We will take participants on a journey to understand the why, what, how we have developed our thinking and practices around linguistic diversity at Dover. The session will be interactive, and designed to explore how our languages and the linguistic landscape of our College connect to our mission.
We will also reflect on the roles that each of us can play in this process, whether we are students, teachers, parents or other members of the community around our learners.
Jill Kaplan: Good morning or good afternoon or good evening, depending on where you're joining us from. My name is Jill Kaplan. I'm the head of Development for United World College, Southeast Asia. And it's my privilege to welcome you to the UWCSEA Forum, the capstone event in our 50th anniversary year. We're so excited, so many of you joined us yesterday for the incredible presentations that we heard.
And this morning we heard from Faith in our keynote presentation and discussion with some incredibly dynamic students. And if you were unable to join us this morning or for any of the sessions yesterday or throughout today, they will all be recorded, including the session, and you can view them after the presentations. It is my honour to welcome you to this morning session, which is moving towards an inclusive linguistic community at UWCSEA.
And I think you're in store for a really fantastic presentation and I'm sure that lots of conversation will come out of it as well. And after we hear from Ellie and Pilar. A few housekeeping items before we start, as you can see, we're in a Zoom meeting and not a webinar, and so you'll be able to be seen on camera.
So please have your cameras on if you are able and if you want to show your faces. But we'd love to see. And please pop your questions into the chat. Everyone can see the questions in the chat and we will try to answer some of them during the course of the presentation. If we're unable to get to all of them, there will be a networking room, which is a virtual opportunity to connect after the session.
And I'll tell you more about how to join that networking room after the presentation concludes, and there will be a couple of polls So opportunity for interaction. And I think those are all of the housekeeping items I have for you. I will turn it over now to Ellie and Pilar to introduce themselves and get started with a session.
Thank you all for joining us.
Ellie Alchin: Thank you so much, Jill. And welcome, everybody, to our talk on moving towards an inclusive linguistic community at UWCSEA My name is Ellie Alchin. I'm the director of Teaching and Learning on the Dover campus.
Pilar Jiminez: And my name is Pilar Jiminez. I'm head of multilingualism at Dover campus as well. We're absolutely delighted to be here with you for the next 50 minutes to take you on our journey, we're going to tell you a story of our journey towards linguistic inclusion. And we're very, very excited about this journey. We're quite gushy about it, but we really looking forward to engaging with you on this. This topic. And we're going to start with a little poll in the chat, so I'd like you to just use the chat function to share some of the languages that you speak. Okay? Don't worry about how proficient you are. We just like to. See what you speak. And I'm just going to open the chat so we can see some of the. Things.
Ellie Alchin: Sorry, I can't actually see the chat.
Pilar Jiminez: Because I'm doing.
Ellie Alchin: Okay. So I'm wondering Jill if you could maybe tell us some of the things that people are saying in the chat because we can't see the chat on our screen right now.
Jill Kaplan: Yes, I'm seeing Dutch, English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Arabic. Um, let's see, what else am I seeing? Espanol.
Ellie Alchin: Yeah. So that's fantastic. Thank you. So, like our college, we are a multi lingual group here today and this is what people are not going to be talking to you about. We're going to start with a very short video just to hear from some of our students, because this is what it's all about, really. It's about our students and their linguistic identities.
And so in this very short video, just a couple of minutes, but we're going to hear from our students saying what their linguistic identities mean to them. So I hope you will enjoy this. I hope it's not too laggy and I'm going to play it now.
Which is a bit of a shame, but that's okay because we have plenty of other content that we're going to be able to talk to you about. So I'm just going to go onto our next slide just to share what it is that we're actually going to be talking about with you today. It's a shame that you couldn't hear all of those lovely comments, but essentially what they were talking about was just how much it means to them being able to speak their own mother tongues and develop their own mother tongues.
So what Pilar and I are going to talk to you about today is really two things. The first thing we want to talk about is how important language is as part of a UWCSEA education and the journey that we've been on in kind of understanding that and how we've been trying to move towards greater linguistic diversity at UWC and what that actually means for us in practice.
So we're going to talk about these things today. Now, how does this all kind of fit into the big picture? I think it was really, really interesting hearing Faith this morning, talking about the importance of strategic things and understanding when you're trying to decide what you should do, what are the most, you know, the high leverage things that will have the biggest impact?
And so one of the things we've been thinking about is where does linguistic diversity and inclusion fit in with the bigger picture of our strategy and what we're trying to do at SEA. Now, there are obvious places where we can see connections, and one of our key kind of strategy points is around making education a force. And we really think that if we want our students to have agency and to be agents of change, they really need to be able to understand themselves.
And I think our students this morning really spoke very powerfully about this, the importance of understanding our own cultural identity and, of course, our linguistic identity is very much a part of that identity. So it's clear that linguistic diversity and inclusion does fit in to that bit. But I think if we think a little bit more creatively, we can see how developing and appreciating our linguistic identity and and really creating a sense of belonging around it.
