We pride ourselves in being a thriving international community. Our student population is made up of over 40 nationalities which allows students to be exposed to people and cultures from around the world every day of the school year. Research has shown that having a good grasp of one’s native language benefits emotional well-being, enhances academic success and promotes the acquisition of additional languages. In a world that is increasingly interconnecting, language is a vital marker of identity and culture.
At HeadStart, we have put an emphasis on building a language department which can provide first language courses for students in Year 1 all the way through to Year 13. The HeadStart Language teachers have strong academic backgrounds and diverse experience in supporting language acquisition. Our teachers are all native speakers in the languages that they teach, and most of them speak more than two languages.
This broad provision for language options means that in addition to the Cambridge curriculum offered at HeadStart, 85% of our students are also able to study their native language at a first language level.
Our students study five periods of language studies per week and can choose from the following options.
Thai Passport Holder Options
Option A: 5 periods of Thai First Language per week. Available for Years 1-9.
Option B: 5 periods of Thai as a second language per week. Available for Years 1-9, for half Thai pupils only.
International Passport Holder Options
Option C: 3 periods of Mandarin Foreign language per week and 2 periods of Thai Foreign Language. Available for Years 1-9.
Option D: 3 periods of French Foreign Language per week 2 periods of Thai Foreign Language. Available for Years 1-9.
Option E: 4 periods of Mandarin First language per week and 1 period of Thai Foreign Language. Available for Years 1-9.
Option F: 4 periods of Russian First Language per week and 1 period of Thai Foreign Language. Available for Years 1-9.
Languages Day 2018 got off to a great start with music in the atrium along with a sampling of traditional Thai foods. Students danced and sang along to popular songs while attempting to fix translations of signs that went horribly wrong. In addition, many students wrote the word ‘Peace’ in their native language on the Peace board and that trend continued throughout the entire day. During the lunch periods, students and staff were able to read the food menus in multiple languages and everyone was treated to the beautiful voices of students singing songs in their native languages. Students were also busy playing various games in the atrium during the lunch periods and it seemed as if everyone was enjoying themselves. Throughout the day during language lessons some classes listened to songs in various languages while making short videos in their native languages. One of the more challenging activities students participated in was creating a tongue twister in their native language. Students certainly had a lot of fun trying to say their tongue twisters aloud quickly! Overall, the day was engaging for all who participated and we look forward to having Languages Day be one of the new crowd favourites in the years to come. By Mr Michael Opaliski