What is the alignment between the MYP and DP language acquisition subject?
I think attending workshops to discuss the changes and explore strategies to implement new requirements is important. I also think it is far more important to become familiar with the guide and gain a deeper understanding of why changes are made before we dive into the course and assessment design.
After carefully reading the new DP language acquisition guide (first exam 2020), I noticed that the connections between the MYP and DP are further enhanced. Here are the shared aims stated in the guide:
- develop communication skills in additional language;
- develop insights into the features, process and craft of language, and the concept of culture, encouraging students to see that there are diverse ways of living, behaving and viewing the world;
- developing intercultural understanding and global engagement, leading to international-mindedness;
- providing opportunities for learning through inquiry and the development of critical-and creative-thinking skills;
- fostering curiosity and desire for lifelong learning;
- understanding and respecting other languages and cultures.
Understanding the shared aims benefits us to designing the MYP and DP language acquisition courses. The design of the MYP and DP language acquisition courses should allow students not only learn the target language, but also learn about the language through the conceptual understandings of communication, connections, creativity and culture (key concepts in the MYP). Entering the DP, students continue to develop subject mastery through linguistic related concepts, including audience, context, purpose, meaning, and variation. Although variation is not mentioned in the MYP, this concept can be easily explored through the contextual lens of Orientation in Space and Time.
Language acquisition is most effective when students can practice their knowledge and skills through real-life situations. The MYP Global Contexts and the DP Themes provide relevant contexts and opportunities for students to communicate matters of personal, local or national and global interest. It is important for teachers to identify relevant and meaningful contexts when design language learning units. Depending on a different context, the focus of the unit of work and the selection of texts will also be different. Here are my explorations of the DP themes and MYP global contexts by studying festivals focusing on Chinese New Year.
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