Also fits in with our other parts of our strategy. So, you know, how can we have a peaceful and sustainable future? How can we be a united community if we don't understand ourselves and understand each other? And this is a big part of where linguistic diversity fits. Also, our strength and capacity as an organisation. When we look at which students are applying to our college, there's been some really significant shifts in which students are applying to our college and so this kind of connects into that work there as well.
And Pilar will be talking a little bit more about this when she shares something of how our profile of our students has changed over time. So I'm going to move on now to share this wonderful quote from Verna Myers with you, which makes an interesting distinction between diversity and inclusion. We talk a lot about diversity, inclusion and equity at the college.
And Verna says diversity is being invited to the party, but inclusion is being asked to dance. And I think maybe sometimes we've had a tendency to focus on the diversity piece. It's about having as many different people in the building from different places. But actually, if we don't create an environment that is linguistically inclusive, then people will be at the party, but they won't necessarily be being asked to dance.
And we want our students to be able to dance as well as just be invited to the party. So where does equity fit into this? Well Verna Myers didn't include that in her quotation, but what we thought was that equity is like making sure the party's playlist works for everybody. And so that's been a big part of what we've been trying to do.
So I'm going to hand over to Pilar now, who's going to talk about quite an important concept related to this, which is language attrition.
Pilar Jiminez: So, so what happens when the students come and joins our community and is not able to continue learning his home language? Well, this is this is something we need to avoid because this is called subtractive bilingualism. So is the learning of another language takes away from the development of the first language and then begins to replace it. These can occur when individuals begin to assimilate into a dominant culture without continuing to grow or develop their first language.
Ellie Alchin: Thank you, Pilar. So we're going to talk about our journey now, because what we're really trying to do is prevent language attrition from happening. Okay. And we've got the metaphor of a of a big colored ball of wool. And we're going to follow the strand of wool to tell a little bit of the narrative of the journey that we and East as well have been on in moving towards becoming a more inclusive, linguistically inclusive community.
So the first kind of step to this really was to talk with some of our language leaders, and we did something called strategic visioning, which was basically we asked them, imagine five years from now, we did this about four years ago and we said, imagine five years from now, what sorts of things would you want our students to be feeling and saying and doing when it comes towards their linguistic diversity and some of the things that they said you can see on this slide.
So I'll just give you a minute to just have a quick read. This is what their aspirations were. So it was really pretty inspiring talking to the language teachers because they told us some quite sad stories, really of things that they had experienced. We are an English medium of instruction school, but we are a multilingual school. And yet what they were noticing is language teachers was that for some students they were embarrassed about their mother tongue.
They were speaking to parents who were trying to get their kids to be as good as they possibly could be. In English, we had parents who were reading to their children in English, even though their mother tongue was Japanese. And we had teachers who were perhaps in some cases I'm seeing being an English language learners being somehow a bit of a problem.
And actually what we wanted to do was, was move really shift towards a completely different approach to bilingualism, a more sort of positive approach that really recognized the the power and the importance of multilingualism. So how are we going to do this? Well, one of the first things we needed to do was understand the linguistic profile of our families.
We had some data, but we weren't really sure whether or not the data was accurate. So we did a big language survey for lots and lots of families. And Peter's going to share a little bit of the results with you now.
Pilar Jiminez: So what have we learned about the linguistic profiles of our students? Clearly, we found out that we are an English medium of instruction school, but having 58% of our students being bi multilingual, we are indeed a multilingual community. Then we found out 94 different languages are spoken at home by our Dover families. And we also know forgive missions that the profile of our students is definitely changing.
So at Dover, 288 families hope their children will be able to study in their homeland, which means they develop a cognitive academic language proficiency, which is called count in their home language 236 families said their priority for their children is to develop basic interpersonal communicative skills, which is called BICS in their home language, which means to be able to communicate with family and friends.
211 families said their priority is for their children to acquire a foreign language. In the past, what was more important was to develop English. But this survey showed us a new prospect. If from our multilingual families.
Ellie Alchin: So the next step for us was to take this data and to develop a language policy. And our language policy was a pretty powerful document. It was co-created by language teachers and leaders on both campuses, and it set out our philosophy of language learning, our aspirations, and perhaps most usefully, it helped us establish a glossary of terms that we use to talk about language learning.
And these are some of the terms that are there now. It's kind of ironic when we're talking about communication. There's so much jargon when it comes to learning language. And these are some of the terms that we agreed on definitions for, which is quite interesting. Now we've used the term mother tongue, but actually one interesting outcome of this was that we decided we weren't going to use the term mother tongue anymore.
And one of the reasons for that is because, of course, fathers talk to their children, too. And so the idea of mother tongue is that it suggests that the only way we learn languages as babies and infants is because our mothers speak to us. But we know that fathers are very important in language learning, too. So that's just one example of of how our thinking changed.
