What makes learning English in an international school different

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Purpose of learning English

In many Vietnamese public schools and English centers, students often learn English as a foreign language to use in the workplace with a very limited language focus, or to take language certification exams like the TOEIC, the IELTS or TOEFL.

At The International School @ ParkCity Hanoi (ISPH), students learn English as the primary language for communicating with teachers and friends in the classroom and as a tool for learning and gaining knowledge in subjects like math, science, science, music, art and physical education. , as well as to conduct research and self-study.

ISPH elementary school students attend a math class. Photo courtesy of ISPH

Rik Millington, Director of ISPH, said that a student whose first language is not English will generally take about a year to develop communicative English and about three years to master their academic English; write reports and essays, make presentations, study specialized manuals. Therefore, if the student focuses only on communication and learning grammar, their academic English skills will not be significantly improved as it has no ‘real world’ application.

No longer applicable

English in international schools is taught in all subjects and is the common language used in all school activities and events. Therefore, students have an environment to practice and use English regularly, which helps them to naturally improve their English skills and progress much faster.

ISPH students in a self-study lesson at the school library.  Photo courtesy of ISPH

ISPH students engage in a self-study lesson inside the school library. Photo courtesy of ISPH

James Ellis, English teacher at ISPH, explained that English at school is taught in different ways suitable for each group of students. For kindergarten and primary school students, teachers will focus on vocabulary, pronunciation, phonetics, sentence structure, grammar and critical thinking in English.

For high school students, especially those studying the IGCSE program, English is taught more intensively and comprehensively, focusing on using words, creating content, learning different types of literary genres, writing styles, the meaning that the author wants to convey in each literary work, as well as the analysis of the work.

According to Ellis, the English taught in international schools is more applicable as it is linked with other subjects to create opportunities for students to practice and apply new knowledge in a real way.

For example, when students study a topic about “superheroes”, they not only learn the job, but are also asked to create their own hero character in the form of writing or artwork. Through this activity, the vocabulary related to this topic in other subjects like the creative arts or physics is also introduced to the students, giving them the opportunity to use these new words more often in school.

Learning environment

Studying in an international environment with teachers and students from many countries around the world requires students to use English for daily communication and as a tool to acquire knowledge in all subjects.

Nhat Minh, a 10th grade student at ISPH, said English here is taught naturally; students learn English not only through lessons, but also through playing, exercising and communicating. In addition, the teachers at ISPH are also very friendly, enthusiastic and caring. They always encourage students to ask questions and are happy to answer them to make sure all students understand a topic before moving on to a new one. This makes the ISPH learning environment more user-friendly and happier, helping students achieve better results.

ISPH High school students in a science lesson.  Photo courtesy of ISPH

ISPH High school students in a science lesson. Photo courtesy of ISPH

Bao Khue, a student who joined ISPH at the start of this school year, can speak English freely here without worrying that her friends won’t understand what she means or think she’s bragging about her English skills.

“At ISPH, I learn plays and novels in English classes instead of just learning grammar and vocabulary like in my old school, which is much more interesting for me,” he said. said Khue.

Immersive learning

In addition to the curriculum subjects, students in international schools are often encouraged to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities and have the opportunity to develop their leadership and life skills.

Therefore, the English they learn at school is a practical language that covers all aspects of life, helping them to communicate freely, express their personal opinions and acquire new knowledge in English as well as to learn a new language.

ISPH students perform a Broadway musical Annie JR.  Photo courtesy of ISPH

ISPH students perform the Broadway musical Annie JR. Photo courtesy of ISPH

By studying at an international school, in addition to learning new knowledge, students also learn to use the language and to think like native speakers. They are exposed to many different cultures and accents which help them develop skills and the ability to communicate and react appropriately in a multinational environment. For these reasons, students graduating from international schools can attend any university and college around the world. They are able to confidently study abroad and achieve high results without any language and cultural barriers or differences in thinking, and with a greater capacity for self-learning compared to native speakers.

The International School @ ParkCity Hanoi (ISPH)

ParkCity Hanoi, Le Trong Tan, Ha Dong, Hanoi

www.isph.edu.vn | info@isph.edu.vn | +84 93 44 55 228


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