The Language Center brings together many of the core values of the Primary School into one multi-modal learning center dedicated to the development of a bilingual, multi-national school community practicing powerful cross-cultural communication. The physical structure is complete on the outside, including a grassy outside area and colorful walls, and the inside is progressing right on schedule. Bookcases and room dividers for different sections of the center, beanbag chairs and regular chairs and tables, props for role-playing, books, tablets, and more are ready to be placed over the winter break. But even more exciting than the building is the program that is taking shape. Two primary school instructors, Lutfiah and Ilanit, have taken charge of the project, and they are working with the organization Madrasa, which develops Arabic-language programming for schools, to create an entirely new kind of language-learning program – the first of its kind in Israel. This multi-modal language learning center will allow for the latest pedagogic research to be put into practice, allowing students to role-play real-world activities and build genuine conversational mastery of their second (and third!) languages. Nir Sharon, PS Educational Director: “The theory of peer learning is that children learn language best when they learn from one another. They learn to speak to one another, to explain to one another, and to help one another understand. It can be in a group or one-on-one. That way, we are working on strengthening the social network of the school and building friendships and at the same time we
are teaching language skills.” But Sharon, Lutfiah, and Ilanit are not working alone - they have been meeting with the entire primary school teaching staff to ensure the Language Center activities tie into the PS’s overall HOTAM (Education, Culture and Tradition) curriculum. And, of course, parents are an integral part of the learning process. In addition to assisting with preparations, parents will soon be able to participate even more fully, as in the next several years there are plans to open the Language Center to the wider school community as well.
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