Another important shift that we moved away from the idea of talking about students as being ESL students. English is additional language learners and towards be ML, which is by and multi-lingual learners. So we talk about our students being females, BI and multilingual learners because we think that recognizes all the strengths that they bring when they join our community, being able to speak loads and loads of different languages.
So here's a little test for you, and I'm going to ask Jill to call out some of the answers because we can't see what you say. But here is a statement and we just want to see whether or not you were listening so far. So this is a little bit a formative assessment for you. Here's a statement. A student with BICS has a higher level of proficiency in a language than a student with kelp.
Is that true or is that false? So I'm going to invite you to put true or false in the chat. I'm going to ask Jill if you can just give us a little bit of an insight into what people are saying.
Jill Kaplan: I see a false. Any other perspectives?
Ellie Alchin: If you're not sure, we're just going to ask you to guess because then you focus.
Pilar Jiminez: It in the a just the.
Jill Kaplan: One true and two falses is so far. Remind us what they stand for a question about.
Ellie Alchin: Well, yes.
Pilar Jiminez: So this is the question so BICS basic interpersonal communicative skills. So is the the language used to communicate with the other speakers. Whereas CALP is the cognitive academic language proficiency, so is the language you use to to do abstract thinking and to process knowledge, obviously, in the academic environment.
Ellie Alchin: So with those definitions, you can see what the answer is. And the actually the answer is false. And this is the reason we put this here is because this is a very common misconception in our community around language, which is that, you know, you may have a child at home and your child is able to converse at the dinner table and chat about, you know, what happened in their day, in their home language.
And a lot of people think, well, my child is fluent. You know, they've developed their language. It's completely fine. They're fluent in Korean. But of course, what that child is demonstrating at the dinner table conversation is strong BICS skills, but not necessarily strong cow skills. And given that the aspirations of many of our parents and students are rightly, that their children will be able to engage with others in their home language at a very high level and possibly study in their home language and engage with the literature of their culture and so on.
Have sophisticated conversations as they grow up. It's very, very important that our children also develop camp proficiency as well as proficiency. And that's one of the things that we really pay attention to at school, how we can support the academic language proficiency of our students and not just their basic communicative, communicative skills. So it's really, really important understanding this language.
And that's why in our language survey and our language policy, sorry, it was really important that we were clear and that we share with all teachers these important concepts like the difference between mix and count. So the next thing that we did was we realised that we needed to learn a lot more about this area. We have a lot of in-house expertise, but we also are an organisation that wants to look outwards.
And so we hired a language consultant, a lady called Yo in Chris Field, who is a real leader in the field. She came and worked with us. She ran professional development with our teachers and it was pretty inspiring. One of the challenges she asked in one of the parent presentations that she did when she was with us was this really provocative question.
And so this is another question where we want to ask you what is your hunch? What is your gut feeling about who is most responsible for developing a child's home language? So I'm going to ask you to put your responses in the chat. I'm going to ask Jill once again. Thank you, Jill, to share some of your responses with us.
Pilar Jiminez: Yeah.
Jill Kaplan: I see parents. Parents, parents and extended family.
Pilar Jiminez: Times and expand the.
Jill Kaplan: Whole learning community, including families.
Speaker 4: Mm.
Pilar Jiminez: Good families are included in the learning.
Jill Kaplan: Parents and home family, parents and.
Pilar Jiminez: School.
Ellie Alchin: So it was very interesting, what a very enlightened bunch you are because when you input this question to a huge roomful of parents, most of the responses were the school, the language, teachers, the child and in fact what what yo and was really challenging us to do was to recognize the importance of parents in the development of a child's home language.
It's not like math as as a as a mom or a dad. You're not responsible for developing your child's numeracy. But when it comes to the home language, you really are the prime person. If you're not supporting your child's home language at home, then language attrition is is pretty much inevitable. So that's not to say it's all on you.
So one of the things that I think is very, very important for us more than in almost any other aspect of your child's learning, if you're a parent sitting out there listening to this now, is that the relationship with parents is absolutely crucial. Parents as partners when it comes to learning how language and developing a child's home language.
So that was some learning that we got from the consultant. Now we also developed some other sort of areas of our thinking. We recognize that actually language learning happens across the curriculum. A lot of people in other misconception is that the people who are responsible for developing language are the language teachers. And in fact, we now know that in fact, the people responsible for language learning is actually all teachers.
And we've looked at a lot of ways in which we can support this. One of the things that we've done is support something called trans language in professional learning. And trans language is a really cool thing about trans languages, basically, where you encourage your bi and multilingual learners to use their home and their first dominant language to support their learning in English within the classroom.
And one of the ways in which we do that is in primary school, especially with the very earliest learners in K1 and K2, we ensure that students, wherever possible, have a language buddy in the class with them. And again, there are some misconceptions about this. A lot of people think, Oh, it's so that they can help learn English.
