[lg policy] Malta: St Ignatius College LANGUAGE POLICY

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 2 13:58:36 UTC 2011

St Ignatius College Siggiewi Primary LANGUAGE POLICY

"The National Minimum Curriculum considers bilingualism as the basis of the
educational system. This document regards bilingualism as entailing
the effective, precise
and confident use of the country's two official languages: Maltese the
National language
and English. This goal must be reached by students by the end of their
entire scholastic
experience.... Each school must develop a linguistic strategy which
reflects the particular
linguistic needs of its students. In so doing, it should not overlook
the fact that the
Maltese Society has its own native tongue and recognises English as an
official language,
a language which has also developed as a lingua franca. Equal
importance should be
given to the first and second languages at all levels." (Principle 10 NMC)

Where we stand as a school
The majority of our pupils come from Maltese-speaking homes. This is
indicated by the
very good level of spoken Maltese and above average results in
National Examinations in

As regards English, very few English-speaking pupils attend our school
and this puts an
extra responsibility on us as teachers to help our pupils attain a
good level in English both
in the spoken and the written language.

Developing the Languages
A child develops a language through the four modes - listening,
speaking, reading and
writing. Every language lesson should ideally include the four modes.

Our school has to give every opportunity for exposure to the listening
of good language
as frequently as possible starting from the kinder classes. This can
be done through
reading of stories, teacher–pupil communication and reading.

Encouraging the use of correct spoken language in conversation with
the class teacher,
other teachers, the SMT and among peers can help pupils acquire better
knowledge of the
language and become more confident in its use. Assemblies, drama and
other activities
using the spoken language are to be included in the curriculum.

Our school is to continue to give importance to reading. Interesting
books are to be easily
accessible to each pupil at all times in the class library. Each pupil
should also have
regular visits to the school library, which is to include interesting
books kept in good
condition for all levels.

Being the most demanding of the four modes, pupils are to primarily be
exposed as much
as possible to the other three modes, thus rendering the writing
process a natural way of
expressing themselves. The pupils are to be encouraged to write
according to their ability
only after being exposed to multiple writing models, interesting
stimuli, abundant ideas
and easily accessible word banks.

The use of Language in the classroom
English is to be used during the following lessons:
· English
· Mathematics
· Science

Maltese is to be used during the following lessons:
· Maltese
· Religion
· Social Studies

During all other subjects, English is to be used
· firstly as required by the National Minimum Curriculum
· secondly to keep up our school name of an English speaking school.
During lessons, especially those in English, teachers should use
paraphrasing (using
different ways of saying the same thing). Code switching is to be
resorted to only in
extreme cases.

The English Language
English is to be spoken during all teacher-pupil and SMT-pupil
communications giving
the pupils more exposure to the language (except during Maltese,
Social Studies and
Religion lessons.)
· 1 to 3-minute talk in English by pupils in turn about a subject of
their own choice
to be held regularly with pupils who have started to master the language
· End of reading activity – One or more of the following activities can be done:
o pupils record a number of words or expressions
o pupils talk about what they have read
o pupils write a short paragraph
· Stories, songs and poems to be regularly included in the lessons

The Maltese Language
· All communication by pupils and teachers during lessons in Maltese
including the
use of numbers, to be held in Maltese
· Use of models for writing orthographically correct words by teachers
and pupils
· Maltese words to be used where they exist, in preference to foreign
words given a
Maltese ending
· The Maltese Deijonijiet are to be used by all teachers; pupils are to be
encouraged to familiarise themselves with them as early as possible.
Maltese and English
Teachers who have received special training in any of the languages can be
considered as reference points when needed.


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