ABC is an international school following the National Curriculum for England and Wales. At ABC we create a challenging and motivating multilingual environment where the language of instruction is English. We view language as a tool for making meaning in the world. We believe that every student has an individual and a cultural set of experiences, skills and interests, which must be considered in the teaching and learning process. For ABC, multilingualism and the development of critical literacy are considered important factors in fostering international-mindedness through the promotion of cultural identity, intercultural awareness and global citizenship.
At ABC, all teachers are language teachers as language transcends curriculum areas. Through the curriculum language programmes, we aim to develop confident, curious, highly proficient and enthusiastic readers, writers, viewers, presenters, speakers and listeners. Language is always taught meaningfully and in context. These contexts vary, but often involve the use of real-life scenarios, native speakers, the local area and a wide variety of text types. We advocate the learning of language through a constructivist approach, allowing students to make connections with context, to explore and investigate. The learning of any language is developmental by nature, building constructively on what each individual student knows to help move them forward.
As an international school situated in Baku, we are strongly committed to providing students with access to Azerbaijani language learning and utilising the host country and community for language and cultural experiences throughout the curriculum. Equally important to the school is the belief that each student should have the opportunity to maintain and develop their mother tongue(s). The acquisition of additional languages allows students to further reflect upon and explore different cultural perspectives.
At ABC we are committed to providing an inclusive and equitable learning environment. We aim to ensure access to the programmes offered by the school for all students.
At ABC, language is taught holistically. Each programme has specific learning outcomes for the strands of speaking and listening, reading and writing, and viewing and presenting appropriate to the student’s level. We promote constructivist-based authentic learning through an investigative approach of different genres.
The School invests in qualified, professional language teachers for the language of instruction, host language and other languages.
Students are allowed and encouraged to use their mother tongue to access the curriculum. For instance they may complete class work and assessments in their mother tongue and they are encouraged to share their learning and progress with their parents and other members of the community using their mother tongue.
Azerbaijani is offered both as a First and Second Language and is taught to students in all grades from Nursery to Grade 10. We have two 45-minute lessons of Azerbaijani each week. Lessons in Azerbaijani History and Geography are taught in Azerbaijani for secondary students who are native speakers. Azerbaijani Culture is taught in English to all primary pupils.
ABC is an English medium school, but our students speak a range of different languages. Obviously, it is not possible to offer classes in all these languages. However, because educational research makes clear that those students who maintain their mother tongue will have better access to learning when working in a second or third language, it is important that we provide the opportunity for students to access their first, or mother-tongue, languages.
We greatly value children continuing to learn in their mother tongue. We aim to place children in classes with other children who speak the same languages they do whenever possible. We prioritize those children who are new to learning English. We encourage parents to talk, read and write with their children in their mother tongue. From Year 3 upwards, students are offered a choice of languages.
ABC students have the opportunity to study up to three languages. These courses are offered according to the student’s level in the language of instruction, English, the host country language, Azerbaijani, and a third language. Language acquisition courses are offered in Russian and Mandarin Chinese. French, German, Spanish and other languages are subject to demand and if parents bear the cost, we will find teachers to teach these in school hours.
Students who require additional English language teaching to access the curriculum are provided with English as an Additional Language (EAL) support. Applicants to ABC are tested and graded according to the ABC EAL levels, which are aligned with the National Curriculum for England and Wales levels or performance indicators. Students’ English language development is reassessed regularly and support is adjusted or withdrawn accordingly.