It's not actually the reason why if your child is a Hindi speaker, we will make sure there is another Hindi speaker in the class with them. It's because we want to maintain and develop and support their Hindi language learning and language bodies is is one way that we do that. But a lot of people think that it's just within the primary.
And I'm going to show you an example of trans language ing that comes from the high school. So this was an example shared by Dan or who's our head of high school geography. And Dan shared an example of what he did after this trans language transmitting training that he basically got three Chinese speaking grade 12 students in his class who were doing research to research their topic using both Chinese and English sources, two of them presented in English, one of them presented in Chinese.
They had English text on the slides because the audience were not all Chinese speakers. Students who did do IB Chinese as a second language were asking questions in Chinese, and they replied in both Chinese and English. And then at the end they wrapped up with a discussion of the main learning points in English. Now you can see how this sort of approach really will deepen the conceptual learning of the Chinese learners in the class, both the ones who are learning Chinese as a first language, but also the ones who are taking it as the foreign language.
And in fact, we know that all students benefit from learning in multilingual classrooms. Even the non-Chinese speakers. Their understanding of their own linguistic identity is enhanced by being exposed to the linguistic identities of other students in their classes. So trans language is something that we're really promoting and using extensively throughout the school map. So the next thing I wanted to talk about was something called linguistic landscaping.
And this was something else that you and Chris Field spoke to us about. It's the idea that we need visible representations of the multilingualism in our community to be present on our campuses. And this has happened on both East and Dover. We've put a lot of effort and time into increasing the exposure to the visible signs of different languages on our campus.
This is one example from the Dover Primary School, which is a banner beautifully designed by one of our Grade nine students. It is the word for play in lots and lots of different languages. Now there's deep symbolism in a choice of colours and all sorts of things like that. But this was an initiative that was started by our primary school student council who said we want the word for play in lots of different languages, and then taken up by one of the art groups in our high school.
And then this was the result. Another example is our Rainbow Steps, which was another student initiative, student who's now in grade 12, just graduating, wanted to enhance the steps going up to our library using LGBTQ quotes, and we put them in the original language of the people who said them. So not only do our LGBTQ students feel a great sense of belonging and ownership whenever they walk past these steps, but the fact that students can walk up them and see inspiring quotes about inclusion written in Arabic, German and French is really good from a linguistic landscaping point of view as well.
So the key thing here is showing everyone in our community that we value the fact that we are a multilingual community and we may be English medium of instruction, but that actually we see our multilingualism as a strength. Okay, so another practical way in which we developed this was through something called language maps and peel. I was going to talk a little bit about what those are, and here's the slide for that.
Pilar Jiminez: Okay. So we have the complexity of the multilingual community. And this is quite big on not everybody who is not an expert in languages understands what is one of the different options. So it was very important to establish this language maps and make them available to the rest of the community. So we we early and I designed these including the first languages, the foreign languages, the home languages.
And we, we created if we run a few workshops with the heads of grade as well, so that they could better advise the families of the different language pathways available in our school. And this is a very important aspect of of the education of a child in our school to know what is going to be the language pathway across the the education.
Ellie Alchin: Yes.
Pilar Jiminez: And after that, I am going to discuss a little bit I mentioned a little bit about this expansion of the Home Languages programme. So the Home Languages programme is a programme that was designed it started in 2017 and it was and after this, it is an after school programme for students who want to maintain a languages spoken at home, but do not study this language as part of their academic curriculum.
The most important aspects of our Home Languages programme are that lessons are personalised. To address the wide range of language needs of the students, classes have to be very small to be able to do this successfully. Teachers follow a responsive approach to design the curriculum rather than a prescriptive curriculum. The Home Languages programme has a very inclusive approach, so even heritage language learners, so these these are the students who want to learn the language of a parent, a grandparent or an ancestors, but they don't speak the language unfortunate early.
So even these students are welcome to join the Our Home Languages programme. So the the inclusion is is based on their relationship with the language rather than with the linguistic level. So normally when I want to clarify that we don't place heritage language learners together with home language learners. And in 2017 we started the programme with three languages, but in 2022, now we have 15 languages.
And then from nine teachers we became a department of 28 teachers and from 45 students we now have 280 students enrolled in our programme. And this graphic shows that there is a great demand of home languages among primary school students. As you can see, perhaps because Chinese is the only four, the only first language we offer in the curriculum in addition to English.
So having the Home Languages programme is a crucial is crucial at this stage of the way students, language development students need as much support support as possible to keep the by multilingual, multilingual learner profile. So as you can see in the graph that from grade six seven onwards that are more first language is available in their curriculum and that's why the students typically exit their Home Languages programme and join the first languages curriculum programme.
And our Home Languages programme is a tries while includes a cultural approach in the language development. So as students enjoy numerous opportunities to explore and reflect upon their cultural identities, we try to to have a wide variety of perspectives, not just the linguistic, although obviously the students consolidate the literacy skills.
