Dr. Xiaoping Wang (left) and Dr. José Medina (right)
During World Languages Week, the International School of Beijing (ISB) welcomed two eminent language consultants: Dr. Xiaoping Wang and Dr. José Medina. As a multilingual, multi-literate, and multicultural institution, ISB prepares its students to be global citizens; teaching them to operate sensitively and effectively in multiple languages and to see cultural differences as opportunities to connect. In their workshops and forums, Dr. Wang and Dr. Medina, together with faculty and parents, identified successes, pinpointed challenges, and recommended research-based and validated strategies to develop ISB’s language and culture learning across the school.
Dr. Xiaoping Wang (far right) discussing Chinese program at ISB with faculty
In evaluating ISB’s Chinese language program, Dr. Wang praised ISB’s committed team of teachers and excellent IB results, saying it is obvious that the program here is strong. “One example of that strength is ISB’s performance in bilingual debate at the Asia-Pacific Chinese-English Bilingual Festival last May. It’s a tough competition,” he said. “It was ISB’s first time participating and they won. I was pretty amazed. It’s just one indication of how effectively the program performs here.” At the same time, he also recognized the need to enhance the first-language Chinese curriculum. He will be recommending some fine-tuning and enhancements to the program to deliver even greater successes.
Dr. Medina is supporting two major initiatives at ISB: dual language programming, and the implementation of a two-way Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) model across the teaching faculty. He explained the benefits of dual language-based education, and discussed the use of SIOP to provide sheltered instruction to students to create access to grade level standards, via listening, speaking, reading, and writing, regardless of how much or how little language a student brings into the classroom. “One of the great things about having us both here this week is that we both got to share and meet with parents,” he said. “Research shows us that language programs won’t succeed unless there is parent buy-in and parent understanding.” Dr. Medina also expressed his appreciation for the approach to language-learning at ISB, the platform that World Languages Week provided, the opportunity to work with Dr. Wang, and the high attendance by ISB parents at talks by both experts.
Whether students are enrolled in a first or foreign language class, or in our dual language program, with more bilingualism in our student body than ever before, our teachers continue to learn and master the latest theories and methodologies for effective classroom delivery.
Dr. José Medina discussing dual language education with ISB parents