Learn Real English at CIS

ケンブリッジインターナショナルスクールの英語教育ポリシー

Learn Real English at Cambridge International School

Current research in applied linguistics claims that learners acquire a second language only to the extent that they are exposed to and actively involved in real, meaningful, communication in that language. An ESL class which sets out to provide opportunities for such communication, therefore, requires at least two basic components:

  • An environment that encourages and motivates children to exercise their initiative in communicating through meaningful tasks and activities; and,
  • • The associated teacher communication that helps describe and talk about the activity the children are engaged in and provides the communicational rationale associated with the activity arising from the task.


At Cambridge, children engage in tasks that elicit various kinds of activity. We then talk and communicate with the children about the activity that arises from the tasks. In so doing the children associate the activity in which they are engaged with the corresponding communication that the teachers use in describing and talking about the activity. The children thus being exposed to authentic, English communication form a connection with what they are doing and observing leading to meaningful learning.

The English the children learn is both context based and meaningful by providing the communicational rationale that is required to establish both a connection with the situation and the function of language. In this way, children learn Real English in a natural, communicative, environment as they explore and inquire, and gradually begin to talk about what they are doing and observing in a meaningful way. By making such associations and connections to the language the child is able to expand on their use of the English language so creating a new tool for further exploration, inquiry and communication.

To help further broaden the children’s exposure to authentic English, we also use content-based instruction as a means of developing linguistic ability. For example, our Language Arts, Science, Math, Social Science, and Art & Craft classes provide a context-rich environment for effective and meaningful English communication. Students learn not only necessary vocabulary, but are engaged in discussions and presentations using the newly learnt language and associated discourses.

Making use of content based learning, our curriculum reflects the high degree of real- life communication found in English communities. This familiarity with different learning communities means that students are exposed to and can practice many varied and interesting discourses. Research confirms that this is the most effective way of developing language ability because when students are interested and motivated in the material they are learning, they maker greater connections to real life situations, and so learning English becomes a fun and easy activity, where information is retained for a long time.

Learning English in contemporary classrooms in most Tokyo schools is not effective however. Because such schools conform to limited grammar exercises and learning bits of language in isolation from its real meaning, students are not exposed to the rich, subject content and cultural associations that reflect and inform real life. This is why at Cambridge International School students learn English in real life situations using interesting topic and subject matter making for more enjoyable and effective communication.

Benefits of the Cambridge Approach:

  • Learners are exposed to a considerable amount of language through stimulating content. Learners explore interesting content and are engaged in appropriate language-dependant activities. Learning language becomes automatic.
  • Contextualized learning; learners are taught useful language that is embedded within relevant discourse contexts rather than as isolated language fragments. Hence students make greater connections with the language and what they already know. This enhances the practical usability for the learners.
  • Complex information is delivered through real life context for the students to grasp well and leads to intrinsic motivation.
  • Information is reiterated by strategically delivering information at the right time and in the right situation compelling the students to learn out of passion.
  • Greater flexibility and adaptability in the curriculum can be deployed to suit each student’s interests.

Conclusion:

The focus of learning English at Cambridge is to learn English in a natural as setting as possible so that learners experience English as would be spoken by native English speakers. Exposure to real-life, context-rich tasks, and activities, children engage closely with the teacher in small groups and learn to talk like native English speakers. The integration of language and content teaching is perceived by the European Commission as "an excellent way of making progress in a foreign language". Our method effectively increases learners' English language proficiency and teaches students the skills necessary for both academic and social success.

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