HSV International School: Where languages are superpowers!
For one week each year in February, there is quiet buzz among the staff, parents and children at all four locations of HSV International School, as a celebration starts that everyone is invited to! Every February, HSV acknowledges the UNESCO Mother Language Day with a week of activities that highlight the diversity of languages in its schools.
HSV International School: Language activities
Each HSV location has its own language lab and all the activities are run by the specialist EAL (English as an Additional Language) team. During the week, children are encouraged to share their own home languages and try out various hands-on language activities including braille, sign language and semaphores (visual signing).
Parents are invited to participate and even lead activities. For example, parents can demonstrate how to write in other scripts or read stories in their native language(s). At HSV International School, celebrating the diversity of the pupil body is a continuous focus, and this week is just one way in which the differences that unite us are supported and celebrated.
English as an Additional Language (EAL) at HSV
Finding the right school is a significant decision that families face when relocating to another country. An additional consideration for many families is ensuring that their child is supported - particularly if they are new to English - whilst still finding an environment where the development of their home language is encouraged.
There are over 65 languages spoken within the school body at HSV International School. Children have the familiarity of their native tongue as the foundation from which to develop a curiosity of other languages. Further, as the curriculum is taught in English, students of all abilities are supported in developing their English language skills in a variety of ways.
How does HSV support EAL children?
Learning another language takes time, energy and motivation. At HSV International School, learning English is supported by strategies such as being paired up with a language buddy, sourcing texts in multiple languages wherever possible, or providing verbal translations. HSV also supports their EAL children using the following strategies:
- Adopting translation technology in the classroom
- Having multilingual signage in school and on displays
- Providing small group lessons with the class teacher, as well as with specialist EAL teachers
Research shows that a child's ability to achieve in English can be dependent on their literacy in their own mother tongue. HSV International School encourages parents to help children by continuing the development of their own language(s) at home. This message is reinforced at the start of each academic year, when families are invited to join the EAL team coordinator at HSV for a webinar on raising bilingual or multilingual children.
In school, language lunches allow children, parents and teachers who share a common language to eat and chat together in said language. Activities like these ensure that learning is kept fun and engaging for the children.
In addition, the HSV school libraries hold dedicated sections devoted to fiction and non-fiction books in a variety of languages, in addition to the main catalogue of English language books.
To ensure that all new children know that they are welcomed and valued by their school community, students in Years 3 to 6 are trained to be "Young Interpreters". They play a special role in welcoming new arrivals into their class, taking them on a school tour and ensuring they feel included in their environment.
HSV International School believes that all children have the right to be happy and successful at school and recognise that language should not be a barrier but a superpower!
Visit HSV International School!
With four locations situated in the centre of The Hague, the HSV International Primary School offers quality and affordable English language education for expat children from ages between the ages of four and 11.
For more information on HSV International School, contact them via their school website.