Calle Santa Bernardita, 3. 28023 Madrid - España

+34 91 357 12 56

English Learning Methodology

The characteristics of today's society: open, globalised and belonging to the European Union, requires the plurilingual competence as a basic component of our students' training.  Our commitment is very clear; for all our students who have fulfilled their education at our school to be able to express themselves fluently in English in any real-life situation and to obtain, to the extent of their possibilities, the maximum certificate granted by the University of Cambridge, the Proficiency exam. The importance we give to bilingualism is reflected in the number of weekly periods we dedicate to it, in the methodology we use and in the possibility we offer our students to study abroad either for weeks, quarters or whole school years, starting in 6th Primary. The proof of these three components success are the results obtained in the Cambridge exams.

 

CAMBRIDGE EXAMS

Internacional Aravaca is certified by the University of Cambridge as “Exam Preparation Centre”.

 

90% of Internacional Aravaca School student’s sit the exams every year and the results achieved continue to improve on an annual basis. 100% of our students pass the exams and achieve the highest score in speaking and listening skills.

Tests generally take place every two years and are usually during the third quarter. The program is as follows:
- 2º EPO Starters
- 4º EPO Flyers
- 6º EPO PET
- 2º ESO First Certificate
- 4º ESO Advanced
- 2º Bachillerato Proficiency/Advanced

From 6th Primary onwards, all students are given the option of sitting the above mentioned exams..

 

METHODOLOGY IN THE PRE-SCHOOL STAGE

 

English language teaching is present in every activity and routine of our students, in the free and symbolic play, in basic needs and life processes such as food, personal hygiene, nap time... and in all pedagogical and didactic activities, thus covering their full day-to-day.

From a very early age, we work on the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing). There is no interference when learning English and Spanish, and children express themselves in both languages.

In the 2 year old classroom, we adapt to the child’s development and derive maximum benefit from their auditory, visual and tactile potential, from the way they perceive the environment around them.

We emphasise the listening and oral skills, basing our work on the multiple intelligences, so that activities are presented to students in different ways (combining music, movement, spatial representation...), and enabling that all of our students have access to meaningful learning through sensory experiences.

We include the Synthetic Phonics methodology from the age of 2. The child's brain is able to encode the sounds of both its mother tongue and the second language one without interference, as if the child used two independent brains. Hearing at this stage of the child’s development, is at its peak. We emphasise the learning of Nursery Rhymes and traditional songs that reinforce and support the musicality and rhythm of the English language in a natural way.

Students also work in projects, adapting them to their cognitive development and fostering their creativity.

In the 3 year-old classroom, children have the possibility to internalise the language in a natural way and begin to express themselves in simple sentences.

We begin to work on literacy with Jolly Phonics, a phonetic method.

We try to foster interest in reading through “storytelling time” and songs are a constant support in oral expression. Students also work in projects, adapting them to their cognitive development and fostering their creativity.

In the 4 year-old classroom, the child’s curiosity about everything surrounding them and their natural motivation, make them feel safe when expressing themselves in English.

In literacy, we incorporate the IA Phonics method, developed by the school's teachers, with the methodological basis of Jolly Phonics, thus making it possible to work on vocabulary both visually and in written form, through meaningful learning.

Project-based work is truly important as children become protagonists and actors of their own learning process. The poems, rhymes and songs, as well as the plastic expression, introduce the world of art in their daily learning.

In the 5 year-old classroom they reach the culmination of the skills developed over the previous years. Children communicate in English quite naturally. Their phonetic knowledge makes the reading flow naturally.

We take dictations of vocabulary words taken from IA Phonics. We practice spelling and "free writing" from the third quarter, starting from an image or theme that helps both their ideas and previous knowledge flow.

Once again, the songs, Nursery Rhymes and folktales, will serve as support and settlement of students' previous knowledge. Project-based work involves families in the children’s learning process as an essential and necessary support.

Children take home the reading books we work in class, to foster a strong interest in English reading, motivating them with great love and affection, as age requires, making their parents share their goals.

In the following video, we can see an activity carried out by 5-year olds:

 

METHODOLOGY IN PRIMARY

 

Reading is a fundamental base of our methodology. We consider creating a reading habit in the smallest children indispensable, since it helps all learning areas and improves the understanding skills. Reading is performed in class through Class Readers. We all read the designated book for the quarter, share our thoughts on each chapter and work on different worksheets.

Depending on the course, we spend one to two hours weekly exclusively on speaking. We perform a choral speaking of written in class texts, and learn how to tell stories to a larger group, as well as through games and role plays among other engaging activities.

As a result, we obtain in-class reinforcements for those students who may have learning difficulties. This helps us to achieve a homogeneous level, which facilitates the correct class development,, meeting the classroom´s diversity.

In first grade, some students begin to develop, and others to improve, their reading-writing skills and from second grade, we start working on spelling. Children learn the most relevant words of the unit studied, weekly.

We enhance our methodology with IA Phonics until third grade, which includes a monthly sentences dictation related to the phonemes worked in class. Without a doubt, this facilitates the development of reading-writing skills in both English and Spanish language.

After third grade, we start to work on irregular verbs weekly. We also include free writing as a tool that promotes the production of creative writing.

 

METHODOLOGY IN SECONDARY

 

We keep on track with the four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing plus grammar, vocabulary and the preparation of external examinations.

Since reading is such an important skill, we work on vocabulary and expressions by reading a mandatory book per year, plus a monthly reading book per month. We also reinforce the reading comprehension by doing summaries, drawing main and secondary ideas, inferring word meanings from context and analyzing the structure of texts.

Our day-to-day tool is the iPad and it has allowed us to design our own innovative contents and a very practical, individualized and creative methodology. After planning gradual activities for a solid learning, students do a final presentation in front of the class. The increase and improvement in the oral skill is continuous and our students, not only learn how to give fluent speeches in English, but also learn how to do formal presentations while they learn useful skills for their future careers: vocal techniques, how to structure a strong speech and the use of body language.

Thanks to the iPad, we work listening skills: the student has a unique “language laboratory” which allows him to work at his own pace, achieving improvement and oral comprehension at high levels.

The international spirit of our school includes projects and collaborations with British schools as Barnardiston Hall, where our students may study for a quarter or a full academic year, as well as Harris Schafford Hundred Academy, also for full years and quarters, plus internships.

 

 

Contáctanos

Calle Santa Bernardita, 3. 28023 Madrid - España

Teléfono: +34 91 357 12 56

Email: Dirección de email Internacional Aravaca

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