Ellie Alchin: Thanks, Pilar. So Pino is talking about the difference between languages that we can offer in the curriculum and outside of the curriculum. And one of the reasons why fewer students do the Home Languages programme in nine and ten is because we offer a first language course. Now on Dover. We're very, very excited about our first language course. It is basically a programme we used to in the past offer GCSE first language, but then Cambridge decided to not offer that anymore and at first we thought, Oh no.
And then we thought, Oh great. Because what it meant was we could write our own course and what we've done. And I think fate would be very pleased with us and say would be because actually our course is really all about developing mission competency. So we've written units around sustainability and around peace and around linguistic identity. And we basically this was written by all the first language teachers and then it is offered in different first languages.
So we have it's offered in Dutch, in German, in French, in Korean and Japanese. And it's a chance for students to explore the UWC values and mission, but from the perspective of their own linguistic identity. So it's incredibly exciting and yeah, we're really, really proud of that course. Here's an example. This won't mean anything to you unless you speak German, in fact.
But what this shows is that it's the same course. But Wolfgang wrote this, this kind of blurb, and this is just part of a much bigger document so that German families can see what this course means for their for their children. So moving on, another thing that Joe and Chris Field stressed to us was the importance of leadership.
And, in fact, faith talked about the importance of leadership, too. And I'm absolutely delighted to say that one of our biggest achievements was really to secure the role of a head of multilingualism, which is what pillar is next to me. She's very humble about it, but actually it's fantastic to have someone leading multilingualism. And I've had people writing to me asking about the role and can they see the job description because they want to start having heads of multilingualism in their own schools, which is really, really exciting.
So there are other kind of parts of our community where this is really important, and I would like to talk a little bit about families now. So one of the things that we did in our language survey was we asked families about their linguistic needs. So we know that we have a lot of parents in our community for whom English is not their first language and in some cases they find it quite difficult to access information from the school.
So one of the things we wanted to do was set up a system which we have now done to make it easier for us to arrange translators and interpreters and to translate a lot of our key communications into different languages for people. So some examples of things that we do for this and in fact, I'm going to slip onto the next slide here because I think this is perhaps more helpful, is we have, for example, open days now that are in specific languages.
So we have, for example, an open day that was run for a Japanese families. And just in Japanese we have translators that now come to our parents evenings so that if you know a Chinese family, for example, who need some support with understanding what's being said about their child, can have a translator and so on. So there are some nice little examples here.
We've got intercultural competence workshops for Korean families and so on. These are all coming from our E brief and this clip was a clip from our Japanese presentation for for open. It was virtual open day because it was during the pandemic. And our absolutely amazing Japanese teacher, Reiko, who is in the corner there translating the whole thing live.
And it was incredibly well received by our Japanese community. And what was interesting here was the numbers. So normally at our open days, you know, we have a small smattering of Japanese families who attend those, even though the Japanese community are very interested in our education. When we offered it in Japanese, the numbers soared. Hundreds and hundreds of families attending, which just shows that we were really meeting a demand that we perhaps hadn't been meeting in the past.
So that was another thing that we were doing, sharing our progress with the community, telling our stories as faith talks about it was a very big part of this journey and we're very, very grateful to people like Kate Woodford, for example, in comms, who's really supported us with doing this. We have lots of examples of articles, for example, on their website and stories in junior articles that really tell and share with our community what are why we've been on the journey that we have been on, not just what we're doing, but why we're doing it.
Another significant landmark was the adoption of the CFA proficiency scale. Now for those of you who are language linked, you all know what this is. But it's the common European framework and it's a way of describing proficiency levels. Now, it was originally developed for European languages, but we also use it for Asian languages. We work with our Asian language departments to explore what that would look like.
And by adopting one common proficiency scale, it meant that we as a community could talk to each other about the level of students proficiency and some of the things that we've we've done with that. Well, this is a little graphic that just shows you. So when we do the language surveys, we ask parents for input, but we also ask the language teachers to talk about what levels are the students are at so that we can track progress and understand, you know, how we're doing and how students are doing.
So a big part of this was doing a big survey using a tool called Track Test, which tested measured English language proficiency and understanding what the safer scales were for our students in terms of their English language proficiency so that we can track that and support that. And that's been very powerful. We've done that on Dover with all our grade sevens, our grade nines and our grade levels.
And we now have much richer data about the linguistic profiles of our students. How do we communicate that information? Well, we developed on our common kind of information system for students, something called the Linguistic Profile Tab or the language tab, as we call it. And what that means, it's still sort of in the trial phase. But what it means is that when you click on your child or on a student on their linguistic profile, you will eventually, as we're populating it with data now, you will eventually get all this rich data about a child's linguistic profile.
So you can see that for this child who happens to be an Australian Japanese student, we can see the information and the surface scale for this child's three languages English, which is their dominant language, Japanese, which is their home language, their second language, and Mandarin, which they're taking as a foreign language. And the track test, for example, provides us with radar charts.
