Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 30 15:18:43 UTC 2011

Policy statement

Middle Years Programme (MYP 4 and 5) at our school offers English as
the language of instruction, and so does Diploma Programme at our

It offers two languages A- English and Croatian. All Croatian students
have to take Croatian as language A
However, there is usually a small group of Croatian students who were
either born or have spent most of their lives in an English speaking
environment, and whose Croatian is not good enough to follow Croatian
as language A, therefore they take Croatian B as well as foreign
nationals. The foreign nationals also follow Croatian B, usually at
the foundation level.

Also students have to choose either German or French as language B –
at foundation, standard or advanced level.

Depending of the number of interested students, Latin is also offered
as an optional subject.
English language policy
English, being the language of instruction in MYP as well as DIP, is
also offered as one of the two Languages A. Since we have a variety of
students arriving from different parts of the world as well as
Croatian students, who all have different English language
backgrounds, the school also offers English B. Depending on the level,
the English B class is usually assessed at advanced level, but if/when
there are weaker students in the group they are assessed at standard
of foundation level for language B. This will help students reach the
objectives of language B even if they follow the Middle Years
Programme for only two years.

Most of the MYP students who follow English A choose English B high
level in the DP , and sometimes English A if that is really the
student’s mother tongue so it makes it a lot easier for such students
to follow Language A course in the DP. The English B students normally
choose English B in the DP regardless of the level as this is the
language of instruction.

Croatian language policy

All Croatian students take Croatian as language A. This is the
requirement of the Ministry of education, especially if the students
decide to study in Croatia, as all universities and colleges in
Croatia require Croatian language at either high or sometimes standard
level. However, there is usually a small group of Croatian students
who were either born or have spent most of their lives in an English
speaking environment, and whose Croatian is not good enough to follow
Croatian as language A. They follow Croatian B curriculum which
usually has a mixed group of students so the Croatian B teacher has to
assess the students according their level – mostly foundation and
standard level

Since the host country's language is Croatian the school believes that
the foreign students should learn the language of the host country as
it makes their lives outside the school community much more
comfortable and everyday communication with Croatian citizens a lot
easier, if they have at least a basic knowledge of Croatian. In
addition to all the above mentioned, all of the MYP teachers are
Croatian so our students can also benefit from them as far as Croatian
is concerned.

Languages B
At our school we offer Croatian, French and German as Languages B-
foundation, standard and advanced levels, in addition to English B.
Students are usually organized in small groups (app. 10-15 students)
which provides an excellent environment when it comes to learning a
language B. The students are encouraged to raise their awareness of
all the advantages of such an environment as well as to apply the
skills and knowledge of the culture they come from.

Since the school is also a state school and therefore mostly funded by
the Ministry of education, due to the recession and budget cuts the
school cannot organize very small groups for Languages B.
Language B courses are organised in such a way as to develop all four
skills (reading, listening, writing, speaking) and thus prepare
students for the final assessment based on the assessment criteria
provided by the IB. Various teaching strategies are applied and
students are involved as much as possible in the process of

Due to the fact that students come from different educational systems,
it may happen that a mixed ability group is formed, so that some extra
time has to be devoted to practising grammar/vocabulary in order to
create a more homogenous group, and therefore, more efficient in its

Teaching is organised in three periods weekly (135 minutes) divided
into one double lesson (90 minutes) + one single lesson per week –
this enables the teacher to organise lessons efficiently. It is
suitable for larger units, leaves enough time to discuss homework in
the classroom, do enough grammar/vocabulary exercises, do pair or
group work, make presentations of either personal or group projects,
do listening or writing tasks etc.
All students have access to the Internet at school and during Language
B lessons they work with the materials prepared by the teacher, but
are also encouraged to use their own time for purposes of foreign
language acquisition. They also use relevant literature at the
disposal at the school library. Visits to local Goethe Institute and
French Library are sometimes organised.

EFL- support for students who have limited competence in the language
of instruction

In the past the school organized additional classes for students who
had problems following the curriculum in English. However since we
introduced English B, the school decided there was no need for EFL

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