Strategies for Teaching English in IB PYP International Schools

As an international teacher, it is highly likely that you will be teaching English as a second or even third foreign language. In many international schools, we find ourselves with a beautiful broth of multiple languages and cultures within our classrooms. And, we deliver our inquiry-based framework to the children in English. For many others, we are teaching in a host country, to a class full of native speakers from our host country and, again, part of our repertoire is to teach those children to not only speak in English but also to learn in English.

Language therefore becomes more than simply a means of conversation. We are teaching a language, about language and through language and we do all of this with that authentic, inquiry-based approach that we truly believe in.  In this article, I will be sharing a recent video from a conversation I had live on Facebook with grade 4 teacher, Maria Vidal. ( @bilingualising on Instagram) [caption id="attachment_2738" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Joining me LIVE on Facebook, PYP4 teacher, Maria Vidal @bilingualising.[/caption] Maria is an experienced bilingual teacher, working in an IB school in her home country of Spain. Maria is teaching English in a school that has three languages to learn - their local Galician language, Spanish and English as a foreign language. She does this with a conceptual, inquiry-based approach.  I invite you to watch the many strategies that Maria presents, using examples from her classroom. This is such valuable information.

To TEFL or Not to TEFL? My first year teaching in a foreign country was, to be frank, not my best year ever. It wasn’t that the school was a problem. Not at all. The problem was that I wasnt equipped to do the best job possible for my class of native Arabic-speaking children. Tears of frustration from my students AND myself were not uncommon. I knew then that I had to equip myself with strategies and skills that would enable my teaching practice to provide the best experience possible for teaching my students in English, to speak and to learn in English. I enrolled myself into a TEFL course and spent six weeks of rigorous learning in preparation for my return to Abu Dhabi and the new school year. [caption id="attachment_2739" align="alignright" width="300"] Quoted via Edutopia[/caption] Nowadays you can take a TEFL course  from the comfort of your own home, wherever you are in the world. Quality online courses abound. I learned a lot:

  • Introducing non-English speakers to the English language
  • Understanding how we learn language.
  • The basic complexities behind multilingualism
  • Practical classroom strategies for teaching children, English as a foreign language
  • Assessing English as a foreign language
  • Integrating English as a foreign language.
  • Immersing the academic language

Read more about my own experience with TEFL in this article here. Before we get to Maria's strategies, for those of you who may be looking for more information regarding TEFL programmes, read below.

Looking for more information?

I have teamed up with Premier TEFL, having worked through their 6 month online course, and they are offering a great discount through my blog,  for those of you who may be interested in pursuing their programmes. ( this is an affiliate link. ) There are real live people to support you as you progress. And, if you need help deciding which course to follow, their qualified help team are phenomenal. I know that several of you have already pursued your qualification with Premier TEFL. Premier TEFL is a company based out of Ireland. I find that their website offers so much great information and even a quick quiz to help you to decide if TEFL certification and international teaching would be right for you, right now.

Teaching International, Multi-Lingual Children? Watch this!

Please do follow Maria's account on Instagram, as she shares her inquiry-based thoughts and ideas that she presents to her IB PYP students. You can find Maria @bilingualising 


P.S. Maria is just one of our amazing international teachers sharing their ideas within our community on Instagram and Facebook. Please do join us and say hello. You can find me @PYPteaching


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