstream Classroom

Many classes in both International schools, Private schools and State schools will include students with a range of abilities in the English language.

In order to help teachers meet this challenge and differentiate classroom activities, I created the document below to support them in their teaching of English as an Additional Language (EAL) and English as a Second Language (ESL) students in the mainstream classroom.

The teaching strategies in the document are designed to be cross curricular and are able to be transferred across a wide range of subject areas and come from my experiences of teaching the Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme in the International Baccalaureate as well as Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 in England.

The document helps teachers in both the planning and delivery of lessons and shows eight different sets of classroom activities used to support EAL and ESL students in the mainstream classroom.

Each set of activities starts with an explanation of the techniques used, explaining how they can help second language learners.

The examples shown in this document can be transferred to a wide range of subjects and age groups and are not just for ESL students but as the techniques can also be used to support differentiation for students who require extra support.

I have used this document when I have worked with English Department to lead one of the language workshops highlighting the fact that every teacher is an English teacher.

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Student Language Profile

I work with the English department and students to create a student language profile for each student in the Diploma Programme.

The aim of the profile is to give all teachers an overview of the students` language level and history, as well as build up a picture of the students` use of English and other language outside of school.

The profile focuses on:

  • Year and grade of entering Tamagawa:
  • Year and grade of entering the IB (if different to above):
  • English phase when starting Tamagawa IB:
  • English phase at the end of year 10:
  • CEFR at the end of year 10
  • Final MYP IB and Tamagawa English class and grade:
  • DP language classes and level.
  • Year 10 final Cambridge English Exam
  • External English Language tests and results–type of test, level achieved, year taken.
  • Time spent abroad:
  • Previous education in the English language, overseas or in Japan:
  • Parents/guardians non-Japanese language proficiencies–include language spoken to each parent not including Japanese language.
  • Other languages studied apart from English or Japanese.
  • Language or learning concerns / issues in Japanese.
  • Other personal connections to foreign countries and/or languages.

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Language Learning in the DP

I created this document based on the IBO Publication `Learning in a language other than mother tongue in IB programmes 2008`. It summarises the main ideas of the publication, focusing on the philosophical underpinnings of language and learning and what differentiation looks like within the classroom.

I use the document to support staff in differentiating their lessons and resources in order to support students in the classroom whose mother tongue is not English.

The document states, and gives examples of four ways to differentiate for students who are second language English learners: activate prior understanding and build background knowledge, scaffold meaning, extend language and affirm identity.

I hold whole staff DP meetings where I ask teachers to bring examples of each way one, so staff from other subject areas can look at them, ask questions, and build the examples into their lessons. I also get staff to present on how they put each differentiation strategy into place in their subjects.

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