As an international school, many of our students hail from countries around the globe. Naturally, many of our students speak another language in addition to English. We have developed a language programme that allows students to immerse themselves in a new language while simultaneously learning about the culture of the people who speak that language.
Our authentic language instruction is designed to allow students to become fluent in a language other than their native tongue. We believe that by speaking another language effectively, and by learning how to write and communicate using that language, students will be well-prepared for success in an increasingly global economy.
At OWIS, students have the opportunity to learn Mandarin as a second language. Mandarin is the predominant language spoken in China and also the second language of our host country, Singapore, which is one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world. Our Mandarin Studies programme includes the following elements:
For many, the first step in learning a new language is understanding how to speak that language out loud. Fortunately, young children are able to acquire oral language skills much faster than adults, which is why we begin our authentic language instruction as part of the early childhood and primary years programmes at OWIS Singapore. It's important to note that oral communication skill development at OWIS goes beyond memorising words and phrases. The goal is to help students become fluent in the language through dynamic activities, such as storytelling, games, songs and rhymes. Students quickly become confident when learning Mandarin and other languages, and they are unafraid to showcase their new language development skills.
The authentic language instruction in the early childhood and primary years programmes provides students with a solid foundation of oral communication skills, which leads to an opportunity to dive into reading comprehension and writing skill development. In the secondary IGCSE programme, students are able to begin advanced studies of Mandarin. They are able to apply their oral language skills to the written word. Their instruction in Mandarin goes beyond simply speaking to one another, and extends into reading and writing the language in the classroom setting. This additional level of instruction allows secondary students at OWIS Singapore to be uniquely prepared for professional life in a global economy.
Learning a language and developing an appreciation for the culture of the people who speak that language go hand-in-hand. At OWIS Singapore, we incorporate cultural awareness into every aspect of our authentic language instruction. Students in the early childhood, primary years and secondary programmes have an opportunity to participate in cultural and linguistic events. These activities give students an opportunity to apply their language skills in a conversational setting while simultaneously learning more about the culture of the Chinese people. From celebrating the Chinese New Year to hosting an International Day, OWIS Singapore makes cultural immersion a high priority.
Whilst we are committed that all students at OWIS study Mandarin we understand that children who transition from other schools and educational backgrounds may wish to continue with the second language they have been learning. We therefore offer French and Spanish CIAE IGCSE in addition to Mandarin and our IBDP students have the option to take these languages at the DP level.
We also encourage mother tongue learning by offering Hindi and Tamil CCA.