With this language policy we would like to outline how we can help our pre-IB and IB students achieve individual and common language goals at Struer Statsgymnasium. We believe that language awareness is basic for intercultural understanding and respect.
Diversity. We are aware of and value our students’ language and cultural diversity. The majority of our students have Danish as a first language. A minority of our students have English as a mother tongue, another minority are “Language A 1 self-taught students” with various first languages.
Language of instruction. The language of instruction is English in all classes except for the Danish classes. We therefore recognize that all teachers are, in practice not only subject teachers, but also language teachers.
English in the classroom. We always speak English in the classrooms. We also encourage students to speak English outside the classroom and in the breaks. Students may speak their mother tongue outside school, unless they are together with others who do not understand that language. We never use language to exclude others.
First language. All students study their first language. We offer classes in Danish A1 and English A1. Other languages can be studied as self-taught students and with the help of a supervisor.
Language A1 self-taught. The self-taught supervisor is a Language A1 teacher and can therefore guide students competently in the syllabus outlined in the subject guide. The students are given the opportunity to participate in the world literature lessons of the Language A1 classes. Moreover, the supervisor can help the students to establish contact with other IB students and teachers of the language in question.
Self-taught students participate in the written and oral mock exams. The school provides a small library for languages other than Danish and English.
Second language. All students learn at least one language in addition to their mother tongue. The school offers several languages ranging from ab initio to higher level languages. Current options in group 2 include English B HL, Spanish a.i. SL, German SL.
Danish as a second language. The school facilitates Danish as a second language classes by finding qualified teachers for interested students. There is ample opportunity of interacting and communicating with Danish students from our other four lines of education on activity days, introduction days, school parties, Friday cafés, CAS days, boarding school activities etc.
Correcting language. As a rule of thumb language problems that have an impact on understanding are corrected in the classroom and in assignments. We also make individual arrangements with the single classes/ students about how the teacher corrects language weaknesses (e.g. focus on particular language problems instead of correcting all mistakes, corrections in another colour than red…) All IB teachers facilitate communication in English in their classes.
Morning assemblies. The main part of our morning assemblies is conducted in Danish, as we are a Danish school with an IB section. Contributions by IB students and teachers take place in English. We make sure that Danish students translate for those students who do not understand Danish.
CAS. Students are encouraged to help each other in the languages. Thus native speakers offer language courses for small groups of learners of e.g. Danish or Spanish. Single students also help younger students with their language skills at local schools and in a programme by the Red Cross.
English classes for teachers. Our IB teachers are offered special English classes.
Exchanges. The school conducts exchanges with other IB world schools. Current student/teacher exchanges take place with Luton in the UK and Gdansk in Poland. We also encourage teacher exchanges with other IB schools as we believe that such exchanges strengthen our teachers’ English language skills.
Library. The school library constantly acquires new books in various languages. Rare languages are also catered for to support our Language A1 self-taught students.
The IB Committee, 2009