That's this little graphic on the side here that tells us where their strengths and areas for growth are. And this information, you know, there's lots of additional information to support teachers in all understanding that they're responsible for developing the the linguistic profile of the student. And in fact, our aspiration for all of our students is that they will become bilingual.
And I think, again, that's another misconception. A lot of people think that it's just about maintaining, you know, those children who are lucky enough to be born speaking the language other than English, are they they're the ones that get to be bilingual. But in fact, all of our students, when they learn a foreign language, we're also moving towards bilingualism for them as well.
Okay. So moving sort of on with this. We did mention that our language survey showed that the profile of students who are applying to college changing one of the most significant changes is that we have increasing numbers of English as an additional language learners who are applying to come to our college. And so a big part of the more recent work has been reviewing what that process looks like for those students so that they feel valued and welcomed in our community.
And some big changes are afoot there, which is very exciting to support our teachers. We mentioned the trans language appeal. More recent professional development that we've been doing is lots and lots of teachers from K to 12 have been doing a major course called BI and multilingual learners from the Inside Out, which is an online course involving shared discussion.
And again, very, very exciting work that's really leading to changes in how people are teaching in the classroom and and feeling much more positive and asset based in terms of how they approach the needs of their students in their classes. So really, really exciting work and including, of course, more parent workshops which are being scheduled both online and now.
Thankfully with the new rules, hopefully face to face. So I'm going to hand over for the final little bit to Pilar, who is going to talk a little bit about just very briefly about why we're doing this. And I invited Pilar to speak in her first language, which is Spanish, and I'm going to do probably a fairly botch job of trying to translate as we go.
So, Pilar, are you going to go paragraph by paragraph? I'm going to translate as you go. So we'll just finish off with this. And then if you can maybe have your questions at the ready, we will have time for some questions at the end.
Pilar Jiminez: Thank you, Alex. So I'm going to speak in Spanish. Cuando el mundo. Nevertheless, to this day, as the article of Torpor can be asked to model linguistically or not, education, mass, multilingual, important, mass, inclusive to the near opposite of the strategies to the end this multi linguistic opportunity that is similarities and as they lie majority at linguistic and global and yeah.
Ellie Alchin: So what you just said was that when we were trying to move from a linguistic model to a new linguistic model and become more multilingual and therefore more inclusive, we were really trying to provide our multilingual students with similar opportunities to the ones that the English speaking majority were getting within.
Pilar Jiminez: So nice try. Revision. No where they feel I'm the racist economicus politicus or the marketing it almost constant this decay in las ultimas décadas muchos canarias internationale is the procedure a system contain the for modelos educative must be linguist gear for the impossible, and that linguist must mandate that is common, and it's not yelling less.
Ellie Alchin: Yeah, so this is really pretty powerful. This is really about the why that we're doing this. And a lot of parents, it's interesting. They come and they say, why can't we have a a more sort of inclusive bilingual programme that's sort of immersive Chinese and English? And what I was just saying there was clarifying that the reason why we did this was not really due to marketing or economic or political reasons.
You know, a lot of people say, well, you know, everybody needs to be able to speak Chinese, look at the world today. And it wasn't because we wanted to compete against other international schools that were offering immersive bilingual programmes. We're aware that in recent decades, many prestigious international schools are opting for these models, which offer immersive learning in popular languages such as Chinese and English.
But there's a reason why we don't do that here.
Pilar Jiminez: It's an embargo infrastructure. So let me see under collateral Mundo Nino for like a real mentality. I mean, not in normal linguistic screamers when I educate young people only on their nationalist pueblos, equal to us is fundamental. Closest to the end. There's nothing on Koreans yet as appropriate, empty that cultural and linguistic as it was in college here and one don't either.
So there's this article so they can that education is truly gaining less common language, not a lack closest to the undisputed and mundane in e this area yet Sweden dwindling egoistic in media that in a perceived.
Ellie Alchin: Yeah so in our case it was actually our mission that was the reason why we wanted to have a new linguistic model. If we want an education that works to unite nations, peoples and cultures, it's essential that students don't give up their own cultural or linguistic identity. Unlike many other schools that have a bilingual programme, we have 94 different languages spoken at.
UWC So if we only went for a bilingual programme, that wouldn't meet the needs of huge numbers of our students, and we don't want our students to give up their cultural linguistic identity. So for this reason, we have an education that is instructed or is provided in English, but also one that enables them to maintain and develop their linguistic identity as far as.
Pilar Jiminez: Possible as he pardon me not but I would need on a phoenix pueblo is equal to does that mean that can recycle money that it's here linguistic I'm in the inclusive.
Ellie Alchin: Yeah thank you. So she said to sum up to unite nations peoples and cultures. It's essential that our community is linguistically inclusive.
Pilar Jiminez: We say thank you.
Ellie Alchin: Okay, so I'm going to stop sharing now and I'm hoping that you're.
Pilar Jiminez: All still there if you haven't been able to see the screen.
Ellie Alchin: Okay, so I can see if I see. So please do feel free to switch on your screen so we don't just see lots of little names and we're very happy to take some questions now, I'm just wondering, Jill, if you've got them in the chat, we can now see which is good idea.
Jill Kaplan: You can see the chat. And so there's a question from Florian who's asking who are the teachers for these, which I'm assuming you mean for the home language programme? Now, if I had to pay them all. And then the second part of that question is whether the home language programme is supporting home language is connected in any way with our self taught courses in the.
Pilar Jiminez: So can you say that again.
Ellie Alchin: Is how is it is it connected? How is it connected to self.
Pilar Jiminez: To how we say to be connected to several so self taught is offered in the I.B. diploma for for those students who want to do language a they that is language literature and language and literature. So the Home Languages programme is for the students who are not at the Ivy level yet and they are not able to take to learn that or develop their first language in the curriculum.
That's why this is offered after school and regarding the teachers. So the teachers are although I shouldn't say native speakers because now that terminology is no longer acceptable or popular in Singapore, but of course that they speak that language proficient at the proficient level. And so they are teachers. And so we we recruit them. And it's actually that's very, very challenging because it's not always possible.
But we have been kind of blessed so far, despite the challenges of the the Singapore changes towards recruitment of foreigners. But we are still okay.
Ellie Alchin: Yeah. And I think one of the reasons why a lot of people want work at the Dover and East campuses in our home languages programmes, it's because they get a lot of professional support, professional development and growth, and they get to be part of really quite an exciting programme. So I would just add to that which the way I see languages is the Home Languages programme is a way of kind of bridging students learning of their home language from, you know, within the family, supporting the development of BICS and kelp language proficiency.
And then hopefully they come into first language courses, either the self taught in 910 or the first language course I mentioned. And then in those classes we really help to prepare them for taking their first language at the IB level. And of course we do self-taught when we don't have a big enough cohort of a language to justify a whole class.
The IB also recognizes the value of maintaining first language, and so it's developed a structure that allows that to work.
Pilar Jiminez: So thank you.
Jill Kaplan: Thank you both and thank you for the question. The next question comes from James, and he's asking, what tool do you use to evaluate proficiency in so many different languages?
Ellie Alchin: Oh, we use well, I think it's fair to say we use teacher expertize. I think it is a holistic judgment. Very much so. We do have I mean, obviously there are, you know, tests that you can use. And I mentioned a track test as being, you know, one tool that we can use to begin to assess language proficiency for English, for example.
And we have similar tools for the other languages. But really, we trust we trust our language teachers and of course, proficiency. There's proficiency in different aspects. So there can be proficient in in writing or in listening, but less so perhaps in talking or, you know, whatever and speaking and so on. So we recognize that there are different aspects of language learning and different contexts in which students will feel, you know, proficient.
So they may be very proficient when it comes to because communicating with their friends and so on, they may be less proficient when it comes to the proficiency and so on. So yeah, but we trust our teachers. We, we hire amazing master teachers and then we listen to them.
Jill Kaplan: Thank you so much. The next question is from Catherine and she's asking whether the journey was similar across the campuses or did it look different on East than it did under or than it was on isolate?
Ellie Alchin: So I think we have a lovely analogy that me and the director of Teaching Learning on the East Campus, Carla marshall we use quite a lot, which is if you imagine a like a cycling race where you have people racing in teams and at certain times different cyclists will go ahead and others will be in the slipstream and then they'll take it in turns and other times they will will swap ahead.
So I think there are lots of examples from the Dover campus where I think we've been ahead. So we we, you know, hired, you know, in Chris Fields, we brought her out loads of the teachers from East came and joined the team. I think in terms of the community language programme at east is, is, is way ahead of us.
They are doing amazing things in the community with increasing access to foreign languages for their community. They broadening the range of different languages that students can teach as we can take in primary school. So the wonderful thing is we're a team and so there will be similar things, but we will be slipstreaming and learning from each other all, all the way through.
So there are lots of examples of things that are happening. The language policy is very much common to the two campuses. The leadership on the East campus in this realm has been in place. They've had people in leadership roles on this for long, much longer than we have on Dover. So, yeah, I would say it's it's very much it's a case of moving in the same direction.
Sometimes we're ahead, sometimes east is ahead.
Jill Kaplan: Excellent. We have time for a couple more questions. What percentage of your students this is from Alexandra, you mean other and what percentage of your students are choosing a bilingual I.B. on each campus? How is it involved since 2017 when she says Think many thanks for sharing your great Jen.
Pilar Jiminez: Oh, I feel.
Ellie Alchin: Like I should have the numbers.
Pilar Jiminez: On my.
Ellie Alchin: Two hands. I know it does go up and down with different years, I think. Do you know the numbers.
Pilar Jiminez: Off the top of your head? I'm not not by heart. Not by the numbers.
Ellie Alchin: So to get a bilingual diploma, you have to be taking language A for English and your own language or your first language. But and lots of our students do do that. Interestingly, we have quite a lot of our national committee scholars when they come here, and we're all hoping that they will go for bilingual diplomas and develop their that their first language.
And in many cases, what they want to do is they wanting to stretch themselves as much as they possibly can and they're wanting to develop a new language as well, which means that they leave us trilingual, but they don't necessarily have a bilingual diploma. So it is an interesting metric and I would say I would quite like it statistically if we had more students with bilingual diplomas.
We don't have perhaps as many as some of the other UWCSEA. But that's often because our students are wanting to take a new languages and Spanish and that sort of thing.
Pilar Jiminez: But currently I think there is a trend that this thing students are feeling more encouraged and confident to go ahead with their bilingual diploma. So in the we are also discussing ways to encourage students to do the extended essay in their in their first language. Yes.
Ellie Alchin: And also, we're exploring having to. Okay. And offering to K being taught in different languages, which also is another way that you can.
Pilar Jiminez: There you go. Thank you very.
Ellie Alchin: Much, Sara. And our wonderful boss has just walked in and given us the numbers, but I'm looking at it now. Can you see what the numbers on. So yeah, so this.
Pilar Jiminez: These is the I b okay. What route.
Ellie Alchin: We're looking. It's obviously on here. Otherwise it's bilingual. So yes. So it's worldwide, it's about 26%. And at UWC it's about 23%. So we're just slightly below the worldwide average for that. But expecting that to increase as we offer things like so if you do okay in, your first language, that also will secure you a bilingual diploma as well.
Pilar Jiminez: So a total of 429 students were awarded a bilingual diploma last year. Yeah, that's right. Yeah.
Jill Kaplan: Very interesting. Thank you both. And power of technology that someone sees you and can bring you an answer so quickly. But let's talk about one last question, which I think is is interesting from Isabelle. Some students have a difficult time actually determining their home linguistic identity. Do you have do you provide any support or opportunity for students to explore?
Pilar Jiminez: I think I have lots of discussions with the our buying multilingual families. And in those discussions, I always ask the parents, okay, so at home, which is the language you use when you are discussing everyday matters and, and sometimes the parents come thinking this is the dominant language of my child. And throughout the discussion they see new perspectives.
And so it's very interesting. There isn't actually, because like what I said, there isn't a language assessment. So beside what is the linguistic profile of a child, it's also we need to include the patterns in the discussion and as well as the teachers and the child and the students in Spain.
Ellie Alchin: So yeah, and I think that idea of including the student in that conversation is, is fundamental. So one of the things we we do is we celebrate something called Mother Tongue Day and we it's called Mother Tongue because it's an international movement. And one of the activities that we did last year was we all students to write about and reflect upon and write about and share their own stories of their linguistic identities.
And there was some really incredibly moving anecdotes. For example, one particular student I remember reading one article about a student who talked about Hindi and what being a Hindi speaker means for her and how she she really felt that, you know, not being able to communicate effectively with her grandparents was a deep source of sadness for her. And so she made a sort of personal pledge to develop her Hindi and she was joining the home languages which she had joined the Home Languages programme in order to develop her her Hindi.
And she was reflecting on how enriched she felt because she was learning Hindi. So I would say I agree that it is very difficult to say, well, you know, this is my linguistic identity, it is a dynamic thing, it changes and inviting all students to be part of that conversation with us is really what it's all about.
Jill Kaplan: Thank you. Well, I think and we'll close and leave that conversation there. I want to close by thanking you, Ali. Would you see my craft? Yes, I'd highlight what it is. A conversation on dynamic, a in person. And and I want to thank all of you for joining the conversation as well from wherever you are. We're so grateful to have all of you throughout the conference.
And I think your questions really enriched this discussion. And we look forward to continuing the conversation after this. If you'd like to join the networking room that's affiliated with this session, after the session closes, you can go into your app and there's going to be a place within this session linguistic diversity, where you can go and click on the button to join the networking conversation.
I will say that that admission is a bit limited, and so if you don't get in immediately, perhaps folks will go in and out of that room and to continue the conversation there. But I think the ball of Wall was a really great analogy. We learned a lot about so many of the different things that are going on at sea.
And I think here and I think it's fair to say that we really value linguistic diversity at sea. And it's really critical to all of the facets of our mission to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures, to create a peaceful and sustainable future. So I thank you all for joining us. Please stay with us throughout the afternoon.
There are three keynotes sessions later today and we're going to be hearing from Forrest Lee on the future of work. And we're going to be hearing from our friends at Amala about the amazing work that they do with education, with refugees around the world and we will be closing with a session from Kishore Mahbubani on. And so we hope that you will stay with us.
Thank you so much for joining us and enjoy the rest of the forum.
Pilar Jiminez: Thank you.