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English - An approach.
Here is an example of what a vision document and statement of aims might look like. But remember, your vision and your aims are your vision and your aims:
"We believe that the purpose of learning English in school is threefold:
- Firstly, the student should come out of the process with a language skill that can be used to meet the real needs that they will face in the outside world, such as research, supporting further formal learning, and communication in work, information and leisure related environments.
- Secondly, the process should reinforce their understanding of what language is, and how it works, providing them with a resource that they can apply to other areas of learning and particularly to the learning of further foreign languages.
- Thirdly, the process should strengthen, broaden and deepen students' understanding, appreciation and valuing of their own and other cultures through studying a foreign culture or cultures and considering the way culture is reflected and transmitted through language and literature.
We believe that foreign language learning requires a development of specific language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) through the presentation and practice of those skills in a structured, developmental course. Course design, and methodological considerations, must take account of:
- current views of what these skills entail both psychologically and in terms of social interaction;
- the considerable developments in our understanding of what language is and how it is learned that have taken place over the past 50 years;
- recent research into learning styles and preferences and multiple intelligences.
We note that, historically, language learning has been seen as "grammar driven" in Turkey, but we are aware of the vast range of current grammatical theories, and believe that the choice of which grammar/ approach to language study we teach, and how it should be taught, should be subordinated to the overall goal of skill development. We will make sure that all grammar teaching takes place in support of clearly specified non-linguistic skill or task oriented aims and objectives.
- Students should be able to function and communicate easily in English in a wide range of environments that a young person may have to face, including: higher education, travel, work related research, social events within Turkey.
- Students will be well equipped to deal with academic demands including: OSS examinations, internationally recognised examinations such as UCLES First Certificate and Proficiency, IGCSE and TOEFL, and also university preparatory exemption examinations.
- Students will be able to use internationally available resources including literary, academic, information and work related texts with confidence, and will be able to follow a wide variety English language broadcasts and use the World Wide Web and internet with ease.
- Students will have a developed a sensitivity towards and an understanding of other cultures which will assist them in their dealings with representatives of those cultures, and will make them aware of those differences between other cultures and their own which impede co-operation and understanding.
- Students will know how to approach foreign language learning efficiently and effectively. They will know what 'works for them'."
Now these aims are large. They are big, and need to be broken down in more specific objectives. We need to have a clear idea of the things that students will need to know, need to be able to do, and also the kinds of attitude we expect them to develop